Sonny Lim

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?’”

 

 

 

NĀ MELE: TRADITIONS IN HAWAIIAN SONG
The Lim Family

 

Our newest offering of NĀ MELE: TRADITIONS IN HAWAIIAN SONG features the hugely talented, musical Lim Family of Kohala, Hawai‘i Island. Family members perform regularly at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, as well as the nearby Mauna Lani Bay Hotel, and they also travel often to Japan to entertain audiences and to teach hula. This program, recorded in PBS Hawai‘i’s Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Multimedia Studio, is a new setting for the Lims. But they seem at home almost anywhere, surrounded by music and family. 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. Songs performed include “Lei Ana O Kohala,” “Ka Wahine O Ka Lua” and the instrumental “Pau Hana Rag.”

 

NĀ MELE: The Lim Family