It was so much fun to be invited to play music for Punahou alumni for their New York City gathering. Thank you for having me, Punahou School!
If you told me 5 years ago that I’d meet and play music on stage with Robert Cazimero, I’d have said that you’re crazy! I’ve seen him perform at Carnegie Hall and Hawaii Theater!
La MaMa Moves! dance festival (June 4-20, 2010) in New York City celebrated its fifth year and was dedicated to the 90th birthday year of Ellen Stewart, the founder and artistic director of La MaMa. One of this year’s highlights was the “Power of Hula”, featuring hula masters Vicky Holt Takamine and her son Jeffrey Kānekaiwilani Takamine with with members of the hālau Pua Aliʻi ʻIlima O Nuioka; hula master Robert Cazimero (who is also an award winning singer and songwriter, as well as a leading figure in the resurgence of Hawaiian music, dance, language and Hawaiian culture in general since the 70’s) and Keo Woolford; and New York-based hula group Nā Lehua Melemele under the direction of Lisette Kaualena Flanary. The Hawaiʻi, New York collaboration came about not only because of a shared dedication to and love for hula but was also connected by an esteemed hula lineage to the late hula master Maiki Aiu Lake.
“I cannot think of a bigger honor than to be invited to perform music at an event as personal as a couple’s wedding celebration.”
Weddings are extremely fun. For a musician, weddings generally include ceremony music (prelude – before the ceremony; processional – down the aisle, recessional – end of the ceremony), cocktail hour, and/or the reception. Clients often request a mix of instrumentals and vocals. Not only does Hawaiian music set an island mood, but the tradition includes many poetic love songs very well suited to wedding celebrations. The ukulele and Hawaiian music can provide a celebratory and romantic ambiance for any wedding. It is a privilege to be an ukulele player in New York!
Over the years, I have had the pleasure of meeting amazing brides and grooms as well as their family and friends. I enjoy seeing beautiful venues that I would otherwise never have seen from studio spaces in Manhattan to Long Island beaches. One recent wedding took place in North Salem, New York at the Hammond Museum. Tucked away in the woods is a hidden oasis, a Japanese Stroll Garden, that makes a unique backdrop for any event.
I just returned from Honolulu where I visited family, played music, attended to business, and went to Nā Hōkū O Hawaiʻi Music Festival and Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards. If you’re a fan of Hawaiian music, you’d have loved the last 72 hour music whirlwind that I just experienced.
What an amazing evening of Hawaiian music and dance at the Performing Arts Center at Sussex County Community College. Thank you to everyone who came to see us and the SCCC staff who treated us so well.
Multi-talented Bill Wynne, a Hula Records recording artist and winner of the Aloha Festivals Hawaiian Falsetto Singing Contest, and I each played a solo set before joining forces with the beautiful dancers of Polynesian Dance Productions.
The Performing Arts Center at SCCC has become the flagship theater in Northwest New Jersey presenting exceptional entertainment that engages, excites, provokes and inspires both artists and audiences. For more info visit: www.sussex.edu
You do not see your name in lights like this everyday!
“Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it.” – Danny Kaye
What an enormous honor to have been part of the HAPA shows in Fall River, MA and New York City. The New York Times called HAPA “the most successful Hawaiian music troupe in recent history.” What a trip to be a “special guest” with HAPA for two days!
What a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon (Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year!) It is a rare opportunity to have a Hawaiian slack key performance within 40 minutes of my house. It was very cool to participate in a local New Jersey “house concert” thanks to hosts Tim and Lori. If you’re near Wayne, NJ, check them out at www.cabinconcerts.com.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
I had the pleasure of playing music with Chris Masagatani (Kamehameha ’97) at the All Hawaii Alumni Connect brunch at the New York Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. There were five Hawaii schools in attendance. It was a fun day of socializing, school spirit, and a privilege to be invited to play music during brunch for the many island transplants here in New York.
The outnumbered Kamehameha grads (relative to Punahou) deemed me an honorary alumnus for the day. ‘Imi Na‘auao!