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Archive for April, 2011

Aloha kākou!

Here is this week’s question:

In what year were the men allowed to compete in the hula competition at the Merrie Monarch Festival?

A.  1971

B.  1974

C.  1976

D.  1979

• Please submit your answer as a reply to this blog post.
• All correct answers will be eligible to win a special email message from me.
• One winner will be randomly chosen at 11:59pm HST.

Will YOU be this week’s lucky winner?

Good Luck!

Aloha Poʻalima! Happy Aloha Friday!

**Crooner Update:

You are AWESOME, gang!  Right on!  And so knowledgeable!

The hula competition was added to the Merrie Monarch Festival in 1971.  However, it was only for female dancers.  The competition opened to male dancers in 1976 (Answer C)!

This week’s winner, chosen randomly from all of the correct answers is… (Drum roll, please…) WAILANA! Congratulations, Wailana–you’re this week’s Trivia Superstar!

A giant MAHALO to each of you for taking a moment to play along in this week’s TAHC’s ALOHA FRIDAY TRIVIA CHALLENGE.  I hope you’ll play again next week, too…

Have a great weekend!

A hui hou…




Challenging the Stuck-ness

Thursday, April 28, 2011

jason poole running shoes

Today I needed to jump out of bed and start right in on a TO DO list that was a mile and half long.

Instead of racing at top speed,  I was stuck in first gear.

I started working on “the writing project” that is demanding a lot of attention.  And instead of creating stellar work, I found myself completely STUCK.

“Ok… maybe writing just isn’t happening right now.  What about the next item on the list?”

I switched gears and began working on some music for upcoming events.  I thought that might do the trick.  Usually, strumming and singing makes me feel a lot better.

But today, it just wasn’t happening.  It wasn’t a terrible rehearsal.  I still managed to SHOW UP AND SAID “YES” to the pieces that required the  most attention.  But it wasn’t a great rehearsal, either.  The music felt–well–kind of forced.  And that’s not good–especially when it comes to Hawaiian music!


I decided to honor the body’s natural wisdom.

I literally asked myself–out loud, “What is your problem today?”

And you know what?  An answer came right away:  I just feel “stuck.”

I thought maybe I needed to chill out for a little while.  I’ve been working hard and I haven’t been sleeping very well.  So I sat down and allowed myself a short time to “just be.”

But that didn’t help.

I decided to CHALLENGE the stuck-ness.

What’s the opposite of stuck-ness?  Flow.

I put on my running shoes and headed out for nice, long run–at a leisurely pace.  I wasn’t looking to win any races.

After I’d been running for a little while, it happened:

I can’t really find words to describe it.  Something shifted.  Suddenly, I didn’t feel stuck.  My body was moving.  My breath was moving.  I was flowing again!

Right on!

After I got home, I was able to sit down and make my way through several of the items on the TO DO list.

Did I get ‘em all crossed off?  Nope.

But that’s ok.  Because I’m flowing, again.

How do YOU challenge the stuck-ness?  Drop me a line!  I’d love to hear from you.



ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

Aloha kākou!

I always have my iPod with me. It’s my personal jukebox.

Living in New York City, I spend a lot of time traveling underground via subway–and those rides can be long and boring! But having a collection of great music with me at all times keeps me from losing my mind. I can escape to a tropical isle with the push of a button. Portable paradise!

Here are the TOP 5 SONGS from my iPod this week:

1.   Heavenly Hana ( John Piʻilani Watkin’s recording on the album Songs to Remember: Hana-Maui)

I love this song.  So dreamy!  And the way that John Piʻilani Watkins sings it–with his soaring falsetto!–is outrageously awesome!

It’s done in true crooner style, complete with fun “crooner-isms” like vocal flourishes and glissandos!

One of his many, many compositions, Heavenly Hana is a favorite, indeed.

2.  Waikīkī Hula (Willie K’s recording on the album Awihilima)

I love Willie’s voice.  I love his vocal control.  I love listening to him play ANY instrument.  He’s a master, indeed.  And this album, which features so many classic songs, is a favorite.

This song, attributed to Isaac Keola, has such an awesome “traditional” feel to it–like something from long ago.  It describes a young love affair.  Classic subject material, too!

I have several recordings of this song, but Willie K’s version is the pick this week.  Love it and love the soul he brings to it.

3.  Holoholo Kaʻa (Nina & Bill’s recording on the album Hula Hula Lūʻau Style)

A hula classic–and for a good reason:  IT’S FUN!  This is one of the songs you’re bound to hear at a hula gathering or backyard paina or luau.  Attributed to Clarence Kinney, the song tells about young lovers out on a joy ride–and the things they encounter along the way.

Nina Kealiʻiwahamana and Bill Kaʻiwa really bring a sense of delight to this recording.  I love hearing it sung as a duet!  And these two masters of Hawaiian music help a listener to understand the song’s lyrics–even if the listener doesn’t speak Hawaiian!

