Posts Tagged ‘Music’

PostHeaderIcon HAWAIIAN MUSIC CALENDAR December 2011

HAWAIIAN MUSIC CALENDAR December 2011
MONDAY
• The St. Regis Hotel in Princeville features Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6-9 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei presents Michael Keale from 6-8PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Makepa from 7-10 PM
• Darryl Gonzales is appearing at The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu from 6-8 PM
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents `Elua from 7-9
• Trees Lounge at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa features Ho`aka during Happy Hour from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• The Lemongrass Bar and Grill in Kapaa features Ivo Monroe Miller from 6-9 PM
• Joe’s On The Green, at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features Kirby Keough from 4:30 -6:30

TUES
• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond with her keiki hula show from 6-8PM.
• The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea features Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei presents Kanak Atttack with Darryl Gonzales & Koko Kaneali`i from 6-9 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Makepa from 7-10 PM
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village features Michelle & Lance from 7-9 PM
• The Casablanca Restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation Resort in Po`ipu features Mike Young from 7:00-9:00 PM

WED
• Aunty Bev Muraoka offers a free Hula Show at 12:15 at the Harbor Mall on Rice Street in Nawiliwili
• There is also a free Hula show featuring Leilani Rivera Bond & Halua Hula O Leilani, center stage at 5PM, at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Jonah Cummings from 7-10 PMl
• The Hukilau Lanai at the Kaua`i Coast resort in Kapaa presents Michael Keale from 6-9 PM
• Cafe Portofino in Nawiliwili presents Larry Rivera & daughter Luraline from 7:30-9:30 PM
• The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea features Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• The Casablanca Restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation Resort in Po`ipu features Mike Young from 7:00-9:00 PM
• The Seaview Terrrace at the Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu presents Darryl Gonzales from 6-8PM
• Stevenson’s Library at the Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu presents Aloha Breeze from 8-11PM
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village features Chico & Darren at 6:30
• Joe’s On The Green, at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features Kirby Keough from 4:30 -6:30

THURSDAY
• Joe’s On The Green at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features KK Kauilani from 4:30 -6:30 PM
• The Waimea Plantation Cottages in Waimea presents “the Kama`aina’s” from 7-9PM
• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond from 6-8PM.
• Keoki’s Paradise the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents Keamoku at 6:30 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Jonah Cummings from 7-10 PM
• The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea features Pancho Graham from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei presents Kanak Attack with Darryl Gonzales, Garrett Santos and Koko Kaneali`i from 6-9
• Trees Lounge at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa presents Haunani Kaui and Friends from 6:30-8:30 PM

FRIDAY
• The Hanapepe Café presents Cindy Combs from 6-9PM in Hanapepe Town
• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond from 6-8PM.
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents Po`ipu at 6:30 PM
• A traditional Hawaiian slack key & ukulele music concert featuring Doug & Sandy Mc Master is at the Hanalei Community Center at 4 PM
• The Pono Kane Trio with Steve Landis, Bruce Lumsden & David Helder are featured at the Tahiti Nui in Hanalei during Happy Hour from 4-6 PM followed by Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6:30-9 PM
• Calypso in Hanalei presents Windjammer (Chad Pa, Del Seeger & Koko Kaneali`i)6-9 PM
• The Tiki Room at the Harbor Mall in Nawiliwili features Ho`aka from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• Sean Carillo is at Sushi Bushido in Kapa`a from 7-9 PM
• The Hukilau Lanai at the Kaua`i Coast resort in Kapaa presents Dennis Chun from 6-9 PM
• Darryl Gonzales is at Shutter’s Lounge at The Kaua`i Beach Resort from 7-10 PM

SATURDAY
•There is a free Hula show, featuring Leilani Rivera Bond & Halua Hula O Leilani, center stage at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa at 1PM
• A traditional Hawaiian slack key & ukulele music concert featuring Doug & Sandy Mc Master is at the Children Of The Land Center at Safeway Shopping Center near the Clock Tower from 5-7 PM
• The Hukilau Lanai at the Kaua`i Coast resort in Kapaa presents Wally & Polei Palmeira from 6-9 PM
• Darryl Gonzales is at Sushi Bushido in Kapa`a from 7-9 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei features Milani Bileyu from 6:30-8:30 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Jonah Cummings from 7-10 PM
• The Lemongrass Bar and Grill in Kapaa features Ivo Monroe Miller from 6-9 PM
• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond with her keiki hula show from 6-8PM.
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents Moku & Lenny at 6:30 PM

SUNDAY
• Roy’s Tavern On The Green, at the Prince Golf Course in Princeville, features Pancho Graham from 5:00 – 8:00 PM
• The Hanalei Gourmet in Hanalei presents The Mango Brothers from 6-9 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei features Milani Bileyu from 6:30-8:30 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Darryl Gonzales from 7-10 PM
• Stevenson’s Library at the Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu presents Aloha Breeze from 8-11PM
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Center presents Nick Castillo from 7-9PM
• A traditional Hawaiian slack key & ukulele music concert featuring Doug & Sandy Mc Master is at the Hanalei Community Center at 3 PM
• Joe’s On The Green at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features Kauilani Kahalekai & Kalani Kaimina`aoao from 4:30 -6:30
• The Casablanca’s Restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation Resort in Po`ipu presents Mike Young from 7-9 PM
• The Lemongrass Bar and Grill in Kapaa features Ivo Monroe Miller from 6-9 PM
• Wahoo’s Island Grill in Kapaa features Keola Worthington at 7:30

MAHALO NUI LOA, Have a Great Hawaiian Day!

Hawaiian Music Calendar

PostHeaderIcon Musing over Hawaiian Music in the Grammy Nominations for 2011

Click here to go to the Recording Academyʻs website where a pdf file of the complete list of nominations is posted.

The web has been a-buzz over the Grammy nominations, which were announced last Wednesday Nov. 30. Many folks–fans and industry professionals alike–were curious to see what things were going to look like in the wake of last Aprilʻs radical restructuring of all of the categories. Hawaiian music was one of those categories collapsed into the broader category named “Best Regional Roots Album” within the field named “American Roots,” and this year is competing with other musics like polka, Cajun, Zydeco, Native American, and others that apparently do not fall into any other more specific category like “blues.”

