Sybil, Kalapana, El DeBarge for Throwback Thursday on April 27 at Araneta Coliseum

Christian Melanie Lee

An interesting mix of soft rock and R&B classics shall take music fans on a nostalgic trip back to the ‘80s as three noted foreign acts get together in a retro concert in April that will showcase some of the era’s best in popular music.

For the first time ever, singer-songwriter El DeBarge, disco diva and vocalist Sybil and band Kalapana from Hawaii will appear on  the same stage on April 27 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City to perform their greatest hits that have endeared to millions of Filipinos.

Ovation Productions is presenting the three foreign artists together in what is dubbed “Throwback Thursday” as it’s summer offering. Also featured is popular Pinoy band Passage.

Known for his signature falsetto, El DeBarge was the focal point and lead singer of the American family group DeBarge from the early to mid-‘80s.  The group’s hits include “Time Will Reveal, “Stay With Me,” “All This Love”, “Rhythm of the Night”, “Starlight Express”, and “Who’s Holding Donna Now”, among others.

After leaving the group in 1985, he launched his solo career the following year with a self-titled debut album that contained the Number Three hit, “Who’s Johnny?,” which was featured in the film, “Short Circuit.”

Sybil Anita Lynch, known simply to music fans as Sybil, on the other hand, attained success as an R&B pop singer and songwriter during the mid-80s until the mid-90s.  

Recognized as an excellent vocalist and one of the finest among disco divas, the American artist from New Jersey began recording in 1986 with the release of her debut single, “Falling in Love,” which reached the Top 30 on the R&B and Dance charts, and which opened the door to her successful career through the release of her debut album, “Let Yourself Go.” a year later.

She scored huge crossover hits in the Philippines with her song “Make It Easy On Me” and her cover versions of Dionne Warwick’s “Don’t Make Me Over” in 1989 and “Walk On By” in 1990.

She attained her most successful hit in the United Kingdom with a cover of |The Love I Lost,” which peaked at No.3, while its follow up, “When I’m Good and Ready,” peaked at No. 5.

In 1997, Sybil released her greatest hits album, followed later that year by her last album to-date, “Still A Friend.”

The contemporary Hawaiian group, Kalapana, which is now on its 44th year in the music and entertainment industry,  gained fame for its pop and soft rock music that have made its songs, such as “Night Bird”, “Naturally” and “The Hurt,” enduring island classics.

Kalapana  made a successful breakthrough in the international touring circuit when it performed with the LA-based fusion band Hiroshima, played at the grand opening of Hard Rock CafĂ© in Honolulu and performed in two-sold out shows in the Philippines with an attendance of 10,000 each night.

It also did extensive tours in Japan, US West Coast, Tahiti, Samoa, Guam, Saipan and other Pacific islands.

Its successful tour in Japan with Michael Paulo of Al Jarreau’s band and Tris Imboden (drummer for Chicago)  boosted Kalapana’s popularity in that country, where it has one of its largest fan bases since the 1970s,  and landed it a five-album deal with Pony Canyon Records.

In 2011, Kalapana received the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts Achievement Award.  \The recipients were Malani Bilyyeu, Mackey Feary (posthumously, John (DJ) Pratt, Kirk Thompson, Alvin Fejarang, Michael Paulo, Randy Aloya, Gaylord Holomalia and Kenji Sano.

Kalapana was last seen in the Philippines in 2012 when it had a three-night, three-city concert tour with folk rock band America produced by Ovation Productions. -- #

(“Throwback \Thursday’ on April 27 at Smart Araneta Coliseum” is presented by Ovation Productions. Tickets prices are P4500, 4000, 3500, 2500, 1500, 1500, 750 are available online at or call (02)9115555. The show will also be staged at the SMX Convention Center in Davao the next day April 28 as “Flashback Friday”.