I almost wish it had been a breathtakingly cold day because it would have made my mental images of palm trees and black sand beaches even more delicious. As it was, these masters of Hawaiian music – George Kahumoku Jr., Nathan Aweau, and Kawika Kahiapo – delivered a wonderful backdrop for my time on a Hawaiian beach on this winter afternoon!
Each musician played solo for 25 minutes followed by a 25-minute set of the three musicians playing and singing together. It was an excellent way to present this music.
First to perform was George. He played a twelve-string guitar and sang in Hawaiian. He explained the meaning of each song which I appreciated since I don’t speak Hawaiian (other than aloha). The twelve-string seemed particularly well-suited to this type of music.
Nathan was next to the stage. He sang mostly in English so he was able to spend more time playing his six-string guitar. His songs were extremely personal; one was a song he wrote for his wife of 38 years and another was a cover of a song that he dedicated to his autistic adult son.
Last to solo was Kawika who spent part of his career with the best-known Hawaiian musician, Don Ho. Kawika also played a six-string and sang in both English and Hawaiian. He told a story about asking his wife out when he was 16 and the song that resulted (albeit written many years later).
I thought their talents meshed well when they came together for the last part of the show. Their vocal harmonies were lovely as was the way their guitars ‘harmonized’. It was a blissful way to bring the show to a natural conclusion.
These artists do an ongoing show on (I believe) Maui, so if you happen to find yourself there, it would be worth seeing them.