The nominees in the “Best Regional Roots Music Album” are:

  1. C. J. Chenier, Canʻt Sit Down.
  2. George Kahumoku, Jr, Wao Akua – The Forest of the Gods.
  3. Rebirth Brass Band, Rebirth of New Orleans.
  4. Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys, Grand Isle.
  5. Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra, Not Just Another Polka.

First observations:

  1. Hawaiian music was not completely shut out of nominations.
  2. Native American music submissions failed to garner any nominations.
  3. Three of the five submissions are musics whose geographic center is New Orleans.

Congratulations to George Kahumoku, Jr. Already a Grammy Award winner as a co-producer of four slack key compilations from the “Slack Key Masters” concert series he produces, this is his first nomination as an artist.

Hawaiian music also made an appearance in another category. In “Best Pop Instrumental Album”–one of the categories in the extremely crowded Pop Music field–is a nomination for Daniel Hoʻs solo piano album, E Kahe Mālie. Because that album contains pianistic interpretations of classic Hawaiian songs, it was originally submitted to the “Best Regional Roots Music” category. At some point in the verification process, it got moved to the “Best Pop Instrumental” category, where it earned its nomination. How about that!! Hawaiian music rises to mainstream recognition in one of the mainstream categories!! Congratulations to Daniel Ho, whose perseverance and commitment to artistry is continuing to take Hawaiian music to new audiences.

As much as there is to celebrate in this news, there is without a doubt many Hawaiian musicians and fans who are pissed off because their favorites have failed once again to garner recognition in this broader national area. So there are comments posted on bulletin boards, blogs, and FaceBook walls again to the effect of insisting that Hawai’iʻs Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards are a true reflection of those who know Hawaiian music. (Many folks do not realize that the requirement of Hawaii residency in many Hōkū categories excludes the work of many artists who work on Hawaiian music outside Hawaiʻi. HARA has instituted one new “international” category that will go into effect this year.)

One has to wonder about The Recording Academyʻs structure that places Hawaiian music in direct competition with polka, Cajun, Zydeco, and funk-jazz brass band musics, AND mainstream pop music.

Personally, I marvel at the fact that Hawaiian music has not disappeared entirely off the Grammy radar, even without a dedicated category. Naysayers will certainly trumpet up assertions that the Grammy nominations and awards are about popularity, marketing, and networking. Such charges are ill-informed and even disrespectful of many voting members in the Recording Academy, whose votes do represent the assessment of artistic and technical merit by professional peers in the music industry.

Disclaimer:  I am a voting member of both the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (“The Recording Academy”), and the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts (“HARA”). My eligibility for membership is based on production, co-production, and liner notes credits for eight recordings on three different record labels.)


Hawaiian Music for Listening Pleasure

PostHeaderIcon Hawaiian Music Submissions to the Grammy Awards for 2011

In a sweeping restructuring of categories announced back in April 2011, The Recording Academy will no longer recognize Hawaiian music with its own category. Rather, Hawaiian music is incorporated into a new and broader category named “Best Regional Roots Music” within the “American Roots Music Field.”

The call for submission of eligible products is issued mid-summer, and all recordings whose eligibility is verified by The Recording Academy go onto a Preliminary Ballot. The top 5 vote-getters within each category are designated “GRAMMY Nominees.” A second voting period takes place, out of which the winners are announced at the February awards program.

The results of the preliminary voting will be announced this week. For those curious, there were 55 albums in the “Best Regional Roots Music” category. The following 13 were the Hawaiian music albums included on the preliminary ballot:

  1. Ahumanu, No Ku‘uipo
  2. Kawika Alfiche, Kale‘a
  3. Robert Cazimero, Hula
  4. Hi‘ikua, Aia i Hi‘ialo
  5. Kuana Torres Kahele, Kaunaloa 
  6. George Kahumoku, Jr., Wao Akua — The Forest of the Gods
  7. John Keawe, Play With Me Papa
  8. Mailani, ‘Aina”   [e kala mai the absence of kahakō over the capital "A"]
  9. Kenneth Makuakane, Kawaipono
  10. Doug & Sandy McMaster, In My Heart
  11. Various Artists, A Tribute to Nā Lani ‘Ehā
  12. Various Artists, Nā Haku Mele o Hawai‘i 
  13. Various Artists, Wahine

Collectively this is a strong set of products. There is a mixture here of CDs that focus on new versions of old songs, as well as CDs that introduce newly-written material. Three CDs have prominent kī hō‘alu slack key content. All vocal CDs contain predominantly Hawaiian-language songs. Happily the 13 submissions span four islands–Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui and O‘ahu–as well as San Francsisco. E ō!


Hawaiian Music for Listening Pleasure

PostHeaderIcon Hawaiian “Live” Music Calendar – November 2011

HAWAIIAN MUSIC CALENDAR October 2011
MONDAY
• The St. Regis Hotel in Princeville features Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6-9 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei presents Michael Keale from 7-9 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Makepa from 7-10 PM
• Darryl Gonzales is appearing at The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu from 6-8 PM
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents `Elua from 7-9
• Trees Lounge at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa features Ho`aka during Happy Hour from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• The Lemongrass Bar and Grill in Kapaa features Ivo Monroe Miller from 6-9 PM

TUES
• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond with her keiki hula show from 6-8PM.
• The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea features Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei presents Kanak Atttack with Darryl Gonzales & Koko Kaneali`i from 6-9 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Makepa from 7-10 PM
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village features Michelle & Lance from 7-9 PM
• The Casablanca Restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation Resort in Po`ipu features Mike Young from 7:00-9:00 PM

