This is pertaining to my hānai son, Jason Poole. I call him Iakona. He's been with me for quite some time now. I've always admired this young man. I invited him to join me. I took him in as a son.
How did Pittsburgh-born, classically trained singer Jason Poole find himself knee-deep in mud, gutting fish on the remote island of Molokai?
Monday, March 7, 2016
I am so excited to share the news:
Our album, MELE O HĀLAWA, has made it to the preliminary ballot for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards!
(Note: This isn’t the final ballot. This is the BIG ballot, the preliminary one, that has hundreds of entries. Hopefully enough folks will vote for it and it will appear on final ballot. At that point, we can consider ourselves official “nominees.”)
During the first discussions we had about the documentary SONS OF HĀLAWA, we talked about the necessity and the challenge of incorporating music into the film. That can be a difficult-to-navigate area, a full-time job. I was naive. I was optimistic. I said to Matt Yamashita, the filmmaker, “Why don’t I just write songs for the film? Then you can have them and we’ll be good to go.”
It never dawned on me that writing songs might be, um… a bit challenging Ha! As soon as I realized what I’d said, I knew I was in for a wild ride!
Thankfully, the soundtrack for the film included music by other folks as well. Pops, an accomplished haku mele (songwriter) contributed two songs to the album. And Molokai’s own amazing musician/producer, Lono, contributed two songs. With my own two compositions, we had six original tracks and we used traditional music from Molokai to round out the album. Each song was chosen for its own special reasons, making it a deeply personal collection of heart-filled songs from Molokai.
One of the greatest things the album offers is a rare glimpse into the rich and diverse musical landscape of Molokai and Hālawa Valley. Some of these songs on the album have never really been heard outside of the valley! It’s intense!
We recorded the tracks in marathon-style when I was on island for a week. Lono put together beautifully layered instrumental tracks. Pops and I sang our faces off in the studio. And then Lono finessed and produced the finished musical project in time for the songs to be woven into stunningly beautiful documentary, SONS OF HĀLAWA.
What started out as a soundtrack for the film has become a legacy album–a way for future generations to hear, study and (most importantly) enjoy the music of one of Hawaii’s most beautiful and remote islands.
It’s such an honor to see the album’s journey and the film’s journey, reaching audiences we never dreamed of.
And it’s a blessing to know that future audiences, future generations, will be able to witness it all, too.
If you are a HARA member, please consider voting for our “little album that could” in the following categories:
Group of the Year: Pilipo and Jason with Lonomusic
Island Music Album of the Year: MELE O HĀLAWA
Favorite Entertainer of the Year: Pilipo and Jason with Lonomusic
Album of the Year: MELE O HĀLAWA
Who would have thought that a kupuna (elder) from Molokai’s remote Hālawa Valley and a dude from New York City (along with the always-amazing Lonomusic!) would record an album together?
MELE O HĀLAWA is a dream come true.
Mahalo. Thank you.
Right on.2 Comments
Monday, December 14, 2015
Have you seen it?
Matt Yamashita (Quazifilms) made a fantastic music video for my original song, HEALING WATERS!
I love it so much! Matt recorded new footage of me singing down by the river in Hālawa Valley the day after the Molokai premier of the documentary Sons of Hālawa! (Yup. True story. That really is the river behind me–no green screen involved! We were so blessed with lighting and weather conditions that afternoon. Matt set up a microphone for me to use a prop along with my headphones to create a “studio vibe.” And here’s a fun fact for you: I used a recording of HEALING WATERS from Matt’s phone to sing along with. The phone was discretely tucked into my pocket.)
The video weaves together the newly recorded footage along with images from the film. It’s spectacular and I hope you’ll click on the link above and watch it. (And re-watch again and again!)
The video originally premiered on Facebook on Thanksgiving day. (It’s been viewed over 3,000 times already!) That was something to be thankful for, for sure! I was excited to learn he’d recently posted it on Youtube, too. Now I can share it with you!
Another video is being created for my song LIFE IN HĀLAWA, also featured on the soundtrack for the film. (Note: The songs have all been amazingly arranged and recorded by Molokai’s own LONO. And there are 2 of his fantastic original mele on the soundtrack, too!)
More details about that and the film and the amazingly cool experience of attending the film’s premier at the Honolulu International Film Festival coming soon!
Until then, kick back and relax and let your mind go to beautiful Hālawa Valley with this video.
With warm Aloha
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Sharing Aloha is something everyone can do.
It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture.
It can be simple:
Nourishing and caring for the self, both in mind and body, so that we can present our best selves to the world
Taking a deep breath to center yourself before engaging in a conversation.
Offering your seat to someone on a crowded bus or subway
Holding the door for someone
A kind smile as you pass someone on the street
Saying “Aloha” to a friend or neighbor (or even – gulp! – a stranger!)
We CAN make a difference in the world by starting with our own actions. Simply Sharing Aloha in our own way can make a diffence, one person at a time. A ripple effect, as the wave of Aloha spreads out and reaches more and more people.
Aloha i kekahi i kekahi. Love one another
We need your simple acts of Aloha. Today. Right now. Always.
How can YOU share Aloha in the world today?
*Please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.
Monday, November 9, 2015
Aloha, gang! Here’s a quick video check-in about the upcoming word premier of the documentary Sons of Hālawa! I am so excited! One week from today! Let the magic begin. Right on. *Please be sure to check out the Quazifilms website (click HERE) for more information about other exciting projects. *For the schedule of the … Click here to read more…4 Comments
Monday, October 26, 2015
Last week I had the great privilege of teaching/sharing Hawaiian music and culture at a public elementary school out in Howard Beach, New York. My friends lovingly refer to it as the “far out school.” But not in a Greg Brady or John Denver kind of “far out” way. See, this school is about a … Click here to read more…4 Comments
Saturday, October 17, 2015
You’ve seen it, right? The trailer for the soon-to-be-released documentary SONS OF HALAWA? (Be sure to click on the photo above to watch it!) As of this writing, the trailer has been viewed on Facebook over 54,000 times! And it’s been shared almost 2,400 times! This amazing documentary will be making its WORLD PREMIER at … Click here to read more…6 Comments