hula New Jersey

“Kani Ka Pila” Hawaiian Style in New Jersey

In Hawaiian, “kani ka pila” literally means “the instrument (makes a) sound” and has come to be used to describe a backyard jam session. Thanks to Mainstage Center for the Arts and the Township of Gloucester, “Kani Ka Pila” was a night of Hawaiian music and hula featured as part of the Sounds of Summer Concert Series in Veteran’s Park. It is a rare occasion to have two New Jersey residents headlining a Hawaiian music show in the Garden State. As it turns out, the evening ended up feeling like two separate shows. It was a 2 for 1, and the price was right – FREE!

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New York Hawaiian music

HAPA Brings Energetic Hawaiian Music Show to SubCulture (New York, NY)

“Love is you
You and me
Love is knowing
we can be”

– John Lennon, Love

This was my first time at SubCulture, an intimate venue in the East Village of New York City. I remain humbled and grateful that HAPA is willing to share their stage with me. The opportunity to share Hawaiian slack key guitar and Hawaiian music in New York City is a tremendous gift, but to have the opportunity granted to me by musicians that I look up to carries even greater weight. I seized the chance to play a song that Uncle Raymond Kane taught me Pua SadiniaWahine ‘Ilikea dedicated to the late Uncle Dennis Kamakahi, among others. My wife requested Honolulu City Lights which I forgot to play. Next time, I promise!

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Hula New York

Hawaiian Music and Hula at The Hawaiian Airlines Liberty Challenge Festival (New York)

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.

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A New York evening of Hawaiian slack key guitar with Stephen Inglis and friends

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.

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Hawaiian Music New York

Slack Key Opening Act for HAPA at the Highline Ballroom (New York, NY)

“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!

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Ukulele New York

New York screening of Ukulele Virtuoso “Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings”

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!

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