WED
• Aunty Bev Muraoka offers a free Hula Show at 12:15 at the Harbor Mall on Rice Street in Nawiliwili
• There is also a free Hula show featuring Leilani Rivera Bond & Halua Hula O Leilani, center stage at 5PM, at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Jonah Cummings from 7-10 PMl
• The Hukilau Lanai at the Kaua`i Coast resort in Kapaa presents Michael Keale from 6:30-8:30 PM
• Cafe Portofino in Nawiliwili presents Larry Rivera & daughter Luraline from 7:30-9:30 PM
• The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea features Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• The Casablanca Restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation Resort in Po`ipu features Mike Young from 7:00-9:00 PM
• The Seaview Terrrace at the Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu presents Darryl Gonzales from 6-8PM
• Stevenson’s Library at the Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu presents Aloha Breeze from 8-11PM
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village features Chico & Darren at 6:30
• Joe’s On The Green, at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features Kirby Keough from 4:30 -6:30

THURSDAY
• Joe’s On The Green at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features KK Kauilani from 4:30 -6:30 PM
• The Waimea Plantation Cottages in Waimea presents “the Kama`aina’s” from 7-9PM
• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond from 6-8PM.
• Keoki’s Paradise the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents Keamoku at 6:30 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Jonah Cummings from 7-10 PM
• The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea features Pancho Graham from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei presents Kanak Attack with Darryl Gonzales, Garrett Santos and Koko Kaneali`i from 6-9
• Trees Lounge at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa presents Haunani Kaui and Friends from 6:30-9:30 PM

FRIDAY
• The Hanapepe Café presents Cindy Combs from 6-9PM in Hanapepe Town
• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond from 6-8PM.
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents Po`ipu at 6:30 PM
• A traditional Hawaiian slack key & ukulele music concert featuring Doug & Sandy Mc Master is at the Hanalei Community Center at 4 PM
• The Pono Kane Trio with Steve Landis, Bruce Lumsden & David Helder are featured at the Tahiti Nui in Hanalei during Happy Hour from 4-6 PM followed by Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6:30-9 PM
• Calypso in Hanalei presents Windjammer (Chad Pa, Del Seeger & Koko Kaneali`i)6-9 PM
• The Tiki Room at the Harbor Mall in Nawiliwili features Ho`aka from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• Sean Carillo is at Sushi Bushido in Kapa`a from 7-9 PM
• The Hukilau Lanai at the Kaua`i Coast resort in Kapaa presents Dennis Chun from 6:30-8:30 PM
• Darryl Gonzales is at Shutter’s Lounge at The Kaua`i Beach Resort from 7-10 PM

SATURDAY
•There is a free Hula show, featuring Leilani Rivera Bond & Halua Hula O Leilani, center stage at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa at 1PM
• A traditional Hawaiian slack key & ukulele music concert featuring Doug & Sandy Mc Master is at the Children Of The Land Center at Safeway Shopping Center near the Clock Tower from 5-7 PM
• The Hukilau Lanai at the Kaua`i Coast resort in Kapaa presents Wally & Polei Palmeira from 6:30-8:30 PM
• Darryl Gonzales is at Sushi Bushido in Kapa`a from 7-9 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei features Milani Bileyu from 6:30-8:30 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Jonah Cummings from 7-10 PM
• The Lemongrass Bar and Grill in Kapaa features Ivo Monroe Miller from 6-9 PM
• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond with her keiki hula show from 6-8PM.
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents Moku & Lenny at 6:30 PM

SUNDAY
• Roy’s Tavern On The Green, at the Prince Golf Course in Princeville, features Pancho Graham from 5:00 – 8:00 PM
• The Hanalei Gourmet in Hanalei presents The Mango Brothers from 6-9 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei features Milani Bileyu from 6:30-8:30 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Darryl Gonzales from 7-10 PM
• Stevenson’s Library at the Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu presents Aloha Breeze from 8-11PM
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Center presents Nick Castillo from 7-9PM
• A traditional Hawaiian slack key & ukulele music concert featuring Doug & Sandy Mc Master is at the Hanalei Community Center at 3 PM
• Joe’s On The Green at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features Kauilani Kahalekai & Kalani Kaimina`aoao from 4:30 -6:30
• The Casablanca’s Restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation Resort in Po`ipu presents Mike Young from 7-9 PM
• The Lemongrass Bar and Grill in Kapaa features Ivo Monroe Miller from 6-9 PM

MAHALO NUI LOA, Have a Great Hawaiian Day!

Hawaiian Music Calendar

PostHeaderIcon October 2011 Hawaiian Music Calendar

HAWAIIAN MUSIC CALENDAR October 2011
MONDAY
• The St. Regis Hotel in Princeville features Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6-9 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei presents Mike Keale from 7-9 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Makepa from 7-10 PM
• Darryl Gonzales is appearing at The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu from 6-8 PM
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents `Elua from 7-9
• Trees Lounge at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa features Ho`aka during Happy Hour from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• The Lemongrass Bar and Grill in Kapaa features Ivo Monroe Miller from 6-9 PM

TUES
• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond with her keiki hula show from 6-8PM.
• The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea features Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei presents Kanak Atttack with Darryl Gonzales & Koko Kaneali`i from 6-9 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Makepa from 7-10 PM
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village features Michelle & Lance from 7-9 PM
• The Casablanca Restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation Resort in Po`ipu features Mike Young from 7:00-9:00 PM

WED
• Aunty Bev Muraoka offers a free Hula Show at 12:15 at the Harbor Mall on Rice Street in Nawiliwili
• There is also a free Hula show featuring Leilani Rivera Bond & Halua Hula O Leilani, center stage at 5PM, at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Jonah Cummings from 7-10 PM
• Cafe Portofino in Nawiliwili presents Larry Rivera & daughter Luraline from 7:30-9:30 PM
• The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea features Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• The Casablanca Restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation Resort in Po`ipu features Mike Young from 7:00-9:00 PM
• The Seaview Terrrace at the Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu presents Darryl Gonzales from 6-8PM
• Stevenson’s Library at the Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu presents Aloha Breeze from 8-11PM
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village features Chico & Darren at 6:30
• Joe’s On The Green, at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features Kirby Keough from 4:30 -6:30

THURSDAY
• Joe’s On The Green at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features KK Kauilani from 4:30 -6:30 PM
• The Waimea Plantation Cottages in Waimea presents “the Kama`aina’s” from 7-9PM
• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond from 6-8PM.
• Keoki’s Paradise the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents Keamoku at 6:30 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Jonah Cummings from 7-10 PM
• The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea features Pancho Graham from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei presents Kanak Attack with Darryl Gonzales, Garrett Santos and Koko Kaneali`i from 6-9
• Trees Lounge at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa presents Haunani Kaui and Friends from 6:30-9:30 PM

