performers

The History of the Sons of Hawaii (2000)

The History of the Sons of Hawai‘i

 

Surveying 40 years of Hawai‘i’s rich musical traditions, this film tells the story of the Sons of Hawaii, the music group led by Eddie Kamae that helped launch the Hawaiian cultural renaissance.

 

 





Upcoming documentary revisits New York’s Hawaiian Room

PBS Hawaii

 

In The Hawaiian Room, filmmaker Ann Marie Kirk interviews more than 20 performers who worked at the New York nightclub, which showcased Hawaiian entertainment for nearly 30 years.HONOLULU, HI – A documentary that will air on PBS Hawai‘i this month will take viewers back to The Hawaiian Room, an oasis in New York’s Lexington Hotel that showcased Hawaiian entertainment from 1937 through 1966. PBS Hawai‘i Presents: The Hawaiian Room makes its broadcast premiere Thursday, January 19 at 9:00 pm on PBS Hawai‘i.

 

In The Hawaiian Room, filmmaker Ann Marie Kirk interviews more than 20 performers who worked at the New York nightclub, which showcased Hawaiian entertainment for nearly 30 years. Photo: Hula Preservation Society Photo Collection

 

The tropical and glamorous ambiance and décor of The Hawaiian Room was largely informed by Hollywood’s fantasy of an island paradise. Filmmaker Ann Marie Kirk says that despite the glossy surface, the performers offered an honest representation of Hawai‘i.

 

“Many of them were trained by prominent kumu hula of the time,” Kirk says. “[Authenticity] still ran through everything that was done at the Hawaiian Room.”

 

The Hawaiian Room examines how, in the mid-20th century, the Hawaiian culture was represented to the world – a topic that remains a hot one. Kirk says Hawai‘i has moved past exaggerated representations of its host culture, but says “there’s still lots more work to do.”

 

“The authentic representation of Hawai‘i and Hawaiians can be tricky waters to navigate,” Kirk says. “It’s not a bad thing, just tricky.”

 

For this film, Kirk interviewed more than 20 former dancers, entertainers and patrons of The Hawaiian Room. She was surprised by the courage of the young performers – many of them females in their teens and early 20s – who relocated to New York from Hawai‘i. For many of them, it was their first time outside of the islands. “They had no ‘ohana in New York City,” Kirk said. “Yet, they created an ‘ohana in New York City with the Hawaiian Room.”

 

Kirk says that The Hawaiian Room is a story that “could have been easily lost.”

 

“Many people don’t know the significance of the Hawaiian Room and of the Hawaiians who performed there, and I think they should,” Kirk says. “It’s an amazing story.”

 

Download this Press Release

 

For questions regarding this press release:

Contact: Liberty Peralta

Email: lperalta@pbshawaii.org

Phone: 808.462.5030

 

PBS Hawai‘i is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization and Hawai‘i’s sole member of the trusted Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). We advance learning and discovery through storytelling that profoundly touches people’s lives. We bring the world to Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i to the world. pbshawaii.org | facebook.com/pbshawaii | @pbshawaii

 

DANCING ON THE EDGE
Part 8 of 8

 

Follow this dramatic series about a black jazz band’s experiences in London in the 1930s. Composed of talented musicians, the band achieves success and secures record deals. But tragedy strikes, setting off a chain of events that threatens the band’s survival.

 

Part 8 of 8
In flashbacks, listen to Stanley’s interviews with Louis, Jessie and Carla. The conversations touch on fame, prejudice, music, inequality, the aristocracy, ambition, fandom, family, education and more.

 

DANCING ON THE EDGE
Part 7 of 8

 

Follow this dramatic series about a black jazz band’s experiences in London in the 1930s. Composed of talented musicians, the band achieves success and secures record deals. But tragedy strikes, setting off a chain of events that threatens the band’s survival.

 

Part 7 of 8
Learn why Lady Cremone becomes suspicious of Masterson’s offer of such a large reward and why Pamela decides to help Stanley and the band. As Julian’s behavior becomes more and more unbalanced, Masterson becomes ever more apprehensive.

 

DANCING ON THE EDGE
Part 6 of 8

 

Follow this new dramatic series about a black jazz band’s experiences in London in the 1930s. Composed of talented musicians, the band achieves success and secures record deals. But tragedy strikes, setting off a chain of events that threatens the band’s survival.

 

Part 6 of 8
Join Stanley, Sarah and Pamela as they try to help Louis elude the police. Masterson offers a huge reward for Louis’ capture. Lady Cremone, convinced of Louis’ guilt, refuses to aid him. A policeman coerces Sarah into divulging damaging information.

 

DANCING ON THE EDGE
Part 5 of 8

 

Follow this dramatic series about a black jazz band’s experiences in London in the 1930s. Composed of talented musicians, the band achieves success and secures record deals. But tragedy strikes, setting off a chain of events that threatens the band’s survival.

 

Part 5 of 8
Find out why Masterson wants to buy Stanley’s magazine and Lady Cremone decides to be less reclusive. Louis’ calmness is shaken when he sees Julian’s friends at an exclusive dinner at which he entertains. He learns there’s a warrant for his arrest.

 

DANCING ON THE EDGE
Part 4 of 8

 

Follow this dramatic series about a black jazz band’s experiences in London in the 1930s. Composed of talented musicians, the band achieves success and secures record deals. But tragedy strikes, setting off a chain of events that threatens the band’s survival.

 

Part 4 of 8
Learn why Louis doubts Julian’s story about his trip to Paris the night Jessie was attacked. When racist Germans walk out during the band’s performance at the hotel, Stanley devises a plan to get revenge. Lady Cremone relays news about Jessie.

 

DANCING ON THE EDGE
Part 3 of 8

 

Follow this new dramatic series about a black jazz band’s experiences in London in the 1930s. Composed of talented musicians, the band achieves success and secures record deals. But tragedy strikes, setting off a chain of events that threatens the band’s survival.

 

Part 3 of 8
Jazz-lover Lady Cremone and the Prince of Wales invite the band to play for events. They record an album and secure a spot on BBC radio. Masterson sends a cryptic message to Julian. Louis finds Jessie comatose and bloody.

 

DANCING ON THE EDGE
Part 2 of 8

 

Follow this new dramatic series about a black jazz band’s experiences in London in the 1930s. Composed of talented musicians, the band achieves success and secures record deals. But tragedy strikes, setting off a chain of events that threatens the band’s survival.

 

Part 2 of 8
The band takes a private train ride to a picnic arranged by Donaldson. Stanley and Pamela begin an affair, Julian becomes infatuated with Jessie and band manager Wesley is deported. The Prince of Wales hears the band and expresses his approval.

 

DANCING ON THE EDGE
Part 1 of 8

 

Follow this new dramatic series about a black jazz band’s experiences in London in the 1930s. Composed of talented musicians, the band achieves success and secures record deals. But tragedy strikes, setting off a chain of events that threatens the band’s survival.

 

Part 1 of 8
Chart the Louis Lester Band’s ascent from a downbeat jazz cellar to the Imperial Hotel and a party attended by an admiring prince and a moneyed American.