22 04, 2022

Week #5 EKK APRIL 18 Wrap

2023-02-11T18:06:53-10:00EKK 2022|0 Comments

For Upcoming 2019 Arts & Culture Calendar or email  giac05@icloud.com to get listing in advance

Mahalo to all who enjoy and support Art and Culture on Kaua’i
Donate by
clicking here

Register on AmazonSmile.Org & select Garden island Arts Council to receive .05% of your eligible purchases

“A special video titled “The History of E Kanikapila Kakou” recaps many special moments of the past 38 years of EKK that every fan should watch before coming to EKK on Monday.  It took all of 2021 to organize this video but it’s finally here for you to view on YouTube.
Share with all your EKK friends and others

‘Oiwi Plays the EKK audience

When I asked John Mahi to send me his set list, his reply was, “I so sorry but we don’t have one we usually just go with how the crowd feels. I hope that’s ok.”

It was not only “ok”; it was stellar! ‘Oiwi went with the crowd and had everyone up on their feet dancing hula, dancing kachi-kachi and shaking out those nasty pandemic-infused cobwebs that had stiffened our joints and dulled our brains . . . it’s just what the doctor ordered. It was truly impossible to resist the urge to get up and dance with all the rest of those happy gyrating bodies. Thank you, ‘Oiwi!

‘Oiwi, or Native Sons, was slated for the final night of EKK in 2020 when everything abruptly shut down for an unknown duration. Finally, after nearly two years of everyone lock-down to keep safe, Garden Island Arts Council, with the help of our supporters, brought back a shortened version of EKK to an event-hungry community. Of course, to pick up the threads as best as we could, we invited ‘Oiwi to perform at EKK. Good choice!

John Kepa Mahi begins by acknowledging and thanking all the folks that helped to make this 39-year event possible and expressed his gratitude to be part of this program; he also acknowledged the ‘Oiwi team — the very talented Kawai’ola DJ Yaris, who inherited his musical talents from his parents, Doric and Mori Yaris, and the new kid on the block Bronson Aiwohi. Bronson is an upcoming songwriter who has been nominated for multiple Na Hoku Hanohano awards. Although all three lead separate careers as musicians, they keep the candles burning by playing music at least once a week for their gig at Troy’s. He also acknowledged his wife who is a first responder at KVMH; she and their new daughter are virtually attending on his I-Pad.

Introducing their unique ‘Oiwi sound on the instrumental Pandanus, they moved right into Catching the Wave with the golden-voiced Bronson on the vocals. Continuing with their lively ‘Oiwi sound, they treated us to their version of Koke’e with John as the lead vocal and the other two as harmonizing back-up singers. Great harmony.

If you see John in public, step up and introduce yourself. He likes to tease the kupunas who greet him in Costco, pretending to be someone else, until they walk away apologizing that they thought he was John Mahi. Fun guy.
John’s sprinkled in a lot of amusing anecdotes with his amazing gift of gab with that delightful Portugee flavor on illegal parking Hawaiian-style, Ledward Kaapana’s boots, walking away from a party with “new” slippahs, and the perennial discussion on “aging” and “weight.” A wonderful skill to have on stage; never a dull moment or down time for the audience.

A lively song about the Hawaiian sailing canoe was Na Pea/Hokulea and the Star of Gladness. An early chant by Prince Liholiho, Kamehameha II, Kalena Kai was later turned into a now classic song that John sang in his fabulous leo ki’e ki’e. John acknowledged his team who makes it look easy.

Our volunteers took a moment for a pleasant interruption of lei’ing the musicians. The amazing Polei Palmeira, our resident lei maker, who turns all the blossoms in her garden into a profuse bounty of scented gifts, brought enough lei to deck the artists, the entire team from KVB and our guests Bob Leathers and Cheryl Nickels who spear-headed the many decades of building the fantastic Kamalani playgrounds at Lydgate. Tommy Noyes, the unrelenting champion of the Lydgate parks who oversees that the parks are always kept in tip-top shape by community volunteers for the enjoyment of Kauaians and visitors, was also recognized. Thank you, Polei, for helping us to honor these special folks.

image by Sol Kanoho

Huge applause followed Kawai’ola Yaris’s version of a beautiful Hawaiian classic, Ku’u Hoa, followed by another favorite, Ei Nei, by Bronson in his crooning best.

Earlier in the evening, the group had taught the ‘ukulele circle the hula favorite, Papalina Lahilahi, so John invited the ‘ukulele players to join in the song and invited the hula dancers to come up to the stage. A hula opportunity like this was not to be passed up as ten dancers ran up to the stage to join the action. This song was dedicated to the late legendary kumu hula Johnny Lum Ho. The room came alive with dancers sprouting up all over the room.

Do you remember the days of Gladys Knight and the Pips? Changing his voice into the style of Gladys Knight, John started to sing The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me. With Kawai’ola pumping out the bass, John and Bronson stepping it up with the guitar, and all three harmonizing, they really killed it. Two couples got up to the dance floor and began cutting up the rug with their enthusiastic ballroom dancing.

Lyn McNutt brought the Kamoa ‘ukulele up to show the audience what a great gift was being given away tonight; the group started a traditional chant, No Ke Ano Ahiahi, with rock style instrumentation . . . that was pretty unusual, but unusual seemed to be the order of the night by ‘Oiwi.

After the Intermission, it was time to do the CD give-away to those who had taken the time to fill out their sign-in sheets — Stephanie Jalinda from Germany, Lorraine Acosta from Elkin, Laura Salo from Santa Rosa, Tom Berg from Minnesota, Sharon Gonsalves from Princeville, Vickie Hartley from Kapa’a, Diane Gerard from Lawai. Tonight’s ‘ukulele winner was one very happy lady as she jumped up and down and raced to the stage to pick up her beautiful Kamoa ‘ukulele. Kim from the state of Maine. Lois Kay Cole from Gassaway, WV, was recognized for her very generous support of EKK.

John also recognized Kumu Dennis Chun, who had just stepped into the ballroom, taking a moment from his weekly gig in Shutter’s Lounge. Dennis was one of the three leaders responsible for the building of the Kaua’i voyaging canoe Namahoe; John also pointed out that the Hokulea has just embarked on their new journey to Tahiti.

As his intro to one of the really awesome falsetto songs, John talked about his visit to one of the hottest places in the world, Kona on Hawai’i Island. What a chicken-skin version of I Kona by one of Kauai’s most amazing falsetto singers. Honestly, Led Kaapana should have been here to hear John sing this song.

Calling up his good friend and well-known cultural treasure on Kaua’i – Lady Ipo Kahaunaele-Ferreira, John sent out hau’oli la hanau wishes to the Queen of Hula decked out for her birthday with three full strands of puakenikeni leis. She was elegance in motion as she started to hula to the wonderful song, Aloha Kaua’i. She was joined by Sabra Kauka, Madeleine Guyett, Eleni Gillespie, Aunty Bev Muraoka, Lei Kirkpatrick and 10 other hula dancers. Too much fun!

Once again, John Mahi pulled up his country music voice to celebrate the country music by Lady Judds. The song called Country Lady and Grandpa (Tell Me Bout The Good Old Days) got the dancing couples up to dance to the nostalgic music. They really got the music of the good ol’ days down pat.

Lei Ho’ohena was composed by Lady Ipo’s daughter, Kainani Kahaunaele, the award-winning Na Hoku Hanohano “female vocalist of the year”. Kawai’ola took the lead on the vocals and did a fantastic job of capturing the haunting lyrics of this song by a one-time Anahola resident. Ha’a Hula/ Shall We Dance brought up several hula dancers who you could call “wallflower” dancers as they hung out along the wall.

image by Kathleen Ho

With help from “Uncle Google” and “Aunty Siri” to make sure he gets his lyrics right, John adjusted his I-pad to get ready for the next song which he had not sung for awhile; he must have been saving all his “juju” for tonight. It was an absolute chicken-skin moment when his falsetto rose to the ceiling singing Kalama’ula. His falsetto is breathtaking

Aunty Bev Muraoka slowly trudged up to the stage…. “Is she going to dance to this song”, I wondered? But NO! she tossed a handful of green bills onto the stage. Audience started screaming. I had a handful of bills that had been falling out of my notepad all evening, so I walked up to the stage and tossed the green stuff onto the stage. Right after me, the gorgeous Sue Kanoho stepped up and tossed her greenbacks; that opened the floodgates as, one after the other, audience members started running up to the stage as Kepa’s voice rang out higher and higher and longer and longer. It was “a crescendo moment!”

image by Kathleen Ho

Kepa said, “Can you believe, this song was a request and see what happened.” He turned his I-pad around facing the floor of the stage and talked to his wife on the other end, “Honey! We can go to Vegas!” He thanked GIAC once again for inviting them to be part of this program; EKK features many performers that he has admired over the years.

Kawai’ola then called upon his ‘ohana from the westside to come up and dance the halau hula Ke Kau’oha Kumukahi, a song that was composed by his mom back in the day. It’s so wonderful to see the ‘ohana carrying on the tradition of hula and music that Doric and Momi had set in motion.

In the early days folks used to confuse John with Darren Benitez, another outstanding falsetto singer from west Kaua’i. “I will borrow one of his songs since he still owes me money.” He then launched into the rapid-fire Palo Palito. Suddenly, the entire floor was full of kachi-kachi dancers and the audience was a sea of bodies bouncing in their seats. “More! More! More!” Came the shouts from the audience. Quick to oblige with his tongue rolling and grunts in his throat, he continued with another catchy latino-beat song. The audience was just eating it up!