FRIDAY
• The Hanapepe Café presents Cindy Combs from 6-9PM in Hanapepe Town
• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond from 6-8PM.
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents Po`ipu at 6:30 PM
• A traditional Hawaiian slack key & ukulele music concert featuring Doug & Sandy Mc Master is at the Hanalei Community Center at 4 PM
• The Pono Kane Trio with Steve Landis, Bruce Lumsden & David Helder are featured at the Tahiti Nui in Hanalei during Happy Hour from 4-6 PM followed by Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6:30-9 PM
• Calypso in Hanalei presents Windjammer (Chad Pa, Del Seeger & Koko Kaneali`i)6-9 PM
• The Tiki Room at the Harbor Mall in Nawiliwili features Ho`aka from 6:30 – 8:30 PM
• Sean Carillo is at Sushi Bushido in Kapa`a from 7-9 PM
• The Hukilau Lanai at the Kaua`i Coast resort in Kapaa presents Dennis Chun from 6:30-8:30 PM
• Darryl Gonzales is at Shutter’s Lounge at The Kaua`i Beach Resort from 7-10 PM

SATURDAY
•There is a free Hula show, featuring Leilani Rivera Bond & Halua Hula O Leilani, center stage at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa at 1PM
• A traditional Hawaiian slack key & ukulele music concert featuring Doug & Sandy Mc Master is at the Children Of The Land Center at Safeway Shopping Center near the Clock Tower from 5-7 PM
• The Hukilau Lanai at the Kaua`i Coast resort in Kapaa presents Wally & Polei Palmeira from 6:30-8:30 PM
• Darryl Gonzales is at Sushi Bushido in Kapa`a from 7-9 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei features Milani Bileyu from 6:30-8:30 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Jonah Cummings from 7-10 PM
• The Lemongrass Bar and Grill in Kapaa features Ivo Monroe Miller from 6-9 PM
• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond with her keiki hula show from 6-8PM.
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents Moku & Lenny at 6:30 PM

SUNDAY
• Roy’s Tavern On The Green, at the Prince Golf Course in Princeville, features Pancho Graham from 5:00 – 8:00 PM
• The Hanalei Gourmet in Hanalei presents The Mango Brothers from 6-9 PM
• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei features Milani Bileyu from 6:30-8:30 PM
• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Darryl Gonzales from 7-10 PM
• Stevenson’s Library at the Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu presents Aloha Breeze from 8-11PM
• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Center presents Nick Castillo from 7-9PM
• A traditional Hawaiian slack key & ukulele music concert featuring Doug & Sandy Mc Master is at the Hanalei Community Center at 3 PM
• Joe’s On The Green at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features Kauilani Kahalekai & Kalani Kaimina`aoao from 4:30 -6:30
• The Casablanca’s Restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation Resort in Po`ipu presents Mike Young from 7-9 PM
• The Lemongrass Bar and Grill in Kapaa features Ivo Monroe Miller from 6-9 PM

MAHALO NUI LOA, Have a Great Hawaiian Day!

Hawaiian Music Calendar

PostHeaderIcon Budget LP Purgatory — This is Hawaiian music ??

Aloha dear readers!!

Itʻs been nearly a month since my last post. You must have surmised by now that I am back in Michigan, having completed an eventful year as a visiting prof at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. My silence here can also be blamed on getting through the first two weeks of a new semester at University of Michigan. Go Blue.

When I returned to Michigan in midsummer, I immersed myself in digitizing my LPs so that I could actually consult and study the music being produced, especially in the 1950s and 1960s. And goodness, have I ever learned so so so very much. Many of my presumptions were blown out of the water. Many!! Like, uku paila !!

Aug 19, 2011. Purple & pink stickies are whatʻs left to digitize. But I had already reduced the purples significantly by then.

As I worked through my LP collection, of course I began with the LPs that were part of my soundscape growing up that have not appeared on CD reissues. And guess what I avoided like the plague? Those cheesy budget LPs. I knew it was something I needed to face, but . . . I thought, “ugh.” When I could finally avoid them no longer, I figured might as well bite the bullet.

What a humbling and eye-opening experience I had no idea I was in for. The biggest lesson, which I learned long ago as a student, came back to me full force:  There is absolutely no substitution for actually engaging with the material–also known as getting oneʻs hands dirty, or getting dirt under the fingernails. Handling the physical objects, examining the jackets front & back for little telltale signs that make “connecting-the-dots” exercises possible, like which budget labels are divisions of major labels, and which budget labels are proliferating a very small set of tracks under different titles. Finding LPs whose track lists on the disc label do not match the track lists on the jackets.

The biggest find for me came in having to listen to each and every LP as they were being digitized. [Putting the track markers in on the fly is much easier than trying to find them out of one 20-minute track. Surface noise on the LPs pretty much guarantees that automatic tracking features in software will not work correctly 99% of the time.]

Because this is what I discovered: quite a few budget LPs contain the work of first-rate musicians who ARE seasoned professional Hawaiian players, but who are being marketed under pseudonymns like “National Hawaiian Orchestra” or “Harry Hoomele and His Hawaiians.”

Make no mistake, there is a lot of gawdawful rubbish in the lot of what has been marketed in the past as “Hawaiian music.” But there are also lots of gems and the work of revered Hawaiian musicians going unacknowledged. And we would be depriving ourselves of a valuable opportunity to refine our understanding of a much-maligned period of Hawaiian music production if we simply dismiss all budget LPs as garbage.

Sept 17, 2011. Only 17 pink stickies left !!!!

