For any of you who know my family (and particularly our daughter), you will know that the last few months for her have been filled with the excitement of hula as she and halau partake in the annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo, Hawaii. Hula has been an incredible part of her life for the past 22 years and this being the first time in several that she is returning to competition with her kumus and hula sisters for the 50th Anniversary of the festival is something that we are all so proud of .
If any of you are avid hula lovers or those of you who are new to hula, this is one weekend you won't want to miss. Starting this evening on KFVE, their Backstage at The Merrie Monarch will be aired sharing incredible wonderful Ho'ike performances (of which our beloved Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka will be performing as well). Tomorrow night (Thursday) is the coveted Miss Aloha Hula solo competition (we will be cheering on the halau's beautiful soloist Manalani English, #4), Friday is the men and women's group Kahiko performances (Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka is #13 this night and the last) and Saturday is the group Auana performances and awards ceremony. We are excited to support the halau as they embark on their journey to competition and share the beauty and pride so prevalent here on Maui, and of course to us as their family who are so proud of the dedication of our children.
And fear not, for those of you not currently in Hawaii to watch the competition locally, as it is livestreamed over the internet as well. For more details, check out the official Merrie Monarch website or the KFVE website for information on the livestream. Wishing the halau the best of luck as well as their fellow Maui halau who will no doubt represent the island with pride, we will surely be enjoying a full weekend of incredible hula!
For those of you currently here on island enjoying the sun and ocean, this coming weekend is an extraordinary opportunity for you to experience some incredible Hawaiian culture...not to mention an event that is particularly close to home for me. If any of you are staying on the West side of the island (Lahaina, Ka'anapali, Napili, etc) you may have heard of the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, proudly boasting the title of "Hawai'i's most Hawaiian hotel" due to their great attention to cultural detail. Well, this weekend they take it to the next level as they host the 20th Anniversary of their Hula O Na Keiki Competition. This is a wonderful opportunity for those of you who love our islands, Hawaiian music, hula, and Hawaiian culture at large to sit back and enjoy truly fantastic hula and music by some of the most talented kumu hula, musicians, and competing children, ages 5-17.
It is an event close to my heart considering the fact that my daughter Jade has been a longtime hula dancer for the past 21 years, and she had the privilege of competing as a soloist in this very competition her senior year of high school. It was her very first solo competition, after years of competitive hula with her hula sisters and kumu hula, but this was truly a life changing experience for her as it challenged her to rise to a level of independence we had never known before...it was an overwhelming experience as her parents to sit in the audience and watch the culmination of so many years of hard work come to fruition while she took the stage by herself at the age of 17. It was an emotional, beautiful, unforgettable moment for me as her mom that I will always be grateful to her kumu hula for. I encourage any and everyone to check out this wonderful children's hula competition and enjoy our incredible local talents! For more information check the KBH website.
I am so excited to share this event with all of you, as I am thrilled to be attending it myself. I have missed watching my daughter dance hula for the past 2 years while she has been on a break, but this year she will grace the stage once again with her wonderful halau for their annual Mohala Mai fundraiser concert. The funds raised from the concert as well as the Silent Auction support the halau in their competitive endeavors, as they have received honors from the most prestigious hula competitions in the world. Please come support Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka for a night of truly incredible Hawaiian music featuring the brilliant voices of Napua Makua, Aaron Sala, Hi'ikua and Weldon Kekauoha as they inspire the dancers with their music. It will surely be an unforgettable event you wont want to miss!
Mohala Mai 2012 - Fundraiser for Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka
Saturday, October 27, 5:30 PM
Hālau Nā Lei Kaumaka O Uka under the direction of nā kumu hula, Nāpua Makua and Kahulu Maluo, will perform their annual hō‘ike and fundraiser in an evening filled with inspiring traditional and contemporary hula, oli (chant) and mele (song). The award winning hālau shares the stage with Hawai‘i’s finest musical groups and solo artists, such as Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winners, Hi‘ikua and Weldon Kekauoha, as they meld melodic voices, graceful hula and the imagery of Hawai‘i into a production that promises to be moving and memorable. A silent auction will open at 4 pm in the Yokouchi Pavilion Courtyard. Check out the MACC website for more details.
For those of you currently visiting Maui and who are true music lovers, this is the perfect week for you! Our beloved Maui Arts & Cultural Center will play host to not one but two wonderful musical performances by the incredible local talents from our islands!
Lovers of slack key guitar are in for a treat this Thursday, July 19th at the McCoy Theater when Hawai'i island guitarist John Keawe takes the stage for an unforgettable night of music. And for those who are unfamiliar with this style of music, check out the soundtrack to The Descendants which featured a plethora of brilliant slack key masters. For more information, click here for a direct link to the MACC website to purchase tickets!
On a very different end of the musical spectrum, Saturday July 21 will host the 7th annual Reggae in the Valley concert here on Maui, which is sure to be an event for reggae lovers. Also celebrating Fiji's 20th Anniversary, this year will feature island music by the likes of Ekolu, Kalama, Positive Motions, Mana'o Company, Common Kings, Maoli, Siaosi/Kiwini, Vaita/Laga Savea, J Boog and of course Fiji. Tickets are sure to be a hot commodity on the island so if you happen to be here on our beautiful island and want to check out one (or both) nights of incredible music by our island talents, be sure to visit the Maui Arts & Cultural Center website here for more information.
For those of you blessed to be here on Maui, tonight at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center The Brothers Cazimero will be taking the stage for what is sure to be a beautiful evening of Hawaiian music. Their voices are truly heavenly and one of my own personal favorite Hawaiian entertainers...you won't want to miss it! And for more on these gifted gentlemen, check out their music on itunes and mele.com!
So to get you ready for this evenings festive Hawaiian event, here is a clip to get you inspired for this wonderful Cazimero affair: