So of course, we jumped at the chance to see in person an array of Hawaii’s greatest musicians at the concert titled “Henry Kapono & Friends”held at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.
These concerts are part of Henry’s passion to perpetuate his love of local music and musicians. In addition to the Island-wide concerts, Henry has established the Henry Kapono Foundation to support music programs for keiki (children), and provide career guidance and performance opportunities for emerging musicians, as he states on his site.
So what’s new in Hawaiian music? Kalani Pe’a, is what’s new. This Grammy winning artist takes Hawaiian music and some pop covers, adds some unusual chords and progressions and creates something beautiful and different.
Usually when going to listen to Hawaiian artists perform, I expect great musicians, maybe sitting, playing and talking story. Kalani, however, adds a touch of Broadway to his performance. His stage presence is amazing, and the Hawaiian language just flows effortlessly made more beautiful by his powerful voice. The backup musicians, vocalists and hula dancers that perform on stage with him just make his performance that much better. Each of them an outstanding talent in their own right.
One of the things we were looking forward to when we moved back to Maui was the wealth of great talent. Little did we know that we would be living next door to this amazing Grammy winning artist.
If you haven’t heard of Jake Shimabukuro, well then, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Jake came to prominence in 2006 with his heart pounding rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” performed in Central Park.
We discovered Jake at the Phoenix Musical Instrument Museum while wandering through the stringed instrument exhibit where his performance was being shown on a large video screen. And as fate would have it, we soon got to see him perform live on Maui at The Maui Cultural Center. Rock-n-Roll ukulele. Amazing!
Jake is to the ukulele what Eric Clapton is to the guitar!
If you get a chance to see him, don’t pass up the opportunity. Here is his official website and touring schedule: jakeshimabukuro.com