© 2011 Amy Ku‘uleialoha Stillman


Hawaiian Music for Listening Pleasure

PostHeaderIcon Hawaiian Music Calendar – September 2011

HAWAIIAN MUSIC CALENDAR JULY 2011

MONDAY

• The St. Regis Hotel in Princeville features Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6-9 PM

• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei presents Mike Keale from 7-9 PM

• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Makepa from 7-10 PM

• Darryl Gonzales is appearing at The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu from 6-8 PM

• There is a free Hula show featuring Leilani Rivera Bond & Halua Hula O Leilani, center stage at 5PM, at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa

• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents `Elua from 7-9

• Trees Lounge at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa features Ho`aka during Happy Hour from 6:30 – 8:30 PM

• The Lemongrass Bar and Grill in Kapaa features Ivo Monroe Miller from 6-9 PM

TUES

• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond with her keiki hula show from 6-8PM.

• The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea features Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6:30 – 8:30 PM

• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei presents Kanak Atttack with Darryl Gonzales & Koko Kaneali`i from 6-9 PM

• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Makepa from 7-10 PM

• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village features Michelle & Lance from 7-9 PM

• The Casablanca Restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation Resort in Po`ipu features Mike Young from 7:00-9:00 PM

WED

• Aunty Bev Muraoka offers a free Hula Show at 12:15 at the Harbor Mall on Rice Street in Nawiliwili

• There is also a free Hula show featuring Leilani Rivera Bond & Halua Hula O Leilani, center stage at 5PM, at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa

• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Jonah Cummings from 7-10 PM

• Cafe Portofino in Nawiliwili presents Larry Rivera & daughter Luraline from 7:30-9:30 PM

• The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea features Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6:30 – 8:30 PM

• The Casablanca Restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation Resort in Po`ipu features Mike Young from 7:00-9:00 PM

• The Seaview Terrrace at the Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu presents Darryl Gonzales from 6-8PM

• Stevenson’s Library at the Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu presents Aloha Breeze from 8-11PM

• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village features Chico & Darren at 6:30

• Joe’s On The Green, at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features Kirby Keough from 4:30 -6:30

• Honeygirl Ho`omanawanui is at the Princeville Shopping Center, back food courtyard 6-8

THURSDAY

• Joe’s On The Green at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features KK Kauilani from 4:30 -6:30 PM

• The Waimea Plantation Cottages in Waimea presents “the Kama`aina’s” from 7-9PM

• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond from 6-8PM.

• Keoki’s Paradise the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents Keamoku at 6:30 PM

• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Jonah Cummings from 7-10 PM

• The Lighthouse Bistro in Kilauea features Pancho Graham from 6:30 – 8:30 PM

• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei presents Kanak Attack with Darryl Gonzales, Garrett Santos and Koko Kaneali`i from 6-9

• Trees Lounge at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa presents Haunani Kaui and Friends from 6:30-9:30 PM

FRIDAY

• The Hanapepe Café presents Cindy Combs from 6-9PM in Hanapepe Town

• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond from 6-8PM.

• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents Po`ipu at 6:30 PM

• A traditional Hawaiian slack key & ukulele music concert featuring Doug & Sandy Mc Master is at the Hanalei Community Center at 4 PM

• The Pono Kane Trio with Steve Landis, Bruce Lumsden & David Helder are featured at the Tahiti Nui in Hanalei during Happy Hour from 4-6 PM followed by Keli`i Kaneali`i from 6:30-9 PM

• Calypso in Hanalei presents Windjammer (Chad Pa, Del Seeger & Koko Kaneali`i)

• There is also a free Hula show featuring Larry Rivera & Halua Hula `O Leilani, center stage at 5PM, at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa

• The Tiki Room at the Harbor Mall in Nawiliwili features Ho`aka from 6:30 – 8:30 PM

• Sean Carillo is at Sushi Bushido in Kapa`a from 7-9 PM

• The Hukilau Lanai at the Kaua`i Coast resort in Kapaa presents Dennis Chun from 6:30-8:30 PM

• Darryl Gonzales is at Shutter’s Lounge at The Kaua`i Beach Resort from 7-10 PM

SATURDAY

•There is a free Hula show, featuring Leilani Rivera Bond & Halua Hula O Leilani, center stage at the Coconut Marketplace Shopping Center in Kapaa at 1PM

• The Hukilau Lanai at the Kaua`i Coast resort in Kapaa presents Wally & Polei Palmeira from 6:30-8:30 PM

• Darryl Gonzales is at Sushi Bushido in Kapa`a from 7-9 PM

• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei features Milani Bileyu from 6:30-8:30 PM

• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Jonah Cummings from 7-10 PM

• The Lemongrass Bar and Grill in Kapaa features Ivo Monroe Miller from 6-9 PM

• The Seaview Terrace at The Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu features Leilani Rivera Bond with her keiki hula show from 6-8PM.

• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Village presents Moku & Lenny at 6:30 PM

SUNDAY

• Roy’s Tavern On The Green, at the Prince Golf Course in Princeville, features Pancho Graham from 5:00 – 8:00 PM

• The Hanalei Gourmet in Hanalei presents The Mango Brothers from 6-9 PM

• The Tahiti Nui in Hanalei features Milani Bileyu from 6:30-8:30 PM

• Shutter’s Lounge at the Kaua`i Beach Resort presents Darryl Gonzales from 7-10 PM

• Stevenson’s Library at the Grand Hyatt in Po`ipu presents Aloha Breeze from 8-11PM

• Keoki’s Paradise in the Po`ipu Shopping Center presents Nick Castillo from 7-9PM

• A traditional Hawaiian slack key & ukulele music concert featuring Doug & Sandy Mc Master is at the Hanalei Community Center at 3 PM

• Joe’s On The Green at the Kiahuna Golf Course Restaurant & Clubhouse features Kauilani Kahalekai & Kalani Kaimina`aoao from 4:30 -6:30

• The Casablanca’s Restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation Resort in Po`ipu presents Mike Young from 7-9 PM

• The Lemongrass Bar and Grill in Kapaa features Ivo Monroe Miller from 6-9 PM

MAHALO NUI LOA, Have a Great Hawaiian Day!