“Mercy! We have to take this down a notch! We will now feature Bronson with his original Kauai On My Mind.” His song named all the well-known favorite places on the island.

“I’m going to borrow a hit song from country music’s Chris Stapleton.” John’s voice took on a whole different ambiance as he sang his own version of Tennessee Whiskey, complete with his falsetto wailing that made this John Mahi version truly memorable. He once again showed his versatility and command of so many styles of music. What a voice! What a guy!

John credits his accomplishments on his upbringing. When you Portuguese, you get the slap between the shoulder blades that puts you in your place growing up. It’s a Portuguese trick. “For all those with country in their blood, I dedicate this Hawaiian Cowboy yodeling song.” Yodeling is something of a mystery to me. How can singers do that with their vocal chords? I have heard yodelers many times but listening to John is quite an experience . . . he goes on and on and on with his waggling tongue going ninety miles an hour. . . and the crowd just loved it. Screaming and yelling and jumping all around, the crowd was just beside themselves with happy vibes.

The audience loves to end each program holding hands and singing their favorite Hawai’i Aloha, but one could hear the difference when they are so pumped up with adrenalin; the room was so rich with voices it was like being in church singing this beloved hymn.

We have one more Monday with our regular EKK program featuring the Malie Foundation and their selected kumu hula, Maka Herrod, Troy Hinano Lazaro, and Wailana Dasalia to lead the audience in their favorite Community Hula Night. Chanel Flores will be teaching ‘ukulele, and music will be provided by Garrett Santos, Chanel Flores, Anuhea Kaauwai Herrod and Lady Ipo Kahuanaele-Ferreira. All audience members are invited to come early at 5:00 and learn a hula with their favorite kumu hula and perform on stage.

We take a short break and finish the season with a concert on May 30 with Makana as host and many presenters honoring the “Musical Legends” who need to be remembered for the legacy they left with us.

image by Kathleen Ho

A Note from ‘Oiwi: Miss Carol the boys and I would like to send a huge Mahalo to you and everyone at EKK. Our deepest gratitude to you for allowing us to share our music and our humor. Thank you for all that you do and for all the years that you have done it. Thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts.

***Photos courtesy of Kathleen Ho & Mike Teruya***

If you have a disability and need assistance for Monday events, email Garden Island Arts Council at giac05@icloud.com.
Info at www.gardenislandarts.org — “Celebrating 44 years of bringing ARTS to the people and people to the ARTS”

Funding for E Kanikapila Kakou 2022 Hawaiian Music Program is made possible by Hawai’i Tourism Authority, with support from Kauai Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, National Endowment for the Arts, the Kaua’i Beach Resort, Kamoa ‘Ukulele, Kauai Festivals and the Garden Island Arts Council supporters.

17 04, 2022

Week #4 EKK APRIL 11 Wrap

2023-02-11T18:06:54-10:00EKK 2022|0 Comments

For Upcoming 2019 Arts & Culture Calendar or email  giac05@icloud.com to get listing in advance

Mahalo to all who enjoy and support Art and Culture on Kaua’i
Donate by
clicking here

Register on AmazonSmile.Org & select Garden island Arts Council to receive .05% of your eligible purchases

“A special video titled “The History of E Kanikapila Kakou” recaps many special moments of the past 38 years of EKK that every fan should watch before coming to EKK on Monday.  It took all of 2021 to organize this video but it’s finally here for you to view on YouTube.
Share with all your EKK friends and others

The Best of Kupaoa

Spring is definitely here; the air was fragrant with the overpowering scent of puakenikeni and maile; green jade leis made of every possible stage of the exotic blossoms were worn by audience members. The entire Paik ‘Ohana from the north shore was present to support their musical stars. Happily, visitors from Madrid, Spain and Canada are present, so it looks like traveling is opening up. Walter and Mimi Levison, long-time “snowbird” supporters, were lei’d on their last night of EKK as they bid farewell to their many friends and prepare to live full time on the mainland.

Kupaoa, whose name means “fragrance”, once again came to share their music in tonight’s “The Best of Kupaoa.” What a treat in store for us. Lihau and Kellen were very frank about the impact of Covid on their vocal chords and strumming hands as such a lengthy recess from live concerts, rehearsals and performances made them feel a bit rusty from their usual performing selves. “Let’s dust off the cobwebs and see if we remember how to play and sing. Every song we get through with no mistakes, we bump our knuckles together.” They have not been on stage since the last time they came to EKK when they had their first daughter Jemma. Six months ago they had their second daughter Maizie who is here with them tonight.

Photo Credit: Mike Teruya

They shared their powerful and unique sound of Pili O Ke Ao from their first album in 2008. Their harmonious voices, like the fragrance filling the room, enveloped the audience thirsty for live music. It’s a joy to see Kellen’s exuberant style of singing; it’s still there! This song is from a chant about Goddesses Pele and Hi’iaka and their respective visits to Kaua’i; it’s about the early morning dawning of the new day when one should be deep in slumberland with a beloved and others are just getting off from work. Pele who hails from the Kilauea Caldeira traveled in spirit to Ha’ena where she first set eyes on Lohi’au, the new object of her affections. Hula dancer Pohaikauilani Campbell, Lihau’s God Sister and long-time friend, came out in her attractive dark purple hula dress with aqua floral designs; she moved gracefully through the song Ha’ena, the site of Pele’s legendary encounters. This song is on their Ho’okele album.

Photo Credit: Mike Teruya

They did a few shows in California, ‘Oahu, Hawai’i Island just before the Delta surge, but it soon became apparent that they were not going to be doing any live shows for a while. Although they resisted social media at first, they took to social media to keep in touch with their fans during the pandemic. Facebook Live posed a steep learning curve for them as they had to invest in a lot of new equipment to produce the sounds they needed. They started a program called “Jemma Jam” in the spring followed by a summer series called “KoAloha Live” with support from the KoAloha ‘Ukulele Company. Their new venture into social media turned out amazing as it pushed them to explore new songs requested by their online audience. One of the songs they had always wanted to add to their repertoire was the slack key classic by Jerry Santos of Olomana, Ku’u Home ‘O Kahalu’u; Kellen picking the melody on his guitar certainly has not lost his touch.

One of his explorations during the pandemic was to switch to playing the ‘ukulele, something that he had been wanting to do for a long time, but life on the road makes it hard to realize his dream to make an album with his friend Mark Yamanaka. Everyday Local, a creative outlet for Kellen and Mark with songs that did not fit on either a Kupaoa album or a Mark Yamanaka solo album, was released on New Year’s Eve. Of course, the characteristic family banter between Kellen and Lihau revealed some background on the challenges for Kellen to make an album without Lihau in it. Lihau made it clear that she played a part in it . . . a small but important part. The audience loved Kellen’s first-time-in-public performance on the ‘ukulele. Also premiering tonight was the hula to this super fast-paced Oni A Ka Moku that was choreographed a week ago by Frank Ka’anana Akima with the help of Puakea Nogelmeier. The hula was not only a tongue-twister song, it was also a rapid-fire hip-twister hula perfect for aerobics or Zumba practitioners. Screams of appreciation greeted both the ‘ukulele song and the hula. During the first year of EKK back in 1984, hapa-haole singer Sol Bright described the instrument on ships that measured the rolling of the ships; it was the suggestive shape of the oni a ka moku instrument that was most interesting to him.

Photo Credit: Mike Teruya

Requests on their “Jemma Jams” online program asked for classic country which coaxed Kupaoa to explore songs from the 50’s and ‘60’s; this expanded their repertoire in a new direction. “Whatever happened to this awesome music,” asked Lihau. They wanted to share the song Sad Movies (make me cry). This oldie but goodie by Sue Thompson (The Sad Sisters) was definitely a new sound for them which they added to their repertoire. Those who follow Kupaoa know that there is always something new with this group. Kellen’s new ‘ukulele album features the shoyu bottle motif on Everyday Local. This might have been inspired by the Sunday Manoa with their “Guava Jam” and “Crackseed” album covers. He held up his pineapple-shaped ‘ukulele and wished out loud for his next pineapple- shaped ‘ukulele to look like a shoyu bottle. Lihau pointed out that she designed the shoyu bottle cover.

Kellen sings Stars & Moon Slack Key on their CD; it’s a cross between Hawaiian and Country that was written by Harold Kama, Jr., the brother-in-law of the bassist of the Kaua’i composer Jimmy Kaholokula. It’s a very local style love song that speaks of many things treasured by the locals. Kellen’s pa’ani on the ‘ukulele was as great as shoyu.

Of course, no Kaua’i concert is ever complete without Dennis Kamakahi’s Koke’e. What was very fresh about the song tonight was the emotional hula rendition by the gorgeous hula dancer Matt DelRosario, a friend of Lihau since small kid time. He simply emotes on stage with his fluid hula twists and turns; it brought new meaning to the lyrics . . . lot of cheers from the audience.

Matt stepped on stage and modeled the striking Liko Lehua silk screen shirt, designed by cousin Candace Paik. This is a new item for the Puahina line of local-style wearables owned for the past 25 years by Loui and Fumi Cabeba. Just two months ago, Kellen and Lihau Paik took over the ownership of the company that for many years provided them with their concert attire. A huge part of the Puahina market is their annual participation in the Merrie Monarch Crafts Fair which is right around the corner. The couple is hard at work with on-the-job training producing the attractive and popular local attire in time for the MM Crafts Fair. Two new designs modeled by the artists tonight are called the Kaliko Lehua Kea named after Jemma and Lau Koa named after baby Maizie. The new business venture is a family affair.

