“Boston was a great city to grow up in, and it probably still is. We were surrounded by two very important elements: academia and the arts. I was surrounded by theater, music, dance, museums. And I learned how to sail on the Charles River. So I had a great childhood in Boston. It was wonderful.” -Leonard Nimoy

The annual Mayor’s Cup Regatta takes place in July each year on the Esplanade of the Charles River where Corporate and Philanthropic teams of eight, with at least one person living with a disability, compete in Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Races. Sounds cool, right?!?! I think so. We were honored play contemporary and traditional Hawaiian music as part of the on shore activities that included live music, luau and award ceremony.

It was great to receive positive feedback from the attendees and organizers, many of whom have a connection to Hawaii. But the greatest compliment of all was to have kids with disabilities standing two feet in front of us smiling, clapping and bouncing to the music while being held by their parents. I have a difficult time putting that into words. We play this music because the songs, poetry and Hawaiian culture touch our hearts, and eventually permeate our souls. It was magical to see these kids dancing based on the sounds coming out of our instruments.

Special thanks to my playing partner Claudia Goddard, AccesSportAmerica, the Boston dancers who generously came to share hula, and all the sponsors. With fine summer weather, it was a great day spent on the River Dock on the DCR’s Esplanade just over the Arthur Fielder Footbridge near the Hatch Shell.