Hawaiian Music Calendar

PostHeaderIcon Classical Hawaiian Music by Emma Veary –The Music of Polynesia LPs & CD

Emma Vearyʻs LP recordings from the 1960s and early 1970s were produced by Jack de Mello on his Music of Polynesia label. DeMello had already been arranging and recording Hawaiian songs with full symphonic orchestra. Adding Emma Vearyʻs classically trained bel canto voice completed the sound of taking Hawaiian songs into the sonic world of classical music. DeMelloʻs liner notes clearly convey his esteem for Vearyʻs artistry:

[from volume 1]  Emmaʻs lyrical images are musical windows through which we see the heart and soul of our beloved Islands in the Pacific

[from volume 2] . . . She fuses notes and words into an emotional translation of the true meaning of Aloha . . . .

[and from the "Best of" LP]  Emma remains Emma. A consummate artist whatever the song.

The discography of Emma Vearyʻs recordings on the Music of Polynesia label is fairly straightforward. There were four LPs, and a culminating “Best of” LP issued by the end of the 1970s. Fast forward to the CD era, and in 1996 the Mountain Apple Company (successor to the Music of Polynesia label) released one collection of 25 tracks, all drawn from the LPs. (FYI, the Mountain Apple Company label is son Jon de Melloʻs successor to father Jack de Melloʻs Music of Polynesia label.)

The CD issued in 1996 draws on 4 LPs produced in the 1970s. How do the contents of the CD relate to the contents published on the original LPs? Here are the contents of the 1996 CD:

Mountain Apple MACD-2034, p1996

  1. The Hawaiian Wedding Song  (LP2)
  2. Kamehameha Waltz  (LP1)
  3. Waikiki  (LP2)
  4. Iʻll Weave A Lei Of Stars For You  (LP2)
  5. Here In This Enchanted Place  (LP2)
  6. The Wonderful World of Aloha  (LP2)
  7. Tutu  (LP3)
  8. Ku‘u Pua i Paoakalani  (LP3)
  9. Song of the Sea (LP1)
  10. Akahi Ho‘i  (LP1)
  11. Song for Ka‘iulani  (LP1)
  12. Nani Wale Lihu‘e  (LP3)
  13. Ku‘u Ipo I Ka He‘e Pu‘e One  (LP3)
  14. Ka Wai ‘Apo Lani  (LP3)
  15. Wai‘alae  (LP3)
  16. Pride of Waiehu  (LP3)
  17. The Queenʻs Prayer  (LP1)
  18. Ma Lana‘i Anu Ka Makani  (LP1)
  19. Moloka‘i Nui A Hina  (LP1)
  20. Liliko‘i  (LP3)
  21. Song Of Happiness (Kokoni Sachiari)  (LP2)
  22. Song of the Flower Drum  (LP2)
  23. Chamarita (Portugese Folk Song)  (LP2)
  24. Arirang (Korean Folk Song)  (LP2)
  25. Iʻll Remember You  (LP2)

The LPs

† Song from an LP appears on the “Best of” LP

* Song from an LP appears on the 1996 CD

Emma–My Heart Belongs to Hawaii (Music of Polyesia MOP 16000)

  1. My Heart Belongs to Hawaii
  2. Molokai Nui A Hina  *
  3. Mai Poina Oe Iau  
  4. Song for Kaiulani  † *
  5. Akahi Hoi  *
  6. Kamehameha Waltz  † *
  7. Ua Like No A Like
  8. Song of the Sea (Ka Huna Kai)  *
  9. Ma Lanai Anu Ka Makani  *
  10. The Queenʻs Prayer  † *

Emma Volume II–Here in this Enchanted Place Music of Polynesia MOP 18000)

  1. Here in this Enchanted Place  † *
  2. Iʻll Weave a Lei of Stars for You  *
  3. Iʻll Remember You  *
  4. The Wonderful World of Aloha  *
  5. Hawaiian Wedding Song  † *
  6. Waikiki  † *
  7. Arirang (Mountain of Happiness)  *
  8. Chamarita  *
  9. Song of Happiness (Kokoni Sachiari)  *
  10. Song of the Flower Drum  *

[from DeMelloʻs liner notes] . . . with the same mastery of interpretation she explores the many treasures within the music of our ethnic groups. As Emma paints these musical portraits you will find a depth of understanding of Hawaii you may never have realized before, for this is how Hawaii sounds . . . its warm humanity . . . its total loveliness.

Emma Volume III–This is Hawaii (Music of Polynesia MOP 21000)

  1. Tutu  *
  2. Paoakalani  † *
  3. Nani Wale Lihue  † *
  4. Kuu Ipo I Ka Hee Pue One  *
  5. Ka Wai Apo Lani  *
  6. Waialae  *
  7. Pipili Ka Ua I Ka Nahele / Ka Wai Mapuna
  8. He Inoa No Kapili Likelike †
  9. Lilikoi  *
  10. Pride of Waiehu  *

[from DeMelloʻs liner notes]: The decision to select music of this period (the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th) was prompted by my awareness that Emmaʻs gift of interpretation and her affinity for the songs of this period would add a richness and a new dimension to this important musical period of our Islands. I have called the album “This is Hawaii” . . . for Emma is Hawaii. Her richly modulated voice creates vivid musical images that exhibit her love for Hawaii, her people and her Island heritage.

Emma Volume IV: Moments of Hawaiian Musical Magic (Music of Polynesia MOP-34000, n.d.)

  1. Sands of Waikiki  †
  2. I Want to Learn to Speak Hawaiian  †
  3. Naughty Hula Eyes  †
  4. In a Canoe
  5. Only Ashes Remain
  6. This is Hawaii
  7. White Ginger Blossoms
  8. Hula Town
  9. Sweet Someone  †
  10. Show Me How to Do the Hula
  11. Itʻs Just An Old Hawaiian Custom

[from DeMelloʻs liner notes]: The musical setting for Emma, in this album, differs from our previous albums which placed Emma in a large orchestral environment. This album is more personal and is structured with the total emphasis on Emmaʻs deep understanding of the music of the period and her islands. . . .

The foundation of the orchestra is acoustic rhythm guitars of various kinds. As musical coloring devices, I used 2 vibraphones, 2 sets of orchestra bells, 2 celestes and an occasional ipu. This combination of instruments creates a highly stylized orchestral setting that remains true to the original intent of the composers, yet, produces a myriad of warm sounds that fuse with Emmaʻs vibrant voice.

