A Trip To Motown Every Monday


This Monday, a weekly party called Motown On Mondays (MOM) Honolulu throws a special birth day celebration for its host, Maria “Song-bird” Remos.

Maria is known to work tirelessly on her music projects. My earliest memory of Maria is seeing her perform with the Nu Swing Project at Jazz Minds Caf . This was in 2005, long before MOM was conceived.

MOM originated in 2009 in San Francisco. The party was created by a DJ named Gordo Cabeza, who launched it as a way to reconnect with the music he grew up with: soul music, especially that of Detroit. The party quickly became the go-to event for soul music fans looking for a night of something other than weekend nightclubs that play the same Top 40 songs.

Since then, MOM has grown far beyond its Bay Area borders, with sister parties happening weekly in 16 cities, including Portland, Seattle, San Jose, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

“Hawaii was the first break-off party from the original Motown On Mondays, and now it’s all across the country,” Maria tells me. MOM Honolulu is held at 8 p.m. Mondays at The Dragon Upstairs in Chinatown.

“The first MOM Honolulu party was started by Charity Kahunahana,” she explains. That was four years ago, when Maria, a Waimanalo native, was living in San Francisco. “I was a resident singer at the original party in SF,” she told me. When Maria moved home a couple of years ago, she took on MOM Honolulu and has been running it weekly ever since.

The week ahead of us is long, but hopefully you’ll read this in time to head over to Motown On Mondays for a special evening of food, music and friends. Here’s a look at the evening’s highlights:

-Maria will debut the music video from Songbird And The Colors, her latest project with a full band. The brand-new music video, directed by Vincent Ricafort, is the band’s cover version of the tune Wu Tang Clan sampled for its classic C.R.E.A.M.

-Special guest DJs include Coop D’Ville and Oliver Twist.

-Maria also will be DJing that evening. She’s been spinning all vinyl the entire time she’s been doing MOM Honolulu, for nearly two years.

-A birthday celebration’s not complete without … cupcakes! Ever-hospitable, Maria and her family are always sure to make everyone feel at home. Thus: free cupcakes and food!

-MOM is always free!

For more from Roger, check out his blog at alohagotsoul.com.