4.  Hawaiian Eyes (Jon & Randy’s recording on the album Hawaiian Eyes)

You guys know I love a good 70s jam.  And while this song was part of an album that, technically is part of the 80s (it was released in 1980) it TOTALLY has the fun 70s feeling!

Jon Osorio and Randy Borden created a song that generates an INSTANT SMILE.  At least for me.  Any song that features jazz flute is a winner in my book!

5.  ʻAkaka Falls (Led Kaʻapana’s recording on the album Black Sand)

ʻAkaka Falls is one of my all-time favorite Hawaiian songs.  And this recording really captured my attention this week.  I was revisiting Uncle Led’s album (a favorite) and started thinking about the heavy piano influence on this track.  I looked in the album’s liner notes and saw that it was none other than the piano master, himself:  George Winston.  So I went back and listened to it again.  And again…  And again…

The more I listened to it, the more I loved it.  I like to listen to it with my eyes closed… it brings wonderful pictures to my mind.

What are YOU listening to? Drop me a line and let me know!

And, as always, a giant MAHALO to Puna and the gang at for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place!



Strummin’ in the City (#15)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

andy warhol statue union square kamaka ukulele jason poole

Kamaka concert 'ukulele and The Andy Monument (Union Square, NYC 4.26.11)

A lot of folks find it hard to believe that I carry my ‘ukulele with me all the time.

But you never know when you might feel like strumming!

And as Pops is always quick to advise: E ho’omākaukau. Be prepared.

Ah… the life of an urban strummer!

(Do you like the ʻukulele in the photo? Check out for some of the best ʻukuleles on the planet!)


jason poole accidental hawaiian crooner

Grandma and the Easter Bunny (4/24/11)

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of singing for my grandmother’s 84th birthday celebration!

The family gathered together to celebrate both Easter and my grandma’s birthday–which fell on the same weekend this year.

A few days before we all met up, my uncle sent me an email suggesting the idea of a “family concert” at my grandmother’s birthday dinner.

My first thought was: Ugh… no way! I had visions of us dressed in matching costumes made from curtains, a la THE SOUND OF MUSIC.

And then…  it hit me: IT WAS A GREAT IDEA!

My grandmother has been the biggest supporter of ALL of us in the family.

For our entire lives.  She would do anything for us.

And one of the things that she loves most is watching us perform.

Now was the time to practice the art of SHOWING UP AND SAYING “YES!”

But… we’d never gotten together to perform as a family before!

Could we really pull something together in time for her birthday celebration?  Or would we make a mess out of it all?

My uncle suggested a song he’d like to do as a solo.  He suggested duet for his son and son’s fiancee to sing. (Both of which were ʻukulele-friendly pieces.  He hoped I would be willing to strum the accompaniment–and figured it wouldn’t be too difficult being that I always have my ʻukulele with me!)  And then he suggested I do a song or two for Grandma, as well.

We didn’t have a chance to meet up to rehearse–we needed to just “wing it.”  (Which totally reminded me of being on Molokai and sharing an impromptu “performance.”  As Pops is always saying, “E hoʻomākaukau!” Be prepared!)

After dinner, as the plates were being cleared from the table, I received the nod.  It was “show time!”

We shared some music for Grandma.

And it was wonderful  Not because we were polished and professional…

It was wonderful because it came from the heart.

A treat to share music with the matriarch of the family–the lady who is responsible for our family “tribe”.  And a treat to join forces with some members of my family and share songs together.

Isn’t that what sharing Aloha is all about?

Grandma will only be 84 years old once.  I’m glad we helped to make it a birthday for her to remember.


Right on.


Aloha kākou!

Here is this week’s question:

Where was author Samuel Langhorne Clemens (a.k.a. Mark Twain) when he watched a sunrise that he described as being “the sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed”?

A.  Waimea Canyon (Kauaʻi)

B.  Waikīkī (Oʻahu)

C.  Haleakalā (Maui)

D.  Hilo (Hawaiʻi)

• Please submit your answer as a reply to this blog post.
• All correct answers will be eligible to win a special email message from me.
• One winner will be randomly chosen at 11:59pm HST.

Will YOU be this week’s lucky winner?

Good Luck!

Aloha Poʻalima! Happy Aloha Friday!

**Crooner Update:

Wow!  Almost everyone had the correct answer!  You guys are amazing!

I thought this one was a tough one–all of the choices would be incredible places to watch the sunrise.  However, Mark Twain was referring to  C.  Haleakalā–which, in Hawaiian, means “House of the Sun.”

And this week’s winner (chosen randomly from the correct answers using the amazing “random number generator”) is… (Drum roll, please…) KAREN GUERRA! Congrats, Karen!  You are this week’s Trivia Superstar!

I’m so glad you all took a moment to play along this week–I hope youʻll play along next week, too!

Happy Weekend!

A hui hou…