Who’s Coming Up Next Monday?
Monday, January 26, 2015, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
E Kanikapila Kakou “Music Into the Community”
Kupaoa: Kellen & Lihau Hannahs Paik, Puakea Nogelmeier,
Kumu Hula Frank Akima & Eleena Helenihi
6:00 – 6:45 Ukulele Circle with Kupaoa; Hula with Frank & Eleena;
Hui Kuka Kuka with Puakea
6:45 – 9:00: Performance
EKK 2015 Opening Night Celebrates ‘Ukulele in Great Style
Four ‘ukulele groups from the island, numbering 107 players and hula dancers, present an evening of inspiration and great musical entertainment, setting the pace for this year’s theme: “Music Into the Community”
The Morning After: Message from Marilyn of Lihue Ukulele Class
As i sit here, i am thinking how fortunate are we to have you at EKK. Thank you very much for giving us the experience to sing for the wonderful audience. i am still thinking of the wonderful and memorable experience…yes, i know, that if it were not for our student, Charles Tomilson (spelling?), last night would not have been possible. Your arrangement of the program was excellent . . . well organized . . . the timing was perfect and to have given each group a time to teach so there was a break there! Oh, yes, thank you, too, for the most generous ‘honorarium’ gift…we are so blessed with some many things. thanx to you, carol.
Have a wonderful day.
My response to Marilyn of Lihue Ukulele Class:
Aloha and Good morning Marilyn
I, too, am so happy at the great turnout and the wonderful and uniquely different performances put on by each group, so much greater than my expectations. The buzz was definitely there and everyone was caught up in the excitement of the evening; makes me want to join the classes even if I can’t carry a tune and have poor rhythm. I formerly lived about five doors away from the Lihue Neighborhood center; did not know all that was going on right next door to me.
Charlie and Maria Tomlinson were definitely very happy with the outcome of their generosity. I am sure that more folks will be showing up at the ukulele classes. What an inspiration you all are!
‘Ukulele players, schlepping their music stands and instruments, which included wash-tub bass pakini, steel guitar, bass guitar, 10-string tiple, guitars, plus soooo many ‘ukulele, started showing up at the Kaua’i Beach Resort at 4:00 pm, dressed up in matching attire – Lihu’e in red and white aloha print, Kalaheo in smart-looking all white outfits, Kilauea in purple and green aloha wear, and Hanalei in their casual purple club tees and white halau tees. They sat in their own sections so that the guests could sit up front and close to all the stage action.
Onio Punzal, blowing on his conch shell or pu’u, welcomed everyone from four directions of the Earth to come together; great way to open the program.
Lihu’e Senior Center Ukulele II class, under the direction of Uncle Herman Paleka, set the pace with their zesty all-in-unison playing and power singing of so many great songs, each person so animated and joyful. Sharp and snappy, they started together and ended together. It reminded me of my own ‘ukulele lessons with Uncle Charlie Kaneyama of Kekaha who taught everyone on the west side of Kaua’i. I was probably his worst student but I had fun anyway. I was thinking that I should join this group since they meet so close to my home, but I am not sure that I could keep up with their spot-on playing.
Their song choices took us on a musical journey of the islands beginning with Ahe Nani Kaua’i, calling out each destination so no one got lost, Nani Wale Ia’u O Waimea, and a medley of Island Style and Molokai-My Sweet Home. Latitu, a rousing melody showed that Uncle Herman is a stickler for enunciation; you could hear every syllable they sang. The surprises were two Japanese songs with Marilyn playing the Harmonica to one of my favorites, Hamabe-No-Uta, in Japanese and English, and a lively bon dance favorite called Tokyo Ondo. Haunani Apoliona’s Alu Like was the perfect number for their lively style of playing. For the community-sing portion of their program, Uncle Herman taught the audience two hymns – Ekolu Mea Nui and Iesu No Ke Kahuhipa.
24 members of the Kilauea Senior Center Outreach and ‘Ukulele Band, led by David Sproat and Joyce Nagata, taught the audience Pua Mae ‘Ole, a very beautiful song written by John “Squeeze” Kamanu in 1954; it was the prize song for the Kamahameha School Song Contest in 1955. David shared that the song was actually in the composer’s mind since 1927 but was not actually composed until 1954.
A Tahiti Nui performer since the 1960’s, David gave the background on each of the traditional songs selected from the “He Mele Aloha” songbook. Hailing from the north shore, the group started with Alfred Alohikea’s Medley – Ka wai O Namolokama, Ka Ua Loku and Hanohano Hanalei. Spiking up their instrumentation was the addition of a pakini (big tub bass) played by Charlie Tomlinson, steel guitar by Ed Blanchet, and one guitar.