[The Best of] Emma–These are a Few of My Favorite Things (Music of Polynesia MOP 5000)

  1. Here in This Enchanted Place  (LP2) *
  2. Hawaiian Wedding Song  (LP2) *
  3. Waikiki  (LP2) *
  4. Sands of Waikiki  (LP4)
  5. Naughty Hula Eyes  (LP4)
  6. Sweet Someone  (LP4)
  7. Song for Kaiulani  (LP1) *
  8. Kamehameha Waltz  (LP1) *
  9. The Queenʻs Prayer  (LP1) *
  10. Paoakalani  (LP3) *
  11. Nani Wale Lihue  (LP3) *
  12. He Inoa No Kapili Likelike  (LP3)

Some food for thought:  Tracking which songs from the LPs did not make it onto either or both the “Best of” LP and “Best of” CD is a fascinating exercise. While only 3 songs from Volume II made it onto the “Best of” LP, the entire Volume II contents made it onto the CD. And while 3 songs from Volume IV made it onto the “Best of” LP, none made it onto the CD!

Among the songs reissued on the CD, those from Volume III are worth noting. Two in particular, “Lilikoi” and “Pride of Waiehu” are songs by Liliʻuokalani that are not well known at all; in fact, Jack De Mello is the only musician/producer to have brought these songs out of the queenʻs songbook in the State Archives.

And finally, De Melloʻs comment on “Wai‘alae” (on the LP jacket) point out why Emmaʻs voice complements the scale of the orchestral arrangements:

Emmaʻs understanding of this “grand form” of music creates a perfect blend of words, music and artist. The instrumental setting for Emma is a concert band in the tradition of the Royal Hawaiian Band, for it was within this musical framework that the song was first introduced in 1902.


Hawaiian Music for Listening Pleasure

PostHeaderIcon Hawaiian Music in my May Day soundscape

I began drafting this post while sitting at Starbucks on Lewers early this morning. Hip Hop was coming out of the outdoor speaker right above me. Trolleys were waiting at the trolley stop directly across Lewers with Hawaiian music wafting into the mix. Those gigantic tour buses go around the waiting trolley, and their engines drown out everything else temporarily. In the distance, church bells–from Ft. DeRussey, perhaps?

Soundscapes. A useful concept for thinking. How do we experience the world sonically? What soundscapes do we move through? What sounds designed and programmed by others envelope us? What sounds do we choose to put into our ears in order to block out other sounds? Or at least to listen to sounds that we choose for ourselves. 

The hunt for Hawaiian music in Honolulu takes work. No longer does it emanate 24/7 out of commercial broadcast radio. On Sundays, HPRʻs Derrick Malama hosts a show of Hawaiian music that starts at noon. On the street, in a car, aboard The Bus, whatever I choose to listen to requires me to gather the music onto whatever device will play it for me.

Wandering through Waikiki, Hawaiian music is something encountered largely by accident as I walk along the sidewalk. No live street performers, at least not during daylight hours. Larger complexes like Royal Hawaiian Center pipe Hawaiian music in public spaces, through the public address system. Hawaiian music is reduced to retail muzak, sonic wallpaper that is different in every store. Browsers may well not ever hear an entire song, if the browsing experience does not hold their attention.

I head over to The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, to attend the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame and Museumʻs annual “Lei of Stars” induction gala. The eventʻs music director, Ku‘uipo Kumukahi, has arranged for attendees to be greeted at the hotelʻs porte cochere by the sounds of the Jeff Teves Trio, playing acoustically, unplugged. We enter the hotel and amble down the corridor toward the fabled Monarch Room, where the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Serenaders welcome us to that space-playing acoustically, unplugged. We find our way to our tables, begin with the pū kani, an oli aloha, and we all sing “Ho‘onani i Ka Makua Mau” to bless the food. As we eat our lunch, we are serenaded by Kimo Alama Keaulana and Lei Hulu; they are joined by Jeff Au Hoy at the piano.

The program is a rich buffet of inductions and tribute performances. This yearʻs honorees are:  Ernest Ka‘ai, Andy Cummings, the Richard Kauhi Quartette, Keali‘i Reichel, and Patience Namaka Bacon. For each honoree, we are first treated to a multimedia presentation filled with fascinating historical and biographical detail. Then family members in attendance are called up onstage to accept proclamations. Finally, there is a musical tribute that showcase master musicians in action. Ku‘uipo Kumukahi sings Ernest Ka‘aiʻs songs “Across the Sea” and “Pu‘uwa‘awa‘a,” while granddaughter and kumu hula Ulalia Ka‘ai Berman dances. To honor Andy Cummings, chanteuse Marlene Sai performs “Waikiki” with lush piano accompaniment by Kenneth Makuakane, then as an encore they offer “Pikake.” The Richard Kauhi Quartette is feted by Senator Brickwood Galuteria and Kamuela Kimokeo doing “Le‘ahi,” with the youthful Alika Young channeling Kauhi on piano; then Kamuela’s father joining in on “My Yellow Ginger Lei.” Keali‘i Reichel is feted by — the man himself, fresh off the overall trophy from Merrie Monarch. His youth among an inductee class of performers whose lives span the 20th century is remarkable, but befitting his commitment to combine new Hawaiian-language mele composition, solid musical values, and hula. Finally, the program is rounded out with a tribute to Aunty Pat Namaka Bacon, who graces the stage. First, kumu hula Doreen Doo and a group of 5 dancers present “Poli‘ahu” and “Pua i lehua ka makani” in Aunty Patʻs gentle style. Then kumu hula O‘Brien Eselu premiered a newly-composed mele by Keola Donaghy and Kenneth Makuakane. Finally, O‘Brien Eselu rounded out the tribute with a heartfelt rendition, complete with audience participation, of “You Are So Beautiful.”

All of the music at the “Lei of Stars” event, from the welcome and lunch entertainment, to the tributes to the inductees, hearken back to days gone by when audiences were treated to live performance and the thrill of hearing master musicians in action. Yes there was occasional fishing for chords; yes there was occasional the singer going one way while the band went somewhere else. But that is a part of the thrill–of appreciating skill as well as artistry, of hearing artists “in the zone.” For listeners accustomed to hearing recordings, where each playing is an exact replication of the prior playing of a track, a live performance is a treat.