A perennial discussion that seems to come up every time Lihau and Kellen step on stage is about Lihau’s 2007 birthday gift to Kellen. They had just spent every penny on their first album; Lihau had no money to buy Kellen a birthday gift, so she instead composed a song for Kellen titled Lei Mokihana which likened him to the scented island berry. She reminded Kellen that she is still waiting for his song for her. Kellen’s weak disclaimer: “I dunno how to describe you in Hawaiian! I’m still learning, and I haven’t gotten there yet. So I bought her a present; she wrote me a song.” It’s been only 15 years.

Lihau said they wanted to sing a special song for a longtime friend Susan who was going to be moving back to the California where they first met. On their Bum-Bye album, Pakalana A Ka Pu’uwai is definitely a very special song composed by Lihau for her maternal grandmother about her favorite flower . . . the pakalana. Lihau’s affection for her grandma was evident in the way she sang it. It’s great how Lihau sings one verse followed by Kellen on the second verse; then the beautiful harmony on the third verse. They really know how to deliver.

Photo Credit: Kathleen Ho

The song that Kellen had taught the ‘ukulele circle at the beginning of the evening was Wa’a Hokule’a, a song composed by Larry Kimura celebrating Hawaii’s voyaging canoe that sailed around the world. It’s on their recent Ka Lei Moana album. The canoe was a cornerstone of the Hawaiian Renaissance. This was also taught to the hula circle so both ‘ukulele players and hula dancers stepped up to the stage to share the mele with Frank, Pohai and Matt leading the hula. Audience participation is one of those very special things about EKK that folks really love; everyone can get into the act and express their appreciation for the songs and hula that are a big part of our culture. Amazing that they can dance so proficiently in a 45-minute lesson.

Just before the intermission, Kellen played the Kamoa ‘ukulele to show how great it sounds while a bevy of “Boro Boro” beauties modeled some of the upcycled garments from our “Boro Boro Boutique”. The minute-long runway fashion show was a sweet interlude before everyone got into intermission mode.

The biggest surprise of all was the winner of the ‘ukulele giveaway whose prime reason for purchasing a donation ticket was to support the cause. Good intentions reap its reward for his name was called for the second week in a row to receive the Kamoa ‘ukulele as his prize. “Onio Punzal! Come on up and get your Kamoa ‘ukulele!”

Photo Credit: Kathleen Ho

To start off the second half of the evening, Kupaoa brought back a Dennis Kamakahi favorite. He was one of the composers that skillfully bridged the folk country and Hawaiian genres with many memorable songs. Lei Kupukupu, on their Ho’okele album, is a gorgeous song, especially when Kupaoa sing it with their special magic on their Ho’okele album.

Their good friend Mark Yamanaka’s wife Leilani is originally from Texas. When she moved to Hawai’i Island, she became a part of the family coffee farms in Laupahoehoe on the Hamakua coast where her grandparents work hard to grow their coffee. Leilani asked Kellen to write a song to describe the present-day farm as it may one day become a historical landmark. Like Dennis, Kellen tried to bridge the country folk and the Hawaiian genre in Waipunalei; it’s on their Everyday Local album. Hopefully, the coffee farms will remain as they are today. If it changes hands and changes in its use, this song will become a landmark song.

The title track on their latest CD, Ka Lei Moana, is a song composed by their mentor Puakea Nogelmeier. Written originally as a chant, the lyrics of this song has a timeless message about the importance of water and of the connectedness of all things using the water cycle as the metaphor. Frank skillfully managed to translate all those words into beautiful hula motions.

Photo Credit: Mike Teruya

Song composers are born storytellers. Their songs have to the ability to share so much in their lyrics. Lihau admires the amazing Dolly Parton for her ability to tell her story in a way that holds you spellbound. One of 12 children in Tennessee, she has risen from rags to riches and really turned it around during her illustrious 70-year career with a reputation that is impeccable. One of her current projects titled “Imagination Library” provides a book every month to children under age 5 living on West Kauai and the North Shore with the help of local businesses such as KIUC, the County, and the State of Hawai’i. As a request from Uncle Donald, they wanted to share Dolly Parton’s story in her song titled Coat of Many Colors; it clearly tells the story of her unmatched rise to stardom. Lihau confessed that she had to fire all cylinders to get all those words into the song. Thank you! It’s a gift! (I was so moved by this song that I came home and sewed a new mu’umu’u of many colors, using up my batik scrap fabric.)

Hula dancer Matt returned to the stage for a premiere hula performance of the charming song Lio Kiwi about the horned horse or unicorn that was based on the poem by Shel Silverstein. The poem was put to music and performed by the Irish Rovers and translated into Hawaiian by Kaua’i composer James Kaholokula. This adorable tongue-twister song explains why we don’t see any unicorns today. Matt was the perfect dancer for this song as he is a storyteller and a comic all in one; the audience loves him. This was also one of Jemma’s favorite songs; having kids is definitely impacting the couple’s choice of songs . . . all good!

Lihau said we’re going to share a song with “no more plenny words” by Kellen and Mark who are not only musicians but big fans of ocean sports. At any time, you can find them fishing, diving, and surfing in the ocean. Kellen wrote We’re Gonna Surf while sitting on Mark’s couch; it’s a song written in the style of Ka’au Crater Boys; it’s definitely a favorite of water babies of every calling. You can hear many of the Kupaoa songs on the television Fishing Channels.

Definitely a love song for the the multi-colored hau blossoms lining Kalihiwai River, Lihau shared one of her favorite stories about her river excursion with Kellen many years ago. It’s all about the destination for Kellen, the three waterfalls at the end of Kalihiwai river. With Lihau, it’s all about the journey paddling leisurely up the river and enjoying the profusion of hau blossoms that she collected onto her paddle board. Hula dancer Pohai, dressed in a beautiful two-piece turquoise outfit with silkscreened floral designs, brings to life the lyrics of the song Pua Hau ‘Ula.

One of their favorite country western singer is Alison Krauss. To share this connection they sang one of her sad songs titled Ghost In This House; Kellen loves the emotional sad songs. Lihau’s voice rings out so pure and clear in this slow ballad and Kellen’s harmony is always spot-on. His expressiveness while singing is one of the highlights of their singing. I’m now a fan of sad songs.

Lihau acknowledged Kilauea Social Club for teaching them Beautiful Sunday, a single recorded by Daniel Boone. It became very famous in Kwajlein Islands where the uncles used to work. While in Japan Kupaoa did not have a hula song which they needed to not lose the crowd, so they had to find a song with a good beat. When they started signing Beautiful Sunday, their entire audience of mostly age 65+ stood up and started to wave their hands around and burst out in song. The song turned out to be a one-hit wonder for a group in Japan who recorded Subarashi Sunday; the song became an instant hit. It’s still a super popular song in Japan so they added it to their Japan repertoire.

“In a ‘Best of Kupaoa’ show, we would be remiss to not include the song Bumbye. Pohai and Frank joined Kupaoa and their daughter Jemma, dancing their hula to this catchy song composed by Puakea Nogelmeier for Ku’uipo Kumukahi’s mother. The message is to not take things for granted and do what you need today because tomorrow may be too late. This song pops up everywhere . . . even on a spear-fishing show where everyone is running around weighing their fish to find the winner.

Photo credit:Kathleen Ho

The audience joined hands to sing along with Kellen and Lihau Paik to bring another memorable concert to a close. Kupaoa, from their first EKK performance to the present, has secured their spot as one of the EKK favorites. Their shows are just what music-starved audiences need right now. Even the sad songs are uplifting.

*** Photos Courtesy of Mike Teruya & Kathleen Ho***

If you have a disability and need assistance for Monday events, email Garden Island Arts Council at giac05@icloud.com

Info at www.gardenislandarts.org — “Celebrating 44 years of bringing ARTS to the people and people to the ARTS”

Funding for E Kanikapila Kakou 2022 Hawaiian Music Program is made possible by Hawai’i Tourism Authority, with support from Kauai Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, National Endowment for the Arts, the Kaua’i Beach Resort, Kamoa ‘Ukulele, Kauai Festivals and the Garden Island Arts Council supporters.

11 04, 2022

Week #3 EKK APRIL 4 Wrap

2023-02-11T18:06:55-10:00EKK 2022|0 Comments

For Upcoming 2019 Arts & Culture Calendar or email  giac05@icloud.com to get listing in advance

Mahalo to all who enjoy and support Art and Culture on Kaua’i
Donate by
clicking here

Register on AmazonSmile.Org & select Garden island Arts Council to receive .05% of your eligible purchases

A special video titled “The History of E Kanikapila Kakou” recaps many special moments of the past 38 years of EKK that every fan should watch before coming to EKK on Monday.  It took all of 2021 to organize this video but it’s finally here for you to view on YouTube.

Here is the link to view The History of E Kanikapila Kakou:
Share with all your EKK friends and others.


How Ledward Keeps It Fresh

If you see Led in concert 25 times, you see 25 different concerts. How does he do it? Each concert is a fresh new show for Ledward because he plays for each audience and each audience helps to create the show by how they respond to his music. Same thing on Monday night as Led stepped up on stage with his trusty young bass player Jesse Gregorio.

Ledward Kaapana needs no introduction to the music fans of the world but it’s good to share that among his many honors, this very special artist received a Grammy for the Best Hawaiian Album of the Year in 2010; the following year in 2011 the National Endowment for the Arts bestowed on him the National Heritage Award, the highest honor in folk and traditional arts in America.

Before the main program began, a small circle of ‘ukulele players were gifted with an ‘ukulele sing-along with Led – a private mini-concert just for them. What a gift!

From the first sound of the pu by Onio Punzal until the last refrains of Hawaii Aloha, the full house EKK audience, many of them kama’aina, sat spellbound by the irrepressible music of Led Kaapana.

