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.
Singer/musician Pomaikaʻi Lyman grew up under the guidance of a talented musical family, the Keawe Aiko ʻohana. Her special mentor was none other than a beloved and legendary voice in Hawaiian music, her grandmother, Genoa Keawe.
Natalie Ai Kamauu brings a voice that fills the PBS Hawaii studio. Joined by her husband, Iolani Kamauu, on guitar and vocals, and their daughter, Sha-Lei Kamauu, who accompanies the music with hula, Natalie performs with a passion that comes from the origins of the songs she sings, and the love she has for her family.
Hawaiian musician Weldon Kekauoha has been crafting beloved musical arrangements and sharing them with Hawaiʻi, the continental U.S. and beyond for over 30 years. He’s enjoyed a successful solo career, amassing multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards and, in 2014, a Grammy nomination. For the past 15 years, he has been going to Japan to perform, finding an enthusiastic audience there that has embraced the Hawaiian culture.
This Nā Mele: Traditions in Hawaiian Song features the talented, musical Lim Family of Kohala, Hawai‘i Island. On the program, you’ll see siblings Sonny Lim, Nani Lim Yap and Lorna Lim perform as a trio. Among the featured hula dancers are family members Namakana Davis-Lim, Brianna “Wehi” Lim Ryder and Asialynn Yap.
Ahumanu, an all-wāhine Hawaiian music trio from Maui is featured on this episode of Nā Mele: Traditions in Hawaiian Song. Members Kekai Robinson, Marja Lehua Apisaloma and Liz Morales say their work in the community outside the entertainment realm brings to their music a dimension of authenticity, service and responsibility.
In this first Nā Mele: Traditions in Hawaiian Song performed at PBS Hawaiʻi’s Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Multimedia Studio, Mailani Makainai takes us on a musical journey. She performs “Hamama I Ka ʻIu,” an affectionate portrait of the Hamama waterfall in Waiheʻe Valley. Kauʻi Dalire joins the songstress to dance hula for “Ka Wai Lehua ʻAʻala Ka Honua.”
This Nā Mele: Traditions in Hawaiian Song feature the trio, Keauhou, composed of Zachary Lum (vocals and guitar), Jonah Kahanuola Solatorio (vocals and ‘ukulele), and Nicholas Lum (vocals and bass). The name Keauhou translates as “the new or renewed generation." The program features original songs from the group as well as a special guest performance from mentor and musical legend Robert Cazimero.
Renowned songwriter, record producer and performer Kenneth Makuakāne offers a sentimental and candid performance inside historic Kawaiahaʻo Church in Honolulu. Among the songs he performs are “ʻO Violeka,” an affectionate ballad for his mother, and “Kuʻu Pua Lei Mēlia,” inspired by his experience of sending off his oldest son to college.
For a young Kalani Peʻa, music wasn’t just a hobby he enjoyed – it was also therapy, as he worked through a childhood speech impediment. On a new Nā Mele: Traditions in Hawaiian Song, the Grammy and Nā Hōkū-winning singer and his band perform selections from his albums, E Walea and No ʻAneʻi in the PBS Hawaiʻi studio. Discover Peʻa’s humble beginnings in Panaʻewa, Hawaiʻi Island, his creative drive and how music changed his life.
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