Lavish Green frontman Chris Sanchez played an aloha concert in March during a Kirkwood mountain snowstorm before moving to Maui, Hawaii. On Sunday, he played trumpet on “Everyday Sunshine” with longtime friends Fishbone at a benefit Ocean Aid concert at the Waikiki Shell.
It’s an ironic song title for the iconic Sanchez, who’s loving life on the islands but promises that his days with Lavish will rekindle in the future: “It’s not over. I’m a pond hop away.”
His buddy Angelo Moore, Fishbone’s effervescent band leader, co-wrote “Everyday Sunshine” and called Sanchez to confirm the Ocean Aid invite. The ska-infused message: “I wish everyday the sun would shine/ Take me to another place in my mind/ Where everything is beautiful/ And no one wants or needs/ Nor sign of greed/ Could rule our soul…”
Vacation snapshots of Hawaii portray a beautiful life, but the tons of plastic that pollute the ocean and wash ashore present a daunting problem. Island folk rocker Jack Johnson, who will appear for two concerts in Lake Tahoe this summer, addresses the issue with his new song “Fragments.”
“Some (of the plastic) is from cruise ships dumping, some of it’s from fishing fleets, a lot of it is blown from land sources, or things are shipped to other countries that are not set up to recycle like we can,” Johnson told Rolling Stone magazine.
The inaugural Ocean Aid Hawaii Charity Music Festival has a mission to help end plastic pollution in the oceans and its effect on the ecosystem. It is estimated that 1 million sea creatures, birds and animals die from plastic trash each year. Proceeds from the concert will benefit Love The Sea, a nonprofit environmental organization, and other groups.
Sanchez is excited to be part of the effort: “I’m stoked. The cause is unbelievable, with the oceans constantly being littered on. It’s an honor to be considered and for (Fishbone) to let me play with them at such a huge show. I’m early in the process of being home. You gotta go represent your band (Lavish Green) and go fight for that rad cause for Hawaii.”
The trumpeteer drew inspiration from a yearlong stay in Hawaii in 2011-12 when he recharged his batteries, giving an island flavor to original songs such as “At The Bar.” His girlfriend, Danny Bing, and his mom, Virginia, made the move with him this time and they’re pleasantly adapting to life as Hawaiian newbees.
Neil “Moka’iva” Thompson, a close friend in Maui, told Sanchez that the concert opportunity is a sign that Akua (God) is always by his side as he helps to make others’ lives better. Vinny Amato, a fellow musician and longtime friend from the mainland, helped set up the gig with Fishbone, Sanchez noted. Co-workers at Sansei Sushi and Seafood, where he’s a bartender and server, also are supportive of his pending performance.
In addition to Fishbone, Ocean Aid headliners included CeeLo Green, Bootsy Collins, Maxi Priest and the Ohio Players. Artists will create marine-debris sculptures to help give meaning to the festival’s cause, and an unnamed benefactor stepped up this week to purchase general admission tickets so that people can attend for free.
For 20-plus years, Sanchez played in Lavish Green with bassist Rob Wheeler and guitarist Joel Gruneich, and drummer Danny Barnes who has been with the band for several years. The group has a loyal following in the Tahoe basin and has fans spread from the Bay Area to the Sierra Nevada.
For Sanchez, his close friends and extended ones are ohana, the Hawaiian word for family in the broadest sense. He bids aloha, which means hello in addition to goodbye.