musician

Louis “Moon” Kauakahi on LONG STORY SHORT WITH LESLIE WILCOX

 

LONG STORY SHORT WITH LESLIE WILCOX: Louis "Moon" Kauakahi

Louis “Moon” Kauakahi on LONG STORY SHORT WITH LESLIE WILCOX

Tuesday, June 30 at 7:30 pm

 

The Mākaha Sons of Niʻihau released nearly two-dozen music albums, reconfigured their band member lineup multiple times, and endured a string of personal tragedies. Through most of the band’s history, Louis “Moon” Kauakahi was its backbone.

 

Kauakahi played a vital role with the Mākaha Sons as business manager, composer and guitarist, from the band’s beginnings in 1976 until his retirement in 2014.

 

Born and raised in Nānākuli on Oʻahu’s Leeward Coast, Kauakahi discovered his lifelong passion for music at Nānāikapono Elementary School, where he put together his first music arrangement in the sixth grade. His nickname is a tribute to Peter Moon, the late ʻukulele and slack-key master. “I tried to do everything that Peter Moon did,” Kauakahi says.

 

The Mākaha Sons perform on NĀ MELE: TRADITIONS IN HAWAIIAN SONG in 2004. From left: John Koko, Jerome “Boogie” Koko, Louis “Moon” Kauakahi

The Mākaha Sons perform on NĀ MELE: TRADITIONS IN HAWAIIAN SONG in 2004. From left: John Koko, Jerome “Boogie” Koko, Louis “Moon” Kauakahi

 

The late Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwoʻole is perhaps the most recognized former member of the band. Iz’s brother Skippy, Sam Gray, Sonny Lim, Melvin Amina, Abraham Nahulu, and brothers Jerome and John Koko were also in the band through the years. Iz and Skippy both died during the course of the band’s history, along with Kauakahi’s in-laws, sister-in-law and wife. “How do you get beyond the hurt?” he asks. “Each person is very unique in that sense. I kept doing something. In my doing numerous things, I managed to decompress.”

 

Kauakahi maintained a day job during the four decades he was with the band, and now works for the Liliʻuokalani Trust as a youth development specialist in the Waiʻanae area. “I retired twice, but I work hard now even after two retirements,” he says with a laugh. “A lot of times, friends would ask me, ‘Can you perform with us?’ I’d say, ‘Sure.’ ‘Can you do it, like, every week?’ I went, ‘Uh, then I wouldn’t be in retirement, would I?’”

 

 

 

PBS HAWAIʻI PRESENTS
The Films of Eddie & Myrna Kamae, From the Heart

The Films of Eddie & Myrna Kamae - From the Heart

 

The Films of Eddie and Myrna Kamae are 10 award-winning documentaries released between 1988 and 2009. Eddie Kamae, who passed away in 2017, was well known for his contributions to Hawaiian music. With his wife Myrna, he made these films to perpetuate Hawai‘i’s cultural heritage for future generations.


 

Liʻa: Legacy of a Hawaiian Man

Liʻa: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man

Thursday, June 4 at 9:00 pm

(1988)

This documentary celebrates the music and spirit of Big Island performer and composer, Sam Li‘a Kalainaina (1881-1975). It is also about a place, Waipi‘o Valley, and a life shaped and nourished by that place. This film’s world premiere opened the 1988 Hawai‘i International Film Festival.

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The History of the Sons of Hawai‘i

The History of the Sons of Hawaii

Thursday, June 11 at 9:00 pm

(2000)

This documentary tells the story of the charismatic band that helped launch the Hawaiian cultural renaissance. Spanning 40 years of Hawai‘i’s rich musical tradition, the film offers an intimate look at a unique group of performers and composers: their songs, their humor and their devotion to a sound that continues to convey something essential about the Hawaiian spirit.