And so my May Day soundscape ran the gamut from the street busyness to the sublime beauty of the “Lei of Stars” induction festivities, from the disconnected moving through soundscapes over which I had no control, to the “Lei of Stars” program where Hawaiian music at its best was being honored and enacted. I am grateful for the privilege of taking in such a rich program. And my wish for the generations to come is that they, too, will have opportunities to experience such Hawaiian music in their soundscapes as well.

© 2011 Amy Ku‘uleialoha Stillman. All rights reserved.


Hawaiian Music for Listening Pleasure

PostHeaderIcon Streaming consciousness on critical commentary on Hawaiian music

Aloha Dear Readers!  I have so many unfinished drafts in progress and ideas for future posts here. There is so so so very much work to be done. And I am but one drop of ua into the kahawai.

Most importantly Iʻve yet to post Reflections on the second half of the ” … aia i ka wai …” Dialogues series. In addition to being swamped with end-of-semester grading, I am still processing that extraordinary experience. I am still thinking through how and where the videos for all programs can be posted online, so that the conversations can perhaps spark even more conversations. Hereʻs a wish-list item: a technical advisor who would just tell me “convert the file to this format, put this title screen at the start of the video, upload it to X website (efforts to connect with existing sources have not be answered), then advertise the link this way and that way.”

Looking forward: We are now in Mele Mei — a month-long celebration of Hawaiian music, spearheaded by the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) and numerous partners who are putting on fabulous concert events around Honolulu that culminate in the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Music Festival and awards ceremony at the end of May. We are also in Maoli Arts Month, a month-long celebration of the Native Hawaiian arts community, spearheaded by Vicky Holt Takamine‘s visionary PA‘I Foundation.

Thinking back — my year of teaching at University of Hawai‘i, in its Departments of American Studies and Music, is drawing to a close. Classes are pau. Final grading commences when final exercises are submitted next week. So much mana‘o has gone through this brain of mine — mostly about what has yet to be cultivated.

An important example:  we have precious little public critical commentary on Hawaiian music. LET ME EXPLAIN FIRST WHAT I MEAN VERY SPECIFICALLY BY “CRITICAL.”  So many people know AND practice being critical in the sense of “expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgments.” The disapproval and rancor have reached epic proportions of negativity. Just look at what happened after the GRAMMY Awards. Just look at what happened after Merrie Monarch is over.

HOWEVER, there is another sense of “critical” and here is how my computerʻs dictionary defines it:

expressing or involving an analysis of the merits and faults of a work of literature, music, or art . . .

(of a published literary or musical text) incorporating a detailed and scholarly analysis and commentary : a critical edition of a Bach sonata.

In this sense, critical commentary is not solely negative, it is not solely disapproving. Think for a moment of the mana‘o “if you canʻt say anything good, then donʻt say anything” or “if you canʻt say anything good, better to keep quiet.” What this does is open a space for either constructive commentary. What are a product’s merits? and how are the merits achieved? In this sense, a critic is a commentator who offers perspectives on how something is put together, how it works, and what is remarkable about it–in other words, a thoughtful analysis of the contents. And critical commentary offers the reader tools for that reader to come to his or her own conclusion about quality, success, achivement. Liking something–or not–is actually not relevant to trying to understand how that thing works, and how it coheres into something complete.  Constructive commentary — if something is a failure, what lessons can be learned about how not to fail the next time out?

Traditionally, we looked to newspaper and magazine reviewers for critical commentary. What we have not yet developed at all for Hawaiian music is informed critical commentary that is not limited by the ridiculous space constraints now exercised in newspapers and magazines.

The good news is that the internet has made available the means to post critical commentary, on blogs like this one. What we are still short on is informed analytical commentary that is informed and analytical; commentary that allows for growth and improvement instead of defaming; commentary that acknowledges the sacrifices that creators make to bring their visions to us.

Healthy commentary. Constructive commentary. Commentary that engages sincerely and critically with the contents. And I can honestly say that my years of scholarly work in the discipline of ethnomusicology has left me frustrated. For all the academic-speak of scholars, what has been done to empower communities to learn how to not beat up each other with negative criticism?

As I was cleaning out my backpack yesterday, I pulled out 3 or 4 back issues of Honolulu Weekly, and came upon Shantel Grace’s review of Mailani’s second CD, ‘Aina [kahakō over first A needed]. Its thoughtfulness struck me:

What stands out on this compilation of tracks is her interpretation of the material and the producers’s interpretation of her. Harmonies aren‘t screaming, Hawaiian songs are given a new twist of salt and lime, and the overall balance of song choices is strong. But where the album falls short is its attempt to conceptualize a new artistic voice while articulating what the ‘Aina is trying to say.

This comment has the seed of an analysis that is not possible in the 262-word length of the review. (!)  There are two things the reviewer names two things as crucial to evaluating this product: 1) the “attempt to conceptualize a new artistic voice” AND 2) “articulating what the ‘Aina is trying to say.” But in order for a reader to agree or disagree with the reviewer’s conclusion–”this album falls short” and “it’s hard to believe this is the very best of her,” this reader needs to understand how the reviewer got from Point A–the attempt to conceptualize a new voice, and Point B–this album fell short. Without walking the walk, and only talking the talk, a reader will come away with “this album fell short,” without benefit of knowing whether Mailani achieved some of her objectives (whatever they might have been, which we are not told) in some tracks but not others, or in some moves but not others. A critical analysis that could consider individual tracks might come up with the seeds of something constructive. A critical analysis that could explore the actual musical content might come up with the seeds of a lesson. A critical analysis might well avoid thowing the baby out with the bathwater. At the very least, a critical analysis would replace an apparently outright dismissal with at least an acknowledgment of the mana‘o and spirit that went into the making of ‘Aina. 

So hereʻs my bottom line: when our artists put their efforts out there for us, and their efforts are met with storms of negative criticism (especially from folks who wanted other outcomes instead), then how are we supporting our creative community to continue their work–or not?

© 2011 Amy Ku‘uleialoha Stillman. All rights reserved.


Hawaiian Music for Listening Pleasure