Blending Traditional and Contemporary.

February 3, 2014

EKK 2014

Mahalo to Anne E. O’Malley for the great photos and putting up everything for our Facebook Friends

https://www.facebook.com/ekanikapilakakou.kauaistyle

 A new twist at EKK:

The usual 6:00 – 7:00 ‘ukulele hour was expanded in last week’s EKK to take advantage of the presenters scheduled for the evening.  Peter Moon Jr. took on the lion’s share of teaching the ‘ukulele circle which often numbers between 50 – 60 folks; Cyril Pahinui held captive a circle of slack key aficionado; Jeff Au Hoy shared his steel guitar artistry with an ever-expanding circle of steel guitar enthusiasts. He even had Mary Neudorffer showing off her newly acquired steel skills.

A comment from the rank and file:

“Peter Moon Jr is one of the finest ukulele players I’ve ever seen.  He is not as showy as Jake or Aldrine, but I loved his subtlety, skill and creativity.  He did not know he was going to teach a class until the day of the show so he was winging it.  He was pretty good for not being prepared.  He was able to make the class useful for players of all levels of ability.  His friendly, gentle personality added to the enjoyment.  I would love to be his student.” Vigil

 Monday, January 27, 2014

“Blending Traditional and Contemporary”

“Sit Back and Relax … This is Hawaiian All the Way”

Cyril Pahinui, one of the many sons of the legendary Pops Gabby Pahinui, began a relaxing evening of old-style Hawaiian Music blended and enhanced with contemporary instrumental artistry by the two youthful members of his team — Peter Wook Moon, Jr. who rips on his ‘ukulele and multi-talented Jeff Au Hoy who excels on steel guitar but also plays piano, cello, banjo and ‘ukulele. The three of them perform each Wednesday night at “Kani Ka Pila Grille” in Waikiki.

True to Pahinui tradition, he called his long-time friend from westside, Charlie Iona, “You get red shirt?  Come jam with us at EKK!” Amazingly, Charlie showed up, toting his fancy bass guitar, with the perfect shade of red shirt. No musician in his right mind would be without a red shirt just in case a Pahinui appeared and asked him to join the jam. Charlie said in typical westside lingo, “It’s not everyday that I get to cross over the Waimea Bridge.”

Truly the evening unfolded just as it might have in the Pahinui’s back yard in Waimanalo where Cyril and his nine siblings played music for hours/days with their famous musical legend Dad Gabby Pahinui and the often over 100 drop-in musicians who showed up for Mama’s stew/rice and an evening of old style Kanikapila jamming. One can only imagine what those week-end sessions were like beginning on Friday morning straight through to Monday morning; we have heard enough Hawaiian musicians talk about being there to experience it. Cyril’s specific task was to make sure all the instruments were perfectly tuned and ready to play.

There was no saving the best for last. The four of them launched into the melancholy best of their repertoire; many of the songs were from their recent CD Kani Pu Kolu. The audience loved the familiar tunes of Hula O Makee, Holei, He’eia, Ka Makani Ka’ili Aloha, Nanakuli ‘ea, Makee ‘Ailana, Meleana E, Hi’ilawe, Lullaby for Pops, Waialae, Mana’o Ke Aloha, and many more.

Cyril made sure that many of the standards featured the virtuosity of both Peter and Jeff. Watching Peter’s flying fingers was an absolute turn-on as he picked and strummed with such ease, bringing out sounds from the ‘ukulele that are playful, rhythmic, rock-and-roll-like, and whatever the song demanded.  Being the son of Peter Moon Sr, one of Hawaii’s most innovative and influential musicians, Peter Jr demonstrates a natural ease and amazing innovation and versatility with the ‘ukulele that was amazing to watch and hear. Pa’ani after pa’ani coupled with the nahenahe standards sang and played in the Pahinui style was just plain exciting and brought out a lot of applause.

Cyril recalls his father dressing up in his tux and playing Yellow Roses on the steel guitar with Ry Cooder and Atta Isaacs.  He asked Jeff to play Yellow Roses; he did with such clarity and improvisational riffs. The big surprise was when Jeff started to sing in his huge voice. Shades of Pat Boone! Jeff has a powerful voice and one can actually hear all his lyrics clearly…something that is not so common these days.  He dedicated the song to Aunty Joyce in the audience. Mentored by Bobby Ingano, an outstanding steel guitar artist, Jeff was introduced to steel in 2000 when his Uncle Olu Iao built him a steel guitar.  He has performed with artists like Genoa Keawe, Na Palapalai, Keola Chan, the Brothers Cazimero, and the cast of Hawaii Calls (at the Carnegie Hall in 2004). So young and so talented; he has the sky at his disposal. Way to go, Jeff!

Cyril did not share as much talk story as the audience had hoped, but he dropped a few quick insights into his past and present life as a musician.  He’eia is a song about surfing 30 – 40 foot waves; Cyril quips, “I rather take a shower!”  He spent seven years in Nashville playing music with Chet Atkins, a good friend of his father. Slack key is called “drop tuning” in Nashville. Although there are many slack key tunings, Cyril favors the Open C tuning.  Although as a youngster, he was drawn to rock-and-roll, he has taken on the responsibility to keep the Pahinui musical legacy continuing for new generations.

When he was a teenager, he made his first CD with Peter Moon Sr. with whom he had developed a close personal and professional friendship, and now he is here playing with his son Peter Jr.  He also recorded with Palani Vaughan of Sunday Manoa, and earlier in the evening he had met Palani’s son Kilipaki.  He reminisces on the full circle of his musical life.  “Right now I rather be playing on stage with young folks like Peter and Jeff, because in ten years I might be sitting down there with all of you.”  His love of music is evident and with music in his life, he is bound to live a long and fruitful life entertaining, sharing music, and teaching in the schools on Hawai’i Island…which is why he has to hop on board a plane immediately after the performance and fly back to his island.

Before the intermission, we asked Peter to play the ‘ukulele donated by Kamoa ‘Ukulele for the giveaway.  Peter launched into some very fancy Peter Moon style picking of a complicated melody and Cyril quips, “Now he is showing off!”  Well, when you have it, just flaunt it.  Later in the evening, Cyril was asked to pull out a ticket from the ‘ukulele donation jar….and the lucky winner was…..Esther Solomon of Kapa’a.  Thank you for your generosity Kamoa ‘Ukulele!  They will donate eight more ‘ukulele for the EKK Mondays ahead.  Don’t miss out!

Who’s Coming Up Next at EKK?

(We highly recommend that you show up early if you want a seat!)

Monday, February 3, 2014, 6:00 – 9:00 pm

E Kanikapila Kakou “Continuing the Legacy”

Aloha Music Camp Artists Share “Community Aloha Night”

Keola & Moanalani Beamer present their AMC Artist-Instructors

Kaliko Beamer-Trapp, Alan Akaka, Herb Ohta Jr,

John & Hope Keawe, Kevin Brown, Uluwehi Guerrero

  If you have a disability and need assistance please email Carol Yotsuda at <giac05@icloud.com> for Monday events.

(s) Carol Kouchi Yotsuda, www.gardenislandarts.org — “Celebrating 36 years of bringing ARTS to the people and people to the ARTS”

E Kanikapila Kakou 2014 Hawaiian Music Program is funded in part by the Hawai’i Tourism Authority, the County of Kaua’i Office of Economic Development, and the Garden Island Arts Council supporters with support from the Kaua’i Beach Resort.

Garden Island Arts Council programs are supported in part by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the Hawai’i State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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