Hawaiian Voices:

Bridging Past to Present (1998)

Bridging Past to Present


This documentary honors the role of kupuna in preserving Hawaiian culture, and taps into the valuable memories and perspectives of three respected Hawaiian elders whose lives bridged the transition from older times into the late 20th century.



Peter Medeiros

NA MELE Peter Medeiros


Slack key artist Peter Medeiros, accompanied by guitarist Josh Silva and bass player Nate Stillman, presents a fun evening of traditional slack key. Joining the trio are the dancers of Pua Ali’i ‘Ilima, led by kumu hula Vicky and Jeff Kānekaiwilani Takamine. Songs performed include “Ulili E,” “He’eia,” “Ke Ala O Ka Rose” and “Kananaka.”

The Royal Hawaiian Band

NA MELE Royal Hawaiian Band


Founded in 1836 by King Kamehameha III, the Royal Hawaiian Band has
provided audiences the world over with a continual connection to Hawaii’s
royal heritage. During this vintage concert set on the grounds of historic
Iolani Palace, Bandmaster Aaron Mahi pays tribute to one of his predecessors,
Henry Berger, Royal Hawaiian Bandmaster from 1871 to 1915 and sometimes called
the “Father of Hawaiian music.”


Keali‘i Reichel

Keali'i Reichel on Na Mele


Keali‘i Reichel has long established himself as one of Hawai‘i’s premier artists. His dedication to the perpetuation of Hawaiian language, song, chanting and hula has evolved into unique and personal performances that showcase the depth of Hawaiian culture for international audiences. This performance, recorded at the PBS Hawai‘i studio, excellently showcases his artistry.


Waiting for John


Feel the pulse of the pacific – the stories of its people, cultures, languages, music and contemporary issues – in Season 5 of PACIFIC HEARTBEAT, the nationally distributed series from Pacific Islanders in Communications and PBS Hawaii. The five films in this season highlight struggles, values and victories that draw us together and make our Pacific cultures unique.


Waiting for John
If you had never heard of an airplane or a refrigerator, would you think it was a miracle when one arrived? When the American military landed on a remote island in the South Pacific during World War II, the islanders were amazed by America’s fantastic cargo. The John Frum Movement was born: a unique religion now considered the last surviving “cargo cult.” The program explores the history and last vestiges of this extraordinary religion, and in the process asks, where do our prophets come from? And what makes people believe?


Makaha Sons

Makaha Sons perform on the encore of Na Mele.


The Makaha Sons – Louis “Moon” Kauakahi on 6-string guitar, Jerome “Boogie” Koko on 12-string guitar and the late John Koko on upright bass – blend their magical harmonies into unique performances of traditional Hawaiian music. In this encore of a vintage performance taped at the PBS Hawaii studios, they play some of their most beloved songs.



NA MELE Maunalua


Maunalua – with Bobby Moderow Jr. on rhythm and slack-key guitar, Kahi Kaonohi on bass guitar and vocals and Bruce Spencer on ukulele and vocals – blend their talents to evoke memories of old Hawaii in this vintage performance from the PBS Hawaii studio.


Soul of the Elephant


Ironically, every dead elephant with its ivory intact is a reason to celebrate. It means an elephant died of natural causes, not bullets, snares or poison, and a soul was allowed to be celebrated and mourned by its herd. Award-winning filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert start with the remains of two bull elephants and through a series of key flashbacks, look at the lives they would have led, the dramas they may have seen, their great migrations for water with their families, and their encounters with lions and hyenas. This film, shot over two years, is an intimate look at elephants through the lens of two great storytellers of natural history.


Amy Hanaiali‘i Gilliom and Willie K

NA MELE Amy Hanaialiʻi Gilliom and Willie K


These two Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners present their unique brand of musical artistry in this vintage performance. In both solos and duets, Amy and Willie display wide-ranging versatility that showcases their diverse musical backgrounds. They are accompanied by Jack Ofoia on bass and the late Chino Montero on guitar.



NA MELE 'Ale'a


An encore presentation of a performance from the PBS Hawai‘i studios in Manoa by this multi-Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning group comprised of Kale Hannahs, Ryan Gonzalez and Chad Takatsugi. They combine sweet harmonies with tight instrumentals to produce enchanting traditional Hawaiian music reminiscent of years gone by.


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