Hawaiian luau New Jersey

Hawaiian Music and Hula at Kona Brewing Mid-Atlantic launch (New Jersey)

Thank you to everyone at Craft Brew Alliance and Kona Brewing Co. Despite the cold wintry weather outside, the beer, Hawaiian music, and dancers of Aloha Hula NYC brought plenty of warmth to this special event in Jersey City. I enjoyed hearing the presentation by Kona Brewing president Mattson Davis, visiting from Kona’s brewery in Kailua-Kona. Kudos to the company for their efforts to promote an authentic Hawaiian experience. With a mix of traditional and Hawaiian music, plus the hula dancers, it felt like an event in Waikiki.

Read more →

Hula New York

Hula Moves at Ellen Stewart Theatre (New York)

I teach hula, but it’s not my job – hula is my life. – Vicky Holt Takamine

It was my privilege and pleasure to return for a second consecutive year as a musician performing for Kumu (Master Hula Teacher) Vicky Holt Takamine and her hālau (school) at La Mama Experimental Theatre. Kumu Vicky is well respected throughout the Hawaiian community for her cultural expertise and advocacy work on behalf of Hawaiians, cultural traditions, and the protection and preservation of the cultural and natural resources of Hawaiʻi.

Sharing the stage with such dedicated, skilled dancers was fun and an invaluable experience. Musically, the program included traditional Hawaiian songs, hapa haole, and contemporary. Mahalo to the audience who joined me in a sing-a-long of Fish & Poi. Thank you also to the Gracious Ladies of New York who danced beautifully. Congrats to the dancers on selling out the 200-seat theater and for a successful show!

Read more →

Hawaiian music New York

Ukulele performance at Housing Works “Facing Future” book event (New York)

Thank you to everyone who came out, author Dan Kois, moderator Nate Chinen, fellow musician Jason, the hula dancers, Housing Works, 33 1/3, and Hālāwai.

It was a successful and fun evening of book discussion, music and hula. What a privilege to be invited to perform Hawaiian music including the well known Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World medley made famous by Israel “Braddah IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole. I enjoyed seeing old friends (I’m so appreciative of how far some traveled – 2+ hours!) and meeting new friends afterwards.

Read more →

Hawaiian luau New York

Luau Night at Upper West Side Favorite “Good Enough To Eat” (New York)

We had a blast at Good Enough To Eat‘s “Wandering Wednesday itinerary.” It was a unique and special evening to have a Hawaii inspired menu with music and hula – a Hawaii dinner show in New York City! Thank you to Eleia for her beautiful dancing, family and friends who came out (especially those who got up and danced), and everyone at GETE. Great company, food, drink, and — Hawaiian music and dance. Hopefully, we can do it again in the future.

Read more →

Hawaiian music New York

The Power of Hula at Ellen Stewart Theatre (New York, NY)

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.

Read more →

Hawaiian music New Jersey

Hawaiian Music and Hula Show at SCCC Performing Arts Center in New Jersey

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!

Hawaiian music and hula show in New Jersey

Hawaiian music New York

Opening for the Mākaha Sons in Stratham, NH

“Well done, is twice done.” – Benjamin Franklin

What an honor to be a part of the Mākaha Sons show, the second time in three years. Returning to Stratham, NH was a unique and valued opportunity to experience the show from a performer’s perspective – going through sound check, watching the Sons do their thing, and just hanging out. As a “non-touring musician”, I personally learned so much on stage in front of a captive audience. It was a contrast to playing music during cocktail hour or playing back up to hula dancers. All are fun, but taking to the big stage holds great promise that I might pick up some gems from the Mākaha Sons’ 30+ years of performing experience.

Read more →