May Day is Lei Day in New York City

Thank you to the Church of the Intercession and N? Lehua Melemele for organizing this wonderful community event. There was hula dancing, lei making, kid activities, art, and more.

It was exciting to screen the film Sons of H?lawa followed by performances by Jason Poole and N? Lehua Melemele. I had the pleasure of playing a few songs for PUA ALI?I ?ILIMA (The Royal ‘Ilima Blossom) and Halau Na Pua Mai Ka Lani Nuioka before the film screening.

H?l?wai was a sponsor.

Keo Woolford

Keo Woolford Memorial at LaMaMa in New York City

I am so glad to have been a part of this special evening full of healing friendships and performances. Here is my intro at 11:26.

Robert Cazimero once said, “We all can be made better for daring to dance.” I was a student in Keo’s New York k?ne hula class albeit a remedial student who never graduated beyond basic hula movements. On the other hand, watching Keo dance brought joy – there was bravery, courage, self-belief, and beauty in his movements.

Tonight it is my honor to perform a favorite song of Keo’s and one of Hawaii’s most blessed and beloved songs Kanaka Waiwai.

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new jersey hawaiian music

New Jersey Comes to the Waikiki Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival

Yes. You. Can. The odds of finding Hawaiian music in New Jersey are pretty small. But last April, the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival came to New Jersey (Virginia and New York.) Defying even greater odds, New Jersey came to the 33rd annual Waikiki Style Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival held at the Kapi?olani Park Bandstand in Honolulu. I was lucky to be a part of both events.

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slack key guitar new york

Epilogue: Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival Warms East Coast Audiences

There is a mystique surrounding slack key guitar music – it is very personal, and can be very magical in feeling.
– Quote from Keola Beamer’s “A Brief History of Slack Key Guitar”

Three shows in three days, covering over 525 miles across 3 states, with 7 musicians. That was the East Coast swing of the 2015 Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, and I’ll forever be pinching myself that I was a part of it. As a rabid fan of the festival for over 15 years having attended the event on Oahu, Maui, and Kaua’i, I’ll be the first to tell you to go see the show if you have the opportunity. The format is a fun one-stop-shop where you can watch guitarist after guitarist share their passion for slack key guitar, each in a different and unique way. While I may have dreamed about having a slot on the roster, the realist in me knew that it would never happen. Well, chalk one up for the dreamers because it happened.

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