Since his last visit to EKK three years ago when bass player Jesse Gregorio made his first trip to Kaua’i, Led’s been on an extended vacation … like the rest of the world. Until his recent mainland tour, He has been playing on Facebook, but it’s just not the same as playing for a live audience. So he’s very happy to be at EKK.

Led considers himself lucky to have grown up in Kalapana on Hawai’i island with its no-electricity primitive lifestyle where the 2:00 alarm clock was his uncle playing Pu?uanahulu . . . it’s time to get up and light the lanterns and listen to uncle play. Led takes us back to Kalapana with this song. Their home had two bedrooms, a porch and a kitchen for his large family of six boys and five girls…some of them, including Led, slept out in the yard. Another Led favorite is Radio Hula / My Yellow Ginger Lei; he was just hoping that no one falls asleep … but then, he considers someone falling asleep is actually a compliment.

Solomon Aikau used to play Kolomona Slack Key, a fast-paced instrumental with his always unexpected surprise ending; every time the audience thrills to his new surprise ending, he sends out his signature “giggle”. If you listen very carefully, he has many different “giggles”, each one a response to different audience applause. Someone suggested that he needed to record all his “giggles” one day.

His lilting and effortless falsetto, so pure and beautiful, to the hula mele Nani composed by the late Auntie Alice Namakelua brought Auntie Ihi’ihi Kaneali’i to the stage with her trusty walker; although he saw only Auntie’s backside, he certainly could read her enticing come-on gestures sent out to the audience. “Awesome! Mahalo! I am thankful to learn from my parents to play from the inside so I can really feel the ‘chicken-skin blessing’ when the aunties come up to the stage to dance.”

Leonard Kwan’s slack key number ?Opihi Moemoe is always a crowd pleaser as Led acknowledged artists like Ray Kane, Sonny Chillingworth, Palani Vaughan and others who paved the way for the younger artists.

He recently recorded Hele Wawae which he composed while walking the 3-mile stroll with his friend at 4:30 every morning. He pointed out that everybody was passing them, but his friend reassured him that they were just walking for comfort, not speed. He takes his walks really seriously as some of his online videos show the paths that they walk along. He also takes the viewer around his yard of precious plants that survive his being away on tour because of his helpful neighbor.

When he was in California playing a Graziano ‘ukulele, a man walked up and invited him to breakfast the next day. He offered Led his ‘ukulele “no strings attached.” He calls it the Moore Better ‘Ukulele because his name is Chuck Moore. With Led’s flying fingers, the ‘ukulele was elevated to “Moore Moore Better” and we are the witness to that.

A song that Led really loves is Stevie Wonder’s Lately; it was just plain beautiful. He confessed, “We laugh and smile because every time I play the song…it’s the same song but sounds different every time. Because I play with feeling, the song comes out different every time.” Yes! That is a typical Ledward strategy that keeps it fresh for him. And Jesse seems to be able to keep right up with the changes. Although a man of few words, he did say to Ledward, “You step my toes all the time.” Led shared his appreciation for his bass player. He took Jesse to Las Vegas where Jesse took an unfortunate miss-step and fell to the ground and sprained his ankle. Although he bounced right back up, his ankle got really swollen so he was stuck in the hotel room. Jesse’s come-back, “Really saved money!”

In the early days of learning to play, the elders referred to the chords with made-up names such as “second G” or “second F”, etc. When he was playing with Hui ‘Ohana, his fellow artist asked him to play a C7, and Led said he didn’t know what a C7 was. When Led showed him the chord on the ‘ukulele, the other artist said, “That’s a C7!” Led told him that the elders called it a “second F”. After that incident he made it a point to learn the correct names of each chord so he could be on the same page with everyone else. Led acknowledged his loyal “Led-Head fans” who are currently attending Keola Beamer’s week-long workshop at the Courtyard in Waipouli. He played Lady of Spain with his special flair for his loyal fans.

Back in the day, when he was playing music in the high school band, he kept hearing a note in his head so he played it. “Stop!” the band teacher silenced the rehearsal and asked Led to show him where the note is on the paper? Led confessed that the note was in his head, not on the sheet. Band teacher told him to just play the notes on the sheet. He asked Led to stay in after class and asked him about the notes in his head. “You know what that means if you see all these notes in your head? It’s called a gift!” And thereafter, he let Led play all the notes that were floating around in his head even if it did not show up on the song sheets. Wise Teacher.

When they were living in the boonies of Kalapana, they had a small transistor radio that played nothing but humming static. His brother had the bright idea to tweak the transistor with some copper wire tied up to the top of the coconut tree. To their delight they were able to catch the radio station on ‘Oahu; one of the songs he heard and loved was Love Is Blue. The way he played it was definitely not what they heard on the static-filled transistor radio, but that was the Ledward magic at work…input one way and output totally “da bomb.” His fingering is impeccable as he cradles his ‘ukulele and make it sound like a whole orchestra playing the song. He topped off the song with, “I gotta make sure I don’t hit the wrong note, huh?”

Mizu steps up to the stage with the Kamoa electric ‘ukulele that was being given away tonight. Led plugged it in and with just a few loving strokes on the instrument he put it into action as only he can. I had earlier asked him to provide the music on the Kamoa ‘ukulele for our mini runway fashion show. He was happy to oblige.

During lockdown, our ladies have been busy creating upcycled garments for the “BoroBoro Boutique”; sewing mu’umu’u for themselves was one of the projects. Showing off their stylish mu’umu’u were master seamstress Bev Montel, former fashion designer Jodi Ascuena, glamourous Dona Cunningham, mu’umu’u princess Shannon Hiramoto, neophyte seamstress Rieko Miyata, stylish Eve Neibel, our westside queen Mizu Sumida, and in-sync Cheryl Shintani wearing a Sonny Ching original topped off with a colorful lei po’o made by Firipi Salas.

It was short and sweet, especially with the instrumental E Ku?u Morning Dew on the electric Kamoa ‘ukulele. When the ladies exited the runway, he continued the favorite Eddie Kamae song with his awesome singing. Ihi’ihi’ Kaneali’i, of course, did not miss the opportunity to accompany the awesome lyrics to a loved one with her expressive hand motions.

Intermission is a short but lively time for the audience to get CD’s and signature from the artist, try their luck to win the Kamoa ‘Ukulele, frequent the many concessions and talk story with old and new friends.

A young lady all the way from Turkey, Peggy Kemp of Kapa’a, Wendy Brian from Vancouver BC, Stacy Gills from Canada, William Swanson and Larry Nager from Kalaheo were the happy winners of the CD Giveaway. Carol gave kudos to Peggy Kemp for her important role in helping to format and send out the bi-monthly GIAC E-calendar which everyone follows to know what’s going on on Kaua’i. For a year-and-a-half the calendar was really empty but suddenly it was full of great events including EKK.

Now was the time to draw one name for the winner of the ‘ukulele. Because all the volunteers had entered, the name had to be pulled out by Ledward. A huge cheer went up when Onio Punzal was announced as the lucky winner; Kamoa ‘Ukulele Owner Sam Bonanno presented the electric ‘ukulele to ecstatic Onio.

Awwwrai-i-i-i-i-i-i-i….Led went right into action with his slack key guitar with one of his favorite songs — Koke?e by his dear friend, the late Dennis Kamakahi. Dancers immediately raced up to the stage to show off their choreography. Never fails! Koke’e is definitely a Kaua’i favorite hula mele.

Kumukahi Lighthouse written by his aunt, the late Grace McBride, tells the story of the now legendary lava flow in Kapoho which flowed all the way down to the lighthouse and then split in two and went around the lighthouse. At an earlier EKK, one of the artists gave the full story about how the faithful lighthouse keeper would not leave this treasured beacon even as the lava came snaking toward the lighthouse. Fortunately, the miracle took place and the lighthouse was saved.

He fondly recalled the days when the neighborhood parties at their home in Kalapana went on for months … not weeks … but for months. It was potluck heaven and his mother always sang the song Wai Olu. In his relaxed nahenahe style so reminiscent of backyard kanikapila, he shared his Mother’s favorite song in both Hawaiian and English with his lilting falsetto and amazing pa’ani. It was like a hymn and a love song all rolled into one. So much feeling pours out when he sings these old-time family songs. Silver Strings Among the Gold is slack key virtuosity at its finest as Led picks and strums effortlessly through the song with many other melodies intricately woven into the basic song.

Led changes the pace with a Kaua’i favorite Hula O Makee; the beautiful Mehana Blaich Vaughan, gracious Sabra Kauka, and the irrepressible Ihi’ihi Kaneali’i doing the noho hula from her trusty walker lead the hula charge on the song about Captain Makee’s macho adventures. Led medleys into Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai while hula dancers pop up all over the ballroom. Seeing the audience response got Led so turned on . . . you can just hear the kolohe oozing out of his singing as he grunts, growls, and laughs the feisty lyrics of the famous seaweed hula.

Hana Hou! Hana Hou! Audience shouts for more of the same. You can see by now that Ledward had really got into the Kaua’i hula groove. Jesse kids him, “Working hard, eh?” All of a sudden, he starts favoring his leg which had unexpectedly cramped. “I going dedicate this song to me because the cramp in my back is killing me slowly. What’s good for cramps? Mustard!” he answers his own question. He twists and turns to adjust his back with obvious discomfort on his face, but like the trooper that he is, he starts the sensitive picking and strumming for the classic Killing Me Softly. That did the trick!

