The distance between Hawaii and New York is nearly 5,000 miles so “New York Hawaiian” may seem like an oxymoron. But it is possible to find aloha in the Big Apple if you know where to look. Just like in my doctored photo above, if you take a step back from the New York hustle and bustle, you can uncover some “local” surprises.
Over four thousand people attended the first Liberty Festival in 2013. Following that success, New York Outrigger, along with title sponsor Hawaiian Airlines, featured an expanded festival village during the competition where onlookers could interact with the participating crews, watch them launch their racing canoes and get a clear view of the race start and finish. We are very proud to represent Polynesian culture through Hawaiian music and hula in New York City.
It is great and rare occasion to have multiple Hawaiian slack key guitar players perform in New York. It’s even better to be a part of it. I was honored to join NY slack key guitarist Claudia Goddard as the opening act for Stephen Inglis’ New York City debut. Patrick Landeza and Chris Lau were surprise add ons to the bill too. After this show, Stephen, Patrick and Chris headed to the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival in Virginia. It was a wonderful evening, enjoyed by all.
As seen at Huffington Post Hawaii.
On the morning of Sept. 10, I enjoyed the great privilege of standing at the podium of NYSE Euronext as a participant in the opening bell ceremonies, marking the launch of the KraneShares CSI China Five-Year Plan ETF. It had been 21 years since I was a summer intern on the floor, and the scene below me was nearly unrecognizable. Today, the trading floor is littered with flat screens and handheld devices rather than buy/sell pads and torn trade tickets. The number of floor traders has been reduced dramatically, and CNBC’s broadcast stage sits in place of what I understand used to be “Post 9.” It was great to be back, and the history and excitement of standing there was not lost on me.
“Performing is an experience, for me, that is as humbling as it is energizing.” -Charley Pride
I am thankful for the return invitation to join HAPA as their opening act at New York Cityʻs Highline Ballroom. My family and friends, including clients, were able to come to the show! Glad for the opportunity to play Hawaiian slack key guitar in New York and try out some new songs too. Jake Shimabukuro has performed here in the past as well as marquee artists from Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Carlos Santana to Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Amy Winehouse. What an amazing experience for me to play solo and then be invited to join HAPA for their hana hou!
As an ukulele performer and Halawai board member, I was honored to be a panelist at the New York screening of Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings. Back in 2004, I was fortunate to see Jake at venues like the Knitting Factory and attend workshops that he taught in New York. Jake’s career has really taken off since the days when I was among a dozen people to turnout to see him perform at the Lion’s Den in Greenwich Village. Today, Jake sells out major venues and tours much of the year. Jake’s famous New York moment, of course, was the youtube video of him in Strawberry Fields playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” that went viral and launched his international stardom. The little ukulele definitely has history here in Manhattan!
“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.” Henry David Thoreau
The Asian American Arts Alliance (a4) is dedicated to strengthening Asian American artists and arts/cultural groups in New York City so it was with great pride that Marina and I performed at their 30th Anniversary Gala with honorees Deepak Chopra (author), Vishakha N. Desai (CEO of Asia Society), Fred Ho (Baritone Saxophonist), and Christine Toy Johnson (Actor, Playwright, Filmmaker.)