As the tourist economy continued to grow and the realities of statehood began to take hold with the people of Hawaii, a realization unfolded that the musical culture of Hawaii had moved significantly far away from its roots. While the Hawaiian language remained relatively strong in comparison with other colonized nations, musically, profound changes had occurred from the humble... Continue Reading →
Besides an impressive lineage of instrumentalists, composers and dancers of hula, Hawai`i boasts an even more astounding history of world class male vocalists. Their heyday was found in the lounges and luau shows of Waikiki in the 1950s and 1960s. Some of the more noteworthy are Alfred Alpaka, Bill Lincoln and Gary Aiko. Before the... Continue Reading →
When you grow up in the Big Island the big city is in Hilo. And having spent my whole life on the west side, I still get lost over there and I still find places in parts of town I never knew existed. During the time I spent playing music with Braddah Smitty I... Continue Reading →
I only met Chino once, but he left a lasting impression on me. A few years back I went by the Kahilu Theatre to check out the free show during the Slack Key and Ukulele Institute series. I had seen the name "Chino Montero" on the bill, but wasn't familiar with him or his music. What I saw that night blew me away. The way he shredded on the guitar in such a relaxed and humble manner was shocking to my eyes and ears. The way he tastefully and artfully completely ran circles around the melody put me in awe....
I humbly believe that the greatest ukulele player ever was Eddie Kamae. He recorded what I find to be the best ukulele album in existence "Heart of the Ukulele" in 1962. I was very blessed to have the opportunity to share the stage with and play with Eddie Kamae when I played ukulele for Bruddah Smitty.
On June 9th, 2012 I was standing deep in the jungle on the eastern end of Hawai`i Island. In the silence of the moment I looked up and saw a falling star streak across the sky. In the still of one of the remotest places in the world, where I had not heard a sound for hours, in the distance a dog barked. I knew my friend had arrived safely on the other side.