No concert would ever be complete without Ledward’s signature playfulness with his unmatched Chicken In A Straw. “It’s a small chicken; you know how small a straw is, eh?” Yes, but it’s a huge song with a great beat and awesome pa’ani all the way through with those recognizable ditties woven into the song. “I love to play ‘ukulele … easy because only four strings.” Yes! He makes it all look so easy.

He announced his next song as Spanish Eyes and somehow started playing Dr. Zhivago’s theme song Somewhere My Love instead. After the song ended, he turned to Jesse and apologized that he put Jesse on the spot because somehow he started with the wrong chord and ended up playing a song that he had not played for quite awhile. Jesse followed Led’s lead with no strain, no stress. When we asked Jesse later how he was able to follow along, he said that he remembered they had played Dr. Zhivago several years ago so he remembered the song and was able to switch gears with no problem. Back to the intended song, he launched into Spanish Eyes effortlessly and Jesse followed right along. Without stopping, he played the easily recognizable Never On a Sunday with a Latin beat moving up octave after octave with a lot of modulation. He loves to tease the audience with his trick endings; you can really tell when he is having fun because he gives a huge laugh instead of a giggle.

“I love this song!” Yes, Sanoe is one of those unforgettable Hawaiian melodies that sticks with you once you hear it, and so it is with Ledward. Nahenahe is really where it’s at for him; it’s his comfort zone; it’s his bedrock. Led shared that it was so sad that this was such a short visit “but it’s really worth the trip to see all you EKK guys”. He thanked everyone who made it possible for him to return to Kaua’i. He acknowledged Jesse once again and revealed that Jesse had asked him to teach him how to sing. I guess that calls for another concert in the future.

One day a man came to Led’s house because he wanted to learn to play Radio Hula/My Yellow Ginger Lei. The man wanted to write down the tabs so he could play it later; he diligently took notes as Led played the song. Because Led plays with feeling, the lesson did not go as the man wanted. Every time he wrote down a note, the next time around the note was different. Led apologized, “Sorry but if you play with me and I play a song ten times, I going play it different ten times.” So frustrated was the gentleman that he said, “Okay, let’s go to the movies instead.”

Shifting gears, Ledward turned on his Ray Kane voice and sang Wai o Ke Aniani to honor the late great Ray Kane. Shifting gears again, he launched into John Cruz’s popular storytelling song about the way we do things in the islands, Island Style, and ended with his characteristic ‘Weehaw” but the audience screams hana hou! hana hou!

“Okay, all the hula dancers come up and dance,” he invited as he started his awesome falsetto, I Kona. Sure enough, dancers whose dream it was to dance a hula to Led’s singing came up to the stage. Like hitting the magic hula button, he started singing Hanalei Moon and hula dancers sprouted up all over the ballroom like flowers in a pasture. What an awesome sight! What a moment to treasure!

Ledward started with gusto Hawai’i Aloha but as the audience joined the song, he moved to singing the echo and let the audience carry the ball to their favorite closing song. What an unforgettable evening!

***Photos courtesy of Kathleen Ho***

If you have a disability and need assistance for Monday events, email Garden Island Arts Council at giac05@icloud.com.
Info at www.gardenislandarts.org — “Celebrating 44 years of bringing ARTS to the people and people to the ARTS”

Funding for E Kanikapila Kakou 2022 Hawaiian Music Program is made possible by Hawai’i Tourism Authority, with support from Kauai Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, National Endowment for the Arts, the Kaua’i Beach Resort, Kamoa ‘Ukulele, Kauai Festivals and the Garden Island Arts Council supporters.

1 04, 2022

EKK 2022 Week #2 Wrap

2023-02-11T18:06:42-10:00EKK 2022|0 Comments

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Racing Through Time on a Hula Train
Michael Pili Pang & Halau Hula Ka No’eau Hula Academy

Monday night at EKK was a rare experience for the audience as Michael Pili Pang had us jump on a high-speed train that raced through the centuries experiencing the evolution of hula from its primordial beginnings from the mythical days of Madame Pele and her lusty encounters with the gorgeous mortal Lohi’au on the Keahualaka hula platform on the slopes of Ke’e Beach in Ha’ena to the present day hula as we know it.

His first visit to EKK was in February 2020, right before the pandemic shut-down. So memorable was his presentation that he and his Academy of “smart” hula dancers were invited back to EKK.

A student of iconic kumu hula Maiki Aiu Lake, Mae Kamamalu Klein and legendary chanter Pualani Kanaka’ole Kanahele, Michael is a master storyteller who brought the fascinating hula tradition to life as he chanted, narrated, and translated the lyrics of the mele so that even the novice could understand the meaning of the hula movements. The entire evening was a fascinating visual and auditory storyboard that was artistic, emotional, exciting and informative. He took us on a time-and-space travel through the genealogy of traditional hula ku’i.

Many styles of chants associated with the early kahiko style of hula were employed to convey the stories. Michael Pili Pang set the stage with the chants that are basic to the hula protocol practiced by all hula halau. He began the program with Ua Ao – Oli , a welcome chant.

Oli Kahea is a “password” for the hula dancer to enter the room. Entering from the back of the room, three dancers dressed in bright orange garments ceremoniously walked through the audience carrying parts of their hula garment – their skirts and their lei — as they chanted the Kunihi Ka Mauna.

Oli Komo is the answer from the keeper of the hula school; E Hea I ke Kanaka was the chant that received the dancers to the stage.

Much of the inspiration for the hula comes from Laka, the goddess of hula.
The chanter then offered a chant to Laka, Noho Ana ‘O Laka – Oli Kanaenae.

A fascinating procedure by dancers who spent years of training to master the steps of adorning themselves in their hula garment from skirt to lei for their wrists, ankles, neck and head, each step accompanied by the following chants for dressing — Oli Pa’uOli Kupe’e and Oli Lei. Right before our eyes was the transformation of the dancers into their hula attire; it was really a treat to witness. For these dancers, this was their first performance since their graduation last summer.

In hula there is a hierarchy as the dancers train and advance from one stage to another higher level: first as a haumana, people that come to our halau, to ‘olapa, a dancer, to ho’opa’a, a title reserved for a student who has earned the status of chanter, and eventually to a kumu hula, a teacher. In tonight’s performance, we were able to witness all these different levels of the hula dancer. It was obvious that each stage took a great deal of time, practice and commitment to attain.

Passed down over six generations, hula has to live, grow and change over the years as its environment changes. In the ancient kahiko chants, the text or words was the main thing in the hula; it was not about entertainment but a description of their life and part of ritual ceremonies.

Hula Pahu is the oldest collection of dances spanning over six generations.
Accompanied by the powerful chanting of the kumu hula and ho’opa’a, Kawehionalani, they first laid the foundation for the hula after which they begin their hula performance.

Kaulilua I Ke Anu Wai’ale’ale is a chant about the largest mountain on this island; many of the attributes described as the foundation by which a hula dancer lives are in this chant.

Lokelia Montgomery changed some of the movements of the hula, A Ko’olau Au, to make it more fast-paced and dramatic as it describes the Ko’olau Mountains.

In the chant ‘Au’a ‘Ia, a prophesy by Keaulumoku says that one day a chief will come in and change everything; he will conquer these islands; this was later realized when Kamehameha brought the islands together under one rule. He also talks about the civil war.

The audience sat transfixed as Pili Pang shared the story of the origin of hula which started on Kaua’i at the Keahualaka hula heiau on the slopes of Ke’e Beach in Ha’ena with the Godly encounters between Madame Pele in her spirit form, her “human” boy toy Lohi’au, and Pele’s younger sister, the Goddess Hi’iaka. This performance was a fascinating revelation of the encounters between Gods and mortals as they acted out their emotions of love, passion, jealousy, anger and revenge.

The chanting by Kawehionalani was superb, the dancers were top notch and Michael’s narration, often humorous and at times irreverent, guided us through the passionate interactions of the principal players in the hula drama. MPP used today’s every-day language to convey the thoughts and actions of Pele and Hi’iaka; it made it easier for the audience to understand their desires, intentions and actions.

Ka Poli Laua’e – Hula Papa Hehi is about Pele’s first sighting of Lohi’au.
Using kala’au sticks and foot pedals that rock back and forth, Ka Poli Laua’e – Hula Papa Hehi is difficult so few halau practice this particular hula.

After traveling all over the Pacific, Pele follows the sound of drums and came to Kaua’i to rest. When Pele stays in one place to rest, her spirit leaves the body and she travels everywhere. Pele gained access to Ke’e beach where she first set eyes on the beautiful Lohi’au. Ka Poli Laua’e danced by the three dancers to Kawehionalani’s powerful chanting told this story of the love affair between the Goddess Pele and the mortal Lohi’au.

Being in spirit form, she could not touch Lohi’au, so she went back to Hawai’i Island to get her younger sister Hi’iaka to return to Kaua’i to fetch the handsome Lohi’au. Pele warns Hi’iaka, “don’t touch him; he’s mine. I will have him for the first three nights and then you can have him after that.” Hi’iaka agrees.

Hi’iaka is stunned by his beauty but remembers that Pele had cautioned her not to touch him until after she had spent the first three nights with Lohi’au. After that, he was hers. Hi’iaka had agreed to the arrangement provided Pele looked after her lehua forest on the east side of the volcano and be sure no lava destroyed her forest because her friend Hopoe was there.

Having left Hawai’i Island as a youth, Hi’iaka was now a young woman experiencing womanly desires for this beautiful man that she has brought back to life. As she prepares for her journey to cross the Ka‘ie’ie Channel between Kaua’i and O’ahu, she experiences ho’ailona, the symbolism or thought in the form of a dream that her friend Hopoe is trying to escape from the lava flow by climbing the trees, together with the sound of gravel-like chattering gossip which convinces her that older sister Pele has not kept her promise to protect Hi’iaka’s lehua grove. Embarking on the two-person voyage in the canoe to the chant No Luna I Ka Hale Kai, Michael asked the audience to imagine “what’s going to happen?” with Hi’iaka and Lohi’au alone in the canoe.

