This evening, I had the privilege of participating in a wonderful program, a screening of Kumu Hina with a special musical performance by Hawaiian music stars Kealiʻi Reichel and Shawn Pimental, presented by The Ford Foundation and Philanthropy New York. It was a sold-out New York crowd.
“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 Sadinia, Wahine ‘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!
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!