The beautiful love song Ku’u Hoa was enhanced by the romantic strains of the steel guitar; it also added much to their many hula numbers. Their favorite hula dancers, Sandy Margler and Margaret Thompson, danced to Aloha Week Hula, sometimes called the 50th State Hula, to Aunty Edith Kanaka’ole’s Uluwehi O Ke Kai, Haole Hula and Mary Kawena Pukui and Maddy Lam’s Po La’ila. Audience hana hou applause encouraged the group to sing the fun hula E Naughty, Naughty Mai Nei.
During intermission the 31-member Kalaheo Senior ‘Ohana set up on the stage so we could keep to the tight timetable for the evening. As always, six CD from our favorite artists were given out to the lucky names drawn out of the sign-in sheets.
The Kalaheo Seniors performed like a church choir, all standing in white attire and singing in parts in beautiful and complicated harmonies. They likely had a few professionals mixed in with their group because that kind of music was definitely a cut above. They opened with a lively song for the audience to sing – Ka Leo O Nanakuli composed by Richard Iliwa’alani – which was written and taught to the children of Nanakuli.
Their song choices were perfect for their style of singing. The rousing Ka Na’i Aupuni honors all the great chiefs of Hawai’i whose unanimous sentiment was captured in the Hawaii State Motto adopted by Kamehameha III on July 21,1842. He Hawai’i Au, performed by Peter Moon and the Cazimero Brothers, carried the message “I am truly Hawaiian.” Ua Nani Na Pua O Hawai’i Nei by Eric Lee is about the flowers/people of Hawai’i, and Beautiful Kahana speaks about the beautiful Valley on ‘Oahu.
They spiced up their performance with some hula dancing – Cheryl Shintani and the Hanalei Halau dancers danced to Aloha Kaua’I composed by Maiki Aiu Lake, Betsy Ludington danced to Lei Nani, and Donald Quon added some very funny comic relief in his Japanese-costumed outfit to the Kalaheo version of Hene Hene Kou, made famous by Bruddah Iz.
They closed with a backyard party song, ‘Uwehe ‘Ami and Slide, with three dancers in white mu’umu’u emerging out of the lineup – group leader Marieann Ferreira, Betsy Ludington and Mary Neudorffer. You would never guess that Mary just had two hip surgeries; she was so graceful. Their final number was Sway with Glenda and Roy Tamashiro, elegantly ballroom dancing around the floor, looking like they had just come from “Dancing with the Stars.” Very impressive!
Sharon Leoiki was asked to play the ‘ukulele that was donated by Kamoa ‘ukulele so everyone could see how good it sounded. She played Noho Paipai joined in by the rest of the group, a hanahou bonus for everyone to enjoy.
The donated ‘ukulele was won by one very, very happy young lady who bounced all over the place like a jumping bean. All the way from Oregon, she was thrilled beyond description. Her dad said she just started taking hula lessons and now she has to start taking ‘ukulele lessons.
The Hanalei ‘ukulele group, Na ‘Ukulele Haumana O Namolokama, and the dancers, Hui Hula O Kehaulani, presented some very fancy ‘ukulele strumming and advanced instrumental numbers. Led by Aunty Bev Kauanui, the combined group is apparently no stranger to public performances because they whipped through a rich selection of hula melodies that showed off their dancers and had everyone tapping their slippers and doing the noho hula in their seats . . . including me.
Starting with Kaula’ili, the first song learned by the group, played in key of C and then modulated to D – F – G – A), they showed off their instrumentation with Grace Hodgson on upright bass, Ed Blanchet on steel guitar, David Helder on 10-string tiple, Pat Kauanui on guitar and eleven ’ukulele players singing along with Aunty Bev’s beautiful voice. The audience was asked to join in on playing and singing the song Kekaha. It’s amazing to hear so many voices raised in unison; you could not tell they were learning a new song.
The eleven-member halau danced beautifully to Nani Hanalei / Manowaiopuna (Ko’ula), Kaua’i Hemolele and a wonderful hula medley of familiar old favorites — Song of Old Hawai’i / Blue Hawai’i / Sands of Waikiki / Yellow Ginger Lei / Lehuanani. Their hana hou special was to rope Steve Landis into singing Hawaiian Superman, one of Bruddah Iz’s favorites. They also led the entire audience in singing Hawai’i Aloha to close the program.
After such an inspiring show of talent by these youthful “seniors”, it is very likely that some folks will be going to check out the ‘ukulele at the shops and showing up at the various neighborhood centers to join one of these fabulous groups in their weekly ‘ukulele “parties.” As if the weekly lessons are not enough, a little birdie shared with me that several of the groups meet every other Sunday from 4:00 to 6:00 pm to kanikapila down at the Poipu Beach pavilion. It’s one big ‘ukulele jam with locals, snowbirds, visitors, ‘ukulele players and friends.
That is what keeps them so young and energetic!
If you have a disability and need assistance please email Carol Yotsuda at firstname.lastname@example.org for Monday events.
(s) Carol Kouchi Yotsuda, www.gardenislandarts.
E Kanikapila Kakou 2015 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.
How to find EKK: Look for this banner along Kuhio Highway as you leave Hanamaulu heading north.