Hi’iaka finally arrives on Hawai’i Island with Lohi’au and encounters her sister Pele with “You let go of my lehua trees, so I am going to hug your husband and give him a big kiss!” The ensuing battle between Pele and Hi’iaka was so fierce, raging from the crescent of the volcano down to the plains of Puna; Aia La ‘O Pele chant describes how the heavens lit up with fires that went higher and higher and could even be seen from the island of Maui. Aia La ‘O Pele is about the creation of land by Pele. Michael encouraged everyone to go and see the lava flow while it’s happening; it’s amazing to see land created in your lifetime.

With the advent of the missionaries in the 1820’s and the practices imposed by them onto the Hawaiians, many changes came about.

‘Auana translates to “wandering away” perhaps from working on tasks which did not sit well with the plantation owners and the missionaries, so in 1850, a law was passed saying that outside of the two ports in Lahaina and O’ahu there was to be no “congregating” – Hawaiians were not to gather in large groups or else be fined $200; the music by the Hawaiians changed as the 2-line chants led to melodic patterns and learning to sing hymns so they could go to heaven. And no, there was to be no hula as they practiced it. It was no longer proper for dancers to stand and dance, so the Hawaiians introduced the hula noho or sit-down hula.

Ho’opa’a Kawehionalani Goto began her hula noho (sit down hula) entitled Kalalau with her Hula ‘Ulili, a musical implement like a Hawaiian yoyo made with two gourds. She pulled the string that caused the round gourds on each end to spin in unison with her chant which describes the Kalalau valley.

In 1893, Hawai’i was taken over by the Americans. Earlier, every Hawaiian could read and write and enjoyed free education and free health care. Kamehameha III made sure that everyone was educated and literate.

But at the turn of the century, they were forbidden to speak Hawaiian in public. They had to learn the 13 letters of the alphabet. Hula changed. Music changed. The Hawaiian people changed.

Hula was for the Hawaiians their theatre, their archives, and everything about everyday lives. Their new topics of dance were the whaling ships, social dancing, people and Hawaiian royalty rather than Gods and Goddesses. The Hawaiians began to sew together their dances into Hula Ku’i, which mean to sew together the stories. Hawaiians began to piece things together; all of the changes were embraced by the people; movements such as the up-and-down movement, the side-to-side movement called kaholo and the front-to-back movement called kawele; hula began to tell the stories of people and places.

Ka Iwalani is a fascinating dance that had a very catchy chant-like lyrics —
Un te te te un te te te un te te te un — since the audience was mostly Hawaiians, they understood the text. Michael shared a funny story that when the halau last performed this hula, he went to the bathroom and heard a little boy using the bathroom chanting the catchy phrase; it’s one of those phrases that can run through your head all day once you start repeating it.

Hula dancers dressed in white smock-like blouses with bold gray-and-blue horizontal striped skirts, fuzzy white kupe’e around their wrists and anklets, and colorful scarlet-and-orange lei po’o for that bright spot of color that really made the whole costume sparkle.

Ku’u Mai Balota is about the “Ballot” and voting process for the first election for King between Lunalilo and Kalakaua in which not everyone was allowed to vote. Michael did the chanting in a guttural style while his three dancers did a brisk side-kicking hula with a lot of hip action and simple hand motions. The election for King was won by Lunalilo but he was in office for just one year. Upon his death, another election took place and Kalakaua became King. His wife Kapi’olani traveled around the Islands to visit her subjects. When she came to visit Kaua’i, she visited Ni’ihau.

Many songs are written about or for the royalty. The mele titled Ka ‘Ulu Ali’i Ni’ihau E hula for Queen Kapi’olani, daughter of King Kaumuali’i of Kaua’i, tells about her visit to Ni’ihau, the secret pao’o water from the fresh-water spring which bubbled out of the hidden clefts in the reef, the sideward-growing sugar cane buried in the sand dunes, and the sacred ‘ulu or breadfruit tree which is planted in a reef hole thirty feet below the ground so the fruit was easily picked at ground level.

Starting with the first dancer, joined by the second dancer continuing the story, the third dancer added her hula moves; then all three dancers continued the story about the Queen’s visit to Ni’ihau.

When Captain Cook arrived in the 1700’s, there were approximately 60,000 to 80,000 Hawaiians; by 1893 there were less than 40,000 native Hawaiians. Procreation became very important as the decimation of the Hawaiian population was a serious problem. Thus the hula ma’i about the urgency of procreation became a very important subject. The suggestive sounds and gestures were very clear in conveying the message of the “Birds and the Bees” to the audience. The halau dancers ended the first half of the program with the powerful Hula Ma’i (procreation chant), Punana Ka Manu, which Michael stated would insure that EKK enjoys continued procreation into the future.

Before the intermission, Michael strummed the Kamoa ‘ukulele to show how it sounded.

The second half started with the weekly CD Giveaway with happy winners — Jackie & Larry Fitzsimmons of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Kim McKillip from Princeville; Wendy Feldmeyer form Canada; Jordan Loudan from Princeville; Kathy & Janice Kovala from Winona, Minnesota; Philip and Dorothy Bradbury from Koloa.

Dona Cunningham and Mizu Sumida, the ‘ukulele volunteer team, drew a name and the happy winner was Lisa Morgan from Prince George, BC. Finally! The Canadians are back.

Paul Kim on ‘ukulele and Henry Barrett Jr. on guitar started off hula in modern times with a medley of songs. A big part of the story is told by the familiar hula costumes associated with the different hula eras as we remember them.

If the powerful hula kahiko kept everyone captive during the first half, the light and colorful second half of hula ‘auana was both entertaining and instructive as Michael narrated in English the lyrics of the Hawaiian mele; understanding the fluid moves of the hula choreography became so clear. It was simply wonderful!

King Kalakaua was the only world ruler who circumnavigated the globe. As he traveled, he saw that all countries had national dances and Hawai’i had none, so he got rid of the law of 1850 that forbade the dancing of hula and reinstated hula as the national dance for Hawai’i, leaving the legacy of the Merrie Monarch hula festival.

Hula ‘Auana (hula in the modern times) – the word ‘auana means to wander and so it went with the hula from traditional forms of hula kahiko (stay-in-one-place) to the modern day standard forms of dance as we have come to know them. The stories of the life and times of the people of Hawai’i are captured in hula and chants, but it is not a static thing that sits on the shelf. Rather, it evolves with the life and times of the people who create the music and the dance. Introduction of guitars and ‘ukulele to the islands impacted the music of Hawai’i.

An interesting point is that in the early days the members of the Royal Hawaiian Band were multi-instrumental artists, many of them able to play 6 – 7 instruments. The band members today are allowed to play only one instrument although many of them in their own lives are able to play more than one instrument. Therefore, the Royal Hawaiian Band members of today are unable to play the songs that used to be played by the early Band.

Maile Lei was written in 1963 by Maddy Lam for the Goodyear Tire Company Convention at the Waikiki Shell. However, it was the same day that John F. Kennedy was shot so the Convention did not happen; this beautiful song became a tribute to JFK. The four dancers were elegant in their white satin long-train holoku with maile leis and strands of plumeria cascading down to their knees and plumeria crowns worn as lei po’o. They were visions of beauty and elegance as they danced Maile Lei in the modern ‘auana style.

One of the best-loved hula love songs, Pua Lililehua, was written by Kahauanu Lake and Mary Kawena Pukui. Lake was not yet married to Maiki Aiu, but she choreographed the hula to the lyrics by Lake. Pili Pang translated the Hawaiian words into English so we could easily follow the graceful choreography of the four gorgeous hula dancers of this iconic love song. The facial expressions of the dancers as they flirted with their eyebrows, their subtle glances, along with the suggestive hand and hip motions made for an arresting hula love song that many prospective “victims” found too much to resist.

In 1983, after the overthrow of Queen Lili’uokalani and the Hawaiian Kingdom by businessmen, Kaulana Na Pua was composed as a protest song; many people decided that they wanted to pledge allegiance to the Queen instead of those responsible for the overthrow. After many decades of dormancy, this song was revived as its importance in representing the sentiment of the people was recognized. Choreography for this song was given to Michael’s kumu hula. A Kaua’i hula dancer named Haunani Aiu-Parpal, dressed in a long-sleeved, high-neck mu’umu’u reminiscent of early Hawai’i with maile li’ili’i cascading down to her knees, projected the sentiment of the song with serene elegance.

Hawaiians began to look at nature and people as the subjects for their hula. Out of this period came the now very popular hula song about Captain Makee who was wondering why his ship was all the way over in Kapa’a, Kaua’i when he was in O’ahu. Michael, with a rascal smile and moves that clearly tell the kaona-laden story, danced a seaworthy hula about Captain Makee’s oceanic misadventure.

In the 1900’s, Hawai’i wanted to promote tourism at the Pan Pacific Festival in San Francisco; newspapers wrote about the movement in New York for non-Hawaiian speaking musicians who played Hawaiian music; this movement was called the “Tin Pan Alley”. Hapa-haole music was first introduced by a group of New York City folks in 1910. When they saw how popular Hawaiian music was at the Pan Pacific Festivals in San Francisco featuring pineapple, sugar cane and hula dancers, these enterprising songwriters who had never been to Hawai’i started selling music sheets with hapa-haole songs and became instant millionaires. Using sheet music became the most popular and lucrative item in modern times. Hawaiians caught on quickly and started writing their own hapa-haole songs; these songs defined a distinct period in Hawaiian music and showed off the sweet charm and expression of a happy lighthearted period in Hawai’i.

