Hello Dear Readers! Iʻve been quiet here for awhile, as my “day job” kept me quite occupied, and this past year was especially intense for all kinds of reasons. So I thought Iʻd start up my return here with some random observations.
So much continues to happen in Hawaiian music. Kalani Peʻa was the first Hawaiian artist to win the Grammy Award in the vexed Best Regional Roots category since it was rolled out in 2012. Social media was abuzz over that milestone . . . for better and worse. It is undeniable, however, that the musicianship and the production are original in fresh and welcome ways. The trio Keauhou swept the Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards in May with their commitment to perpetuating cherished notions of excellence.
One of the most exciting projects of 2016 is surely the viral video “Hawaiʻi Aloha 2016.” It is a collaboration of Mana Maoliʻs The Mana Mele Project in collaboration with Playing for Change. The production is best described as:
- a community-based social entrepreneurship venture linked to Hawaiian charter schools
- that combines the non-profit organization Mana Maoli,
- its Music & Multimedia Academy (in partnership with UH Honolulu Community Collegeʻs MELE program)
- a Mobile Studio outfitted in a solar-powered Airstream
Much to appreciate in the focus on empowering and educating youth for the future of the lāhui.