Ledward Kaapana remembers his Uncle Fred Punahoa playing the song “Radio Hula” in Kalapana: “In the morning, like one, two o’clock in the morning. In Kalapana, it’s so quiet, so… you know, and it’s dark, and so, he used to just sit outside on the porch, and play his guitar.
Richard Ho‘opi‘i and George Kahumoku Jr. walked into the PBS Hawai‘i studio, sat down with their instruments, and began to play. George, with his mellow slack key guitar and soothing voice, performing alongside Richard, with his never ending smile and his beautiful falsetto, offered song after song, with talk story in-between. This impromptu concert can only be described as pure joy.
Kale Hannahs, David Kamakahi and Matt Sproat of the acclaimed Hawaiian music group Waipuna present their interpretation of Hawaiian music, accompanied by hula dancer Jaimie Kennedy. From “Malama Mau Hawai‘i,” a selection from Waipuna’s first album, to “E Mau Ke Aloha,” composed by David’s father, Dennis Kamakahi, Waipuna will take you through a joyful musical cycle.
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.
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. The trio, whose name translates to “a gathering of birds,” performs songs including “E ʻAno ʻAno Ē” and “Kahi Aloha.” Guitarist Josh Kahula and steel guitarist Casey Olsen are also featured, with Leinaʻala Kuloloio Vedder providing hula accompaniment.
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 performs with a passion that comes from the origins of the songs she sings, and the love she has for her family. She is joined by her husband, 'Iolani Kamauu, on guitar and vocals, and their daughter, Sha-Lei Kamauu, who accompanies the music with hula.
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 offering of Nā Mele: Traditions in Hawaiian Song features the hugely 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.
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.”
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