In 1927, a graduate of Punahou School named R. Alex Anderson took hula images of Hawai’i and put them together into Haole Hula, a song for the Don Blanding Show at the Princess Theater in Honolulu. Dressed in red & white sarongs so popular during that Hollywood-inspired period, the hula dancers showed off the difference in the hula style that was so popular during that period and still a hula favorite today.

In 1927 a big thing happened in Waikiki…the opening of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. From their vantage point in their hula studio adjoining the RHH, the teenage male hula dancers had a clear view of the round pink domes of the hotel. When their teacher Maiki Aiu told them that they should be able to move their Royal Hawaii Hotel round pink domes better than that, they caught on right away. “As we slip and slide on the smooth soft velvet beds” that the hotel used to have for the guests found its way into the lyrics of the song Royal Hawaiian Hotel, written by Mary Pula’a Robins.

The war years brought a lot of change to the islands, especially the influx of military to Hawai’i. During the golden era of the sixties, a common practice was that military personnel had “golden meal tickets” which allowed them to frequent all the showrooms full of jazz music; hula dancers had a chance to jump from one showroom to another for a very lucrative career.

Dancers dressed in swishy shiny long turquoise cellophane skirts and skimpy tops accented with splashes of white gardenia blossoms on their hair, bodice, wrists and waistbands, brought back instant nostalgia for those colorful days of hula entertainment. It sure is hard to take your eyes off these flirty dancers with their shruggy shoulders and dimpled smiles. The crowd got boisterous with applause.

Big changes came about during the post-war years. Hawai’i was a big stop for Vietnam vets. Descriptive hula is typical of songs like Misty Rains and Lehua; the hand motions speak of trade winds, dew-covered mountains, rainbows, breezes, the sun and the clouds and guardian angels. The melody is dreamy and romantic, the kind of song associated with the haunting sounds of the steel guitar. Haunani, one of the hula dancers in one of the longest Las Vegas hula show who now lives on Kaua’i, came out dressed in a fashionable black-and-white mu’umu’u adorned with many strands of plumeria and maile leis.

Many of the kumu hula had been trained with little or no knowledge of the Hawaiian language due to the missionary-imposed taboo on the speaking of Hawaiian in public and in educational situations. During the 1970’s a new movement began; the Hawaiian Renaissance changed the culture and along with it the way in which hula was taught … men could dance hula; voyaging became important; ideas of hula start to change; hula competitions began to change. Hula masters began to change and not be so secretive and started to share about their hula culture. If you were lucky, you could sit and eat with the kupunas. Hula started to become a worldwide phenomenon, embraced by serious dancers in many countries.

Musical interlude was offered by Paul and Henry who sang about Ku’u Ipo (My Sweetheart), a song that was written as a 45th anniversary gift. Of course, Mauli’ola Cook and Sabra Kauka got up to share their hula as Michael translated the movements into understandable English. For the novice to hula, it sure helps to have someone translate what those graceful motions mean. The audience goes wild to see their resident hula dancers get up on stage.

In 1937, a beautifully written hula song titled Mi Nei was copywrited by Charles E. King. Mi means “me” and nei means “over here”. The words are so descriptive of the allure of this beautiful and charming hula dancer who knows how to flirt to get the attention of her love-struck admirer. It’s a perfect hula for the dancer who wants to embrace and offer her feminine essence. Four gorgeous dancers in soft pink and blue short-trained holoku and plumeria lei filled the stage with their beauty.

In 1954, Maiki Aiu Lake sent a group of hula dancers to Kaua’i since she could not make it. The Kaua’i group sent her a box of maile li’ili’i and mokihana berries as a thank you. Because she could not write Hawaiian, she got her Uncle Claude Malani to help her write Aloha Kaua’i. The words speak of their appreciation for the fragrant gift of leis; this was her thank you song to the people of Kaua’i — a beautiful hula mele that is so much embraced by Kaua’i dancers who were moved to join these hula dancers on the stage. They shared their hula with the appreciative and captivated audience.

The enlightened audience members all joined hands to celebrate this evening of hula with their favorite Hawai’i Aloha. As always, the singing was emotional, moving and showed the audience appreciation for this gift of music and hula.

*** Photos courtesy of Mike Teruya ***

If you have a disability and need assistance for Monday events, email Garden Island Arts Council at giac05@icloud.com.
Info at www.gardenislandarts.org — “Celebrating 44 years of bringing ARTS to the people and people to the ARTS”

Funding for E Kanikapila Kakou 2022 Hawaiian Music Program is made possible by Hawai’i Tourism Authority, with support from Kauai Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, National Endowment for the Arts, the Kaua’i Beach Resort, Kamoa ‘Ukulele, Kauai Festivals and the Garden Island Arts Council supporters.

1 04, 2022

EKK 2022 Wk #1 Wrap

2023-02-11T18:06:41-10:00EKK 2022|0 Comments

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EKK March 21: When Music Fills Your Soul

It was truly a kama’aina kine pardee; after nearly two years of no-music lockdown, the floodgates on gatherings opened in a truly local style and the Jasmine Ballroom at the Kaua’i Beach Resort was packed with aunties, uncles, tutus, folks celebrating anniversaries and everyone hungry for face-to-face, even with masks, celebration of Hawaiian music!

Whereas the weekly EKK attendance is normally 60% visitors and 40% local folks, the first night of EKK 2022 was an enthusiastic gathering of residents from Kekaha to Ha’ena and everything in between! There was one visitor from Switzerland, one person from Spain, no Canadians! (can’t believe that) and a smattering of raised hands from continental USA! 89% of the participants were from Kaua’i! Although many “snowbirds” are normally heading back to their homes in March, some of them managed to stay longer and keep their EKK patron seats.

Who could have been more perfect for this opening night of EKK than the lovely Natalie Ai Kamauu, her awesome husband ‘Iolani Kamauu and their amazing ‘ohana.

Natalie’s singing, which was always remarkable, has now risen to off-the-charts spectacular as her voice soared, growled, and filled the ballroom with music that ran the whole gamut from sweet and melodic to fast-paced and zesty, rhythmic and foot-tapping… it was all there in one awesome package. She and ‘Iolani not only delivered, they introduced their adoring fans to yet another segment of their accomplishments— their awesome musical family. Their beautiful daughter Sha-lei Burdett and Steele Blue, her baby who just yesterday made one-year-old, dynamic hula-dancing son Chaz and daughter-in-law Amanda, originally from Koloa, a former dancer with Leina’ala Pavao Jardin’s Halau Ka Lei Mokihana o Leina’ala.

It was an evening for the books! It was a celebration for the undaunting love of Hawaiian music and dance that filled our souls! It was a testimony to the value of face-to-face human interaction! It was EKK Live! Yes! EKK is back!

The EKK audience was ready to show their appreciation for this gift of music as they gave Natalie and ‘Iolani a standing ovation from their very first number, Aloha Hawai’i, showing off Natalie’s soaring voice and the beautiful harmony of two voices that truly meant to find each other. Brother Chad, who was their long-time bass player and hula dancer, has moved to Sacramento, so their trio has become a duo, but tonight’s performance introduced new alliances. As difficult as Covid was for everyone, the many months being on lockdown with only family has resulted in a new kind of show for the Kamauu family.

Blossom Nani Ho’i E, the first song that she penned, is about her grandmother Blossom, affectionately called Grandma “B”. It’s a familiar mele that is an important part of Natalie’s repertoire. Fast-paced and catchy, it gives Natalie a chance to show off her soaring voice. Kaua’i dancers Linda Lester Keale and Donna Stewart could not resist doing the hula. Ke Aloha, easily one of the most beautiful hula numbers, was the perfect introduction for her two hula dancers, Sha-Lei and daughter-in-law Hiwalei.

In 2008 she received an unexpected phone call from the NFL. Yes! It was about football. With her hubby strumming cadence on his trusty guitar, Natalie involved the whole audience in her storytelling about the NFL asking her to be the first Hawaiian female artist from Hawai’i to sing a song at the NFL Super-Bowl game just before the first kick-off. She assured them that she had a song about things Hawaiian that was 2 minutes and 26 seconds long. As the deadline approached, she anxiously went to church to pray that she could come up with the promised song. It’s good to pray, but she was caught off-guard when the song came pouring down all over her as she sat in the pew with not even a napkin to write down the lyrics. She was saved! She then belted out her heaven-sent song that was full of “hula”, “grass shacks”, and other things Hawaiian. Hula Baby was so football perfect and it showed a whole different side of her singing styles.

Proud mama introduced her son Chazzy who instantaneously captured the audience attention and adoration as he stomped his way across the stage with his zesty interpretation of Cowboy Hula. His horn-waving, butt-slapping, foot-stomping moves had the crowd screaming hana hou; they went wild over Chaz’s hula antics. “He’s coming back!” she quieted the audience screams. As a youth, Chaz was a Master Keiki Hula winner. No wonder he get ‘um!

Wanting to write a song for Chaz, she asked him what his favorite flower was. It was the shower tree; not an ideal subject for a flower song. What finally became her song for Chaz was Ku’u Pua Pakalana, her favorite flower. Sha-lei, looking gorgeous in a fitted long dress sparkled up with a bling-bling bodice brought the song to life; you could see in her delivery Natalie’s adoration for her son Chaz.

