NĀ MELE: TRADITIONS IN HAWAIIAN SONG
Josh Tatofi

 

As a young child, Josh Tatofi thought he had an ordinary life. “I thought everyone’s dad was a rock star, and I thought everyone was playing music,” he says. His father, Tivaini Tatofi, was a founding member of local island music group Kapena. “I didn’t really know that my childhood was special until way later,” says the younger Tatofi.

 

Download the transcript of this program

 

NĀ MELE: Traditions in Hawaiian Song - Josh Tatofi and his bandmates Travis Kaka (left) and Laupepa Letuli (right)

NĀ MELE: Traditions in Hawaiian Song – Josh Tatofi and his bandmates Travis Kaka (left) and Laupepa Letuli (right)

 

Born in Honolulu, Tatofi grew up on Windward O‘ahu, in Kāne‘ohe, before moving with his family to Maui in his early teens. It was in Kāne‘ohe that Tatofi would have a breakthrough moment, when his friends of the Hawaiian music group Hū‘ewa invited him onstage at a bar to sing a Hawaiian-language song.

 

NĀ MELE: Traditions in Hawaiian Song - Josh Tatofi's performance includes a Hula performance

The program also features hula dancers from three different hālau: Hula Hālau ‘O Kamuela, Hālau Hi‘iakaināmakalehua and Hālau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniākea.

 

Read more about Josh Tatofi in our June program guide cover story here.

 

Josh Tatofi on NĀ MELE: Traditions in Hawaiian Music, Monday, June 24, 7:30 pm

 

More from Josh Tatofi:

 

Kaleohano, commentary

 

Kaleohano. Written by Louis Moon Kauakahi

 

Kāneʻohe

 

Kuʻu Leo Aloha

 

Kuʻu Pua Ilima

 

Lei Hala, featuring Hālau HiʻIakaināmakalehua

 

Leolani

 

Pua Kiele, featuring Hālau Hula Ka Lehua Tuahine

 

 

 

 

 

HIKI NŌ
#1016 – Return of the ʻAlalā

 

TOP STORY

 

“Return of the ʻAlalā”
Students from Kua O Ka Lā Miloliʻi Hipuʻu Virtual Academy Public Charter School on Hawaiʻi Island tell the story of efforts to save an almost extinct bird: the ʻalalā, or Hawaiian Crow, a native species endemic to the forests of Hawaiʻi Island. As of 2002, there were no ʻalalā left in the wild. Thanks to a program spearheaded by the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center in Volcano, ʻalalā were bred in captivity and released into the wild in 2016. The release was not successful and the birds did not survive. But since 2018, a new set of birds released by the center are demonstrating signs of survival and have even split into breeding pairs, a major milestone in the recovery of a lost species.

 

ALSO FEATURED

 

–Students from Aliamanu Middle School on Oʻahu follow administration and staff members at their school who have taken on the challenge of getting fit through walking.

 

–Students from Seabury Hall Middle School on Maui find out how some brand-new drivers are learning to take responsibility behind the wheel.

 

–Students from H.P. Baldwin High School on Maui tell the story of a high school track star who was inspired to excel by his father’s courage during a life-threatening illness.

 

–Students from Waiʻanae High School in West Oʻahu tell the story of young tattoo artist who is discovering his identity as a Hawaiian by “making his mark.”

 

Plus, a public service announcement from students at Saint Francis School on Oʻahu on the importance of eliminating plastic straws.

 

This episode of HIKI NŌ is hosted by students from Kalani High School in East Oʻahu.

 

 

 

INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAIʻI
High Cost of Prescription Drugs

 

Prices for prescription drugs are on the rise, adding to an overall increase in health-care costs, especially for seniors and others on fixed incomes. Who’s to blame for the rising costs – drug manufacturers, insurance companies or our nation’s health care system in general? What can consumers do about it? Join us for a discussion about the High Cost of Prescription Drugs on INSIGHTS ON PBS HAWAIʻI.

 

Phone Lines:
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Email:
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KĀKOU – Hawai‘i’s Town Hall
The Future of Work

Program

 

Will you be employable? Will your children?