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Lahaina: 
Waves of Change

Lahaina: Waves of Change

Thursday, June 18 at 9:00 pm

(2007)

In 1999, Eddie Kamae visited Lahaina, only to find that Pioneer Mill, the center of Lahaina’s sugar industry, was closing down. It was the end of an era – a simpler, more innocent time that Eddie remembers from visiting his grandmother during childhood summers in Lahaina. Eddie leads us through many of the changes Lahaina has undergone, both historical and personal. And despite all of the radical changes and tumultuous times Lahaina has experienced, it remains a sacred Hawaiian place, not because of what has been built upon it, but because of what is in the hearts of people who live there.

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Kī hōʻalu Slack Key: The Hawaiian Way

Kī Hōʻalu: Slack Key, The Hawaiian Way

Thursday, June 25 at 9:00 pm

(1993)

Kī hō‘alu (slack key) is the Hawaiian way of making music. Performers and composers reveal how this unique style of playing conveys something essential about the Hawaiian spirit and the Hawaiian family tradition.

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Luther Kahekili Makekau: A One Kine Hawaiian Man

Luther Kahekili Makekau: A One Kine Hawaiian Man

Thursday, July 2 at 9:00 pm

(1997)

This documentary pays tribute to the untamed spirit of a colorful and controversial Hawaiian man. Known throughout the islands, Luther Makekau was part philosopher and part outlaw, a chanter and a singer, a fighter, a lover, a cattle rustler, a rebel and a poet. Born on Maui in 1890, during the reign of King Kalākaua, he lived nearly 100 years, shaped by a century of turbulent cultural change.

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Listen to the Forest

Listen to the Forest

Thursday, July 9 at 9:00 pm

(1991)

This environmental documentary speaks of the widespread concern for rainforest preservation, while reminding us of traditional Hawaiian values. Interviews, chants, and original songs and dances give voice to an older form of ecological wisdom summed up in the phrase “mālama ‘āina,” to take care of the land.

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HAWAIIAN VOICES
: Bridging Past to Present

Hawaiian Voices: Bridging Past to Present

Thursday, July 16 at 9:00 pm

(1998)

This documentary honors the role of kūpuna (elders) in preserving Hawaiian culture. It focuses on the legacies of three respected Hawaiian elders whose lives bridged the transition from older times into the late 20th century. They are Ruth Makaila Kaholoa‘a, age 93, of the Big Island; Lilia Wahinemaika‘i Hale, age 85, of O‘ahu and Molokai; and Reverend David “Kawika” Ka‘alakea, age 78, of Maui. Each is a living archive of invaluable lore and recollection, a treasure whose stories, memories and perspectives need to be shared as a way of bringing the healing wisdom of the past into the often fragmented world of the present.

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WORDS, EARTH & ALOHA: The Source of Hawaiian Music

Words, Earth & Aloha: The Source of Hawaiian Music

Thursday, July 23 at 9:00 pm

(1995)

In Hawai‘i, music has always been much more than a form of entertainment. Through the centuries, it has been a primary means of cultural continuity. This documentary pays tribute to a wide range of composers who flourished between the 1870s and the 1920s, and for whom Hawaiian was still a first language. The film explores the poetry and play of Hawaiian lyrics, as well as the places and features of the natural world that inspired songs still loved and listened to today.

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KEEPERS OF THE FLAME: The Cultural Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women

Keepers of the Flame: The Cultural Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women

Thursday, July 30 at 9:00 pm

(2005)

This documentary chronicles the lives of three Hawaiian women who helped to save the Hawaiian culture, which was in serious peril. The combined artistry and aloha of Mary Kawena Pukui, ‘Iolani Luahine and Edith Kanaka‘ole “helped to revive the flame of traditional Hawaiian culture – a flame that had almost died,” says Eddie Kamae in his on-camera introduction to the film.