Right before the Covid lockdown, their family camped for several days on Mauna Kea. It was truly uncomfortable to camp in that harsh environment as the elements were brutal. It was the same day that her aunty, her Dad’s sister, was arrested along with many other protestors at the summit. Natalie shared her generational family tradition of taking the piko of each family member to be placed in the lake atop the sacred mountain. She wanted to share their love for the mountain with an emotional medley of Make You Feel My Love / The Beauty of Maunakea coupled with Sha-lei’s hula rendition which embodied their beliefs and emotions.

No concert featuring Natalie would be complete without her hula. ‘Iolani, full of affection for Natalie, sang The Breeze and I, in his captivating baritone She mesmerized the audience with her elegant hula. It was clear to see that she was most deserving of her title as Miss Aloha Hula 1990. What a handsome couple! What a treat!

Natalie asked, “How fast do you want it?” as ‘Iolani started singing the lively strains of E Huli M?kou. Chaz and Hiwalei flirted with each other and the audience with their fast and sassy hula. How did they find each other? They met each other in Japan while both Kamauu family and Leina’ala’s halau were on their many performing jaunts to Japan.

To show off the donated Kamoa ‘ukulele that would be given away after the intermission, ‘Iolani started strumming the song Lei Onaona, (Fragrant Garland), a traditional mele taught to the ‘ukulele circle by ‘Iolani. The ‘ukulele players joined in to play the song that they had just learned.

The Intermission was a lively interlude of eating, drinking, catching up with friends, visiting the lua, checking out the Kamoa ‘ukulele, patronizing the GIAC tables with their original art and a new wrinkle – the “Boro Boro Boutique” fundraising project to support Kathleen Ho’s mosaic mural training program.

CD’s by LT Smooth, Napua Greig, Kupaoa, Ozzie Kotani, and Keale were given away to six lucky recipients. Happy, happy, happy was Kamoa ‘Ukulele winner Connie Schwarzenegger (no relationship).

Grandma Natalie walked on stage with her beloved grandson who turned one on Sunday. Baby’s Dad loves the Steelers and Sha-lei loves the color blue, hence he was named Steele Blue. She sang “their song” from Cinderella; you could see that Steele was already very comfortable in front of a mic and trying to join in. Yes! You need to start them young.

Natalie extended her invitation to Kauaians to come up on stage to dance hula favorite Lei Nani sung by Natalie in her wondrous falsetto. Madeleine Guyett didn’t miss a beat; she was on the stage instantly. Our resident hula dancers must be so happy to return to the EKK stage where the audience so appreciate the beauty and grace they so graciously share.

In the darkest moments of the Covid pandemic she recorded music for a new CD titled Natalie Noelani; it was released on 2/22/22. Not being able to share her music was very emotional; it forced her to re-define and refine herself. This evening’s performance is proof that she has successfully done exactly that.
From the first song to the last, the crowd gave them standing ovations and applause that was so loud that backstage their kids expressed their surprise; that is the famous Kaua’i reception!

Natalie does not talk about Miss Aloha Hula 32 years ago. She said she used to sing in a Mickey Mouse/Minnie Mouse voice until she entered Miss Aloha Hula. It was a turning point in her career because she had to oli; she had to learn to use her voice. She acknowledged that the Miss Aloha Hula title is one of the highest accolades that a hula dancer can receive, but that experience was a pivotal moment in her development as a singer which actually began in 2005 when her debut album E garnered her four Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and a Grammy nomination for La La La La in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category. Since then she has been a formidable contender on the Hawaiian music scene.

Kaulana ‘o Hilo Hanakahi really shows Natalie’s voice off with a richness and depth as she moves from one octave to another. Out of the darkness, Sha-lei delighted the audience as she moved through the aisle up close to the audience with her sensuous hula moves.

Chaz, quick to wow the audience with his hula is bigger than life and full of charm. He danced the full-of-kaona hula called Noho Paipai, the “Rocking Chair Hula”. Full of suggestive charm, ‘Iolani belts out the song with his masculine voice.

Hanalei Moon is a beautiful Kaua’i song but when you hear Natalie and ‘Iolani harmonizing, it takes on another indescribable layer of beauty. Natalie called on a Kaua’i hula dancer, Akala Aiwohi, who happened to be celebrating her wedding anniversary with husband Bryan Aiwohi, one of the lucky winners of the CD giveaway during the intermission.

Natalie shared that she met Troy online (not that way) because her kids were bouncing around in their garage taking Troy’s Zoom Zumba Class. She invited one of Kauai’s favorite kumu hula to join her on stage for Kawainahenahe. Troy Hinano Lazaro and members of his halau were as sensuous as bamboo swaying in the breeze. Their hula choreography, so typical of Troy’s hula style, delighted the audience. My first encounter with Troy was at Nathan Kalama’s 50th birthday party when I first witnessed Troy’s dancing and immediately dubbed him “Liquid Silver.” He was so young….maybe still in high school, but a standout at that very young age.

Natalie suddenly called out, “I know this person will not tell me ‘no’; Kamaha’o, where are you?” The Kaua’i audience cheered knowing what was in store for them. Young Kamaha’o quickly ran up to the stage and agreed to sing the famous seaweed song, Ka Uluwehi o Ke Kai, strumming Natalie’s gorgeous ‘ukulele. As Kamaha’o’s voice rings out sassily, the Tango brothers appeared quickly on the stage followed by a huge contingent of our EKK resident hula dancers who joined the action…all so delighted to finally be able to get up on the stage they missed for way too long.

Fifteen years into their married life, the Kamauu’s first family vacation to historic European cities was a really big deal. They marveled at the splendor and history of all the famous sites. As splendid as their family experience to Europe was, her return to the islands brought thoughts of the mountains and valleys of Kaua’i. “That is architecture! Kaua’i is magnificent! Kaua’i is extraordinary!” She then invited dancers up to dance to Nani Kaua’i. She wanted to dedicate this hula to a very special person
. . . Kumu Maka Herrod. With over 25 dancers on stage and on the floor, it was truly a chicken-skin moment and a heart-felt tribute to one of Kauai’ most beloved and instrumental kumu hula on Kaua’i.

How can anyone match Maka’s wildly playful personality when he cartwheels on stage to introduce his hula group at one of the early E Pili Kakou. His adoring fans are spread far and wide; when he steps on the stage in one of Japan’s giant hula concert venue, you can hears screams of “Maka! Maka” from all parts of the massive audience. To know Maka is to adore him. The adoration oozing from all the hula dancers and the Kamauu artists was tangible.

Kumu Maka did step up on stage to embrace and lei the lovely Natalie. Tear jerker moments! “What beautiful things are happening tonight to all of us.” said Natalie. Yes! Many in the audience were moved to tears by the surprise and the warmth of everything that was unfolding right before their eyes. Unplanned and unstifled … it was truly a Kaua’i style evening.

Natalie took a moment to acknowledge Kauai’s Linda Lester Keale who interviewed her for the EKK event on KKCR radio. “Linda not only loves Hawaiian music, she loves the people who created them and is so quick to acknowledge the music of all musicians on the radio.” Yes! That’s Linda! Another Kaua’i “treasure.”

No Waimea Ke Aloha was written by Taupouri Tangaro of Hawai’i Island who sent lyrics to her via Facebook. Natalie and ‘Io put a beautiful melody to it; this is the song they wanted to share to usher in the next big move in their life. At long last they will be getting a piece of the ‘aina to call their own … thanks to ‘Iolani’s 70% Hawaiian plus Danish and Chinese and Natalie’s contribution of Hawaiian, American Indian, Spanish, Scottish, Dutch, Irish, Welsh, Belgian and English. They are planning to build a new home on Hawai’i Island. She shared with her children that they would be moving to Waimea where her Lindsey family ties are. Sha-lei said she was moving with her as Mom needed her…. Natalie agreed. Chaz was certainly not going to be left behind; he made his intentions clear. It’s clearly a very tight-knit family.

For her final number she belted out an awesome medley of I Will Always Love You Pili Aloha. The harmony between ‘Iolani and Natalie was eloquent and emotional. Sha-lei’s hula was the culmination of generations of hula traditions. What an awesome gift they shared with all of us so hungry for this evening of sharing Hawaiian music, dance and stories. Coconut wireless trivia: I learned via Jodi Ascuena who got it from Tutu Kamala Mersberg that ‘Iolani was named by and for his great Aunt, the iconic hula legend ‘Iolani Luahine. His Mom, Hoakalei Kamauu, was also a significant giant in the hula world. No wonder hula oozes through their veins.

When everyone stood up, held hands and started to sing the final
Hawai’i Aloha, it was obvious that both Natalie and ‘Iolani were so moved at the sight of a whole audience swaying and singing at the top of their voices. ‘Iolani later told me several times, “This is something you would see only on Kaua’i . . . everyone singing Hawai’i Aloha at the top of their voices and knowing all the words… not just moving the lips pretending to know the song.”

Text Message:
Aloha & Mahalo Carol for such a beautiful evening!!!
Once again Mahalo….Mahalo….Mahalo!!!!
Iolani & Natalie Kamauu

*** Photos courtesy of Mike Teruya ***

If you have a disability and need assistance for Monday events, email Garden Island Arts Council at giac05@icloud.com.

Info at www.gardenislandarts.org — “Celebrating 44 years of bringing ARTS to the people and people to the ARTS”

Funding for E Kanikapila Kakou 2022 Hawaiian Music Program is made possible by Hawai’i Tourism Authority, with support from Kauai Visitors Bureau, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, National Endowment for the Arts, the Kaua’i Beach Resort, Kamoa ‘Ukulele, Kauai Festivals and the Garden Island Arts Council supporters.

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