Conversations about the future and the kind of world our children and their children will inherit from us include familiar concerns and well-defined subjects: The National Debt. Environmental Destruction. Climate Change. Sustainability. But there’s another conversation that needs to happen. Although the workplace has changed throughout the decades, none of us can fully grasp the kind of transformational change that lies ahead. How we work. Where we work. And the skills we need for work will change work – as we know it today – forever.

 
Preview opening clip: Growth Tribe

 

The FUTURE OF WORK is the topic for the next live KĀKOU – Hawai‘i’s Town Hall – Thursday, October 25 from 8:00 – 10:00 pm. Representatives from government, labor and the education and business communities will be joined by workers, parents and students for a community conversation about what is referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the impact it is creating on local economies and employment landscapes – including Hawai‘i’s. Are we preparing our children for a future where disruptive technology will transform the workplace and much of the way we live?

 

What will life in Hawai‘i be like 10, 20 and 30 years from now when technology is firmly embedded and in most cases dominating the workplace? Could this be a positive opportunity to diversify Hawai‘i’s economy and job landscape? How do we prepare future generations for WORK 4.0?

 

 


<< Return to the KĀKOU home page.

 

 

Aloha Oe,
Leahey & Leahey

Leahey & Leahey: Father: Jim, Son: Kanoa
After nine years on PBS Hawaii, the father-and-son sports talk show Leahey & Leahey has come to an end.

 

At their in-studio kitchen table, Jim and Kanoa Leahey welcomed sports heroes, insiders and policy makers from Hawaii and around the world.

 

“It’s been a wonderful run at PBS Hawaii, but it is time to move on,” Kanoa Leahey said. “I couldn’t ever fully express my appreciation for the support we received from PBS Hawaii management, as well as the viewers the last nine years. I will thoroughly miss working with the crew and staff.”

 

“PBS Hawaii gave us the shot to do something unique,” Jim Leahey said. “It served as a perfect platform of expression and thought. We thank Leslie Wilcox and the rest of the PBS Hawaii staff for affording us the opportunity to engage in what we referred to as a generationally challenged discussion of sports and other living things. But as with all living things, change and transition are inevitable. Mahalo to all who made the last nine years so special for us.”

 

“Nine years is remarkable staying power in weekly television, and we congratulate Jim and Kanoa on the show’s originality, authenticity and success,” said PBS Hawaii President and CEO Leslie Wilcox. “We understand and support Kanoa’s need for more flexibility in his career horizons with ESPN. Much aloha to both Leaheys in their future endeavors.”

 

Leahey & Leahey premiered on PBS Hawaii in July 2006. Past episodes can be viewed for a limited time, here on our site.

 

Download Our Program Guide

PBS HAWAI‘I: Home is Here

The June 2019 Program Guide

Josh Tatofi on NĀ MELE: TRADITIONS IN HAWAIIAN SONG
The PBS Hawaiʻi June 2019 Program GuideDownload the The PBS Hawaiʻi June 2019 Program Guide (PDF).

Download the June Primetime Schedule (PDF).

 

Read more about Josh Tatofi in our June program guide cover story here.

 

The May 2019 Program Guide

Pacific Heartbeat’s new season
The PBS Hawaiʻi May 2019 Program GuideDownload the The PBS Hawaiʻi May 2019 Program Guide (PDF).

Download the May Primetime Schedule (PDF).




 

 

 

Josh Tatofi
Grammy-Nominated Musical Artist

NĀ MELE: Traditions in Hawaiian Song - Josh Tatofi, Monday, June 24, 7:30 pm

BY LIBERTY PERALTA , PBS HAWAI‘I

 

As a young child, Josh Tatofi thought he had an ordinary life.

 

“I thought everyone’s dad was a rock star, and I thought everyone was playing music,” he says. His father, Tivaini Tatofi, was a founding member of local island music group Kapena. “I didn’t really know that my childhood was special until way later,” says the younger Tatofi.