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Those Who Came Before
: The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae

Those Who Came Before: The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae

Thursday, August 6 at 9:00 pm

(2009)

The Kamae’s final documentary pays tribute to the music of Hawaiians, whose gifts of knowledge helped guide Eddie Kamae. His pursuits led him to some of the most respected gate-keepers of the Hawaiian Renaissance: the author and translator Mary Kawena Pukui, the “Songwriter of Waipi‘o” Sam Li‘a, “Aloha Chant” author Pilahi Paki, and Hawaiian cultural resource Lilia “Mama” Hale. One by one, they entrusted him with key pieces of Hawai‘i’s musical heritage – inspiring him to understand, perform, and pass on to the children of Hawai‘i.

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INDEPENDENT LENS
Eating Up Easter

 

See how climate change and a booming tourism trade threaten the fragile economy of Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, and meet the local artists, ecologists and developers balancing their strong cultural heritage with modern-day challenges.

 

INDEPENDENT LENS: Eating Up Easter

 

 

 

GREAT PERFORMANCES
Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration

 

The songs of legendary singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell’s are among the most sublime musical landscapes of human emotion ever created. Mitchell’s unique musical and lyrical gifts are an unprecedented marriage of intimacy and universality, creating a sound that is incomparable, yet relatable to all.

 

 

 

 

FINDING YOUR ROOTS
Beyond the Pale

 

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the Jewish heritages of actor Jeff Goldblum, radio host Terry Gross and comedian Marc Maron, uncovering previously unknown stories that show each shares much more with their ancestors than a religious tradition.

 

 

 

INDEPENDENT LENS
Eating Up Easter

Cover story by Jody Shiroma, PBS Hawaiʻi

 

INDEPENDENT LENS film Eating Up Easter premiers Monday, May 25 at 9:00 pm

 

Rapa Nui, also known as Easter Island, is the most remote inhabited island in the Pacific Ocean. How does this island community balance its economic boom of tourism with the fragility of its indigenous culture and environment? That’s the question that native Rapanui filmmaker Sergio Mata‘u Rapu explores in the INDEPENDENT LENS film Eating Up Easter, premiering on PBS Hawai‘i on Monday, May 25 at 9:00 pm. This film, a presentation of Pacific Islanders in Communications and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) was completed in 2018, before COVID-19 travel restrictions.

 

Piru Huke, affectionately known as “Mama Piru,” was a cultural icon and community leader who mobilized coastal cleanups and motivated businesses to recycle.The catalyst for the film came in 2011 when Rapu read a news article about food security in Hawai‘i, which got him thinking about Rapa Nui, his birthplace. “As I learned more about how little food we [on Rapa Nui] grew because building cabins for tourists was more lucrative, and how much we imported contributed heavily to the buildup of trash on the island, I realized that our story was not in food security, but in the rapid development of a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific,” Rapu says.

Pictured, inset: Piru Huke, affectionately known as “Mama Piru,” was a cultural icon and community leader who mobilized coastal cleanups and motivated businesses to recycle.

A local ecologist leads recycling efforts to tackle the mounting trash arriving with tourists and the waves of plastic washing up on shore.

 

Rapu introduces four Native Islanders and the actions they are taking to preserve their culture and environment amidst rapid development. A local ecologist leads recycling efforts to tackle the mounting trash arriving with tourists and the waves of plastic washing up on shore. Two musicians struggle to build a free music school they hope will preserve cultural practices. And Rapu’s father, who was the Island’s first native Governor, attempts to balance traditions against the advantages of development while building a mini-mall to serve the local residents in the Island’s main town.

 

Engineer and musician Enrique Icka (right) works on building a sustainable cultural center and music school using recyclable materials.Engineer and musician Enrique Icka (right) works on building a sustainable cultural center and music school using recyclable materials.

 

Rapu says that while Eating up Easter is a film directed at visitors to Rapa Nui, with the intent of raising awareness of the impact and effect that they are having on the island, it also can bring up larger conversations on protecting the environment for current and future generations.

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY
From Australia

 

More than two dozen world-renowned artists assemble for an extraordinary International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert in Melbourne, Australia. Herbie Hancock, Ledisi, Kurt Elling and many more join forces to celebrate jazz for peace.

 

 

 

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