 

Likewise, he didn’t find music particularly special right away. He was about six years old when his dad would start showing him basic notes on the bass guitar. He’d also go through the motions of taking guitar and piano lessons. “I was so over it,” he says of the latter. “I wanted to play with the kids next door.”

 

That feeling changed a few years later – “when I was eight or nine” – when he and fellow children of Kapena’s band members were “thrown onstage to play a couple of songs,” recalls Tatofi. “I liked the feeling of being onstage, playing music. I wanted to be like my dad.”

 

He’d find further inspiration from R&B vocalists like Luther Vandross and Pebo Bryson. “Love songs, ballads is what I love to sing,” says Tatofi.

 

Born in Honolulu, Tatofi grew up on Windward O‘ahu, in Kāne‘ohe, before moving with his family to Maui in his early teens. It was in Kāne‘ohe that Tatofi would have a breakthrough moment, when his friends of the Hawaiian music group Hū‘ewa invited him onstage at a bar to sing a Hawaiian-language song.

 

“I came off stage, and I didn’t know, but Kumu Hula Auntie Aloha Dalire was in the crowd,” Tatofi says. “She tells me: ‘Eh, I don’t know what you’re doing with your music career life, but I think you should sing Hawaiian music.’ And I was like: ‘Oh, no, no, no, no, no. Thank you, Auntie, but no, I just don’t think that’s the right thing to do.’”

 

Dalire passed away a week or two later.

 

“I remember singing at her funeral, and I remembered the conversation that we had, and it just lingered upon me for a while,” Tatofi says.

 

His desire to stay in the Islands and entertain local audiences, encouragement from friends, and a growing ease and excitement in creating Hawaiian music arrangements, steered him toward writing more Hawaiian mele.

 

Tatofi admits he doesn’t speak the Hawaiian language, so he writes his music in Tongan, his family’s native language, then in English, before enlisting the help of friends fluent in Hawaiian to translate.

 

“When you try to write it in English [first], and then translate it to Hawaiian, it’s kind of difficult just saying ‘I miss you,’” he says. “In order to get the proper ‘I miss you’ in Hawaiian, I have to write it in Tongan first, ‘cause once I translate it from Tongan, it turns into something like, ‘The morning mist lingers throughout my day.’ That part just kind of kills me, because it picks at your brain and your heart at the same time.”

 

Josh Tatofi (center) with bandmates Travis Kaka (left) and Laupepa Letuli (right)

Josh Tatofi (center) with bandmates Travis Kaka (left) and Laupepa Letuli (right)

 

Tatofi wrote his first Hawaiian language song, “Pua Kiele” – “not knowing once we released that song, that it would change my life forever,” says Tatofi. His 2016 debut album, also called Pua Kiele, would go on to win two Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards.

 

He hasn’t let success get to his head. “I’m still a student of being a practitioner of Hawaiian music, of Hawaiian culture,” he says. “I’m still very much learning.”

 

This month, Tatofi is featured on a new episode of PBS Hawai‘i’s Nā Mele: Traditions in Hawaiian Song. He’s joined by bandmates Travis Kaka on rhythm guitar and backing vocals, and Laupepa Letuli on lead guitar and backing vocals. The program also features hula dancers from three different hālau: Hula Hālau ‘O Kamuela, Hālau Hi‘iakaināmakalehua and Hālau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniākea. Watch this performance on Monday, June 24 at 7:30 pm on PBS Hawai‘i. The program will also be available to view online here at pbshawaii.org.

 

Josh Tatofi on NĀ MELE: Traditions in Hawaiian Music, Monday, June 24, 7:30 pm

 

 

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KĀKOU: HAWAI‘I'S TOWN HALL – Join the Conversation

 

Join the online conversation about KĀKOU by using the #PBSKakou hashtag on Twitter. See what your community has said so far!

 




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PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND with Anchor Hari Sreenivasan

 

PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND features a summary of the day’s national and international news, using renowned experts to offer analysis. Each weekend broadcast will contain original, in-depth field reporting on topics including education, healthcare, the economy, energy, science and technology, religion, finance and the arts. Hari Sreenivasan anchors.

 

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