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Chicago was AWESOME!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jason Poole, Accidental Hawaiian Crooner, Chicago, "the Bean", Cloud Gate, June Tanoue, Halau i Ka Pono

Chicago's famous Cloud Gate (aka "the Bean") (Chicago, IL 8.12.12)

Aloha, gang!

It’s good to be back in NYC for a few days.

I had a great time in Chicago last weekend with Kumu June Kaililani Tanoue and her students at Hālau i Ka Pono.

When I arrived on Friday, I was greeted by the smell of plumeria—and they were from Molokai Plumerias, a smell/taste of “home!”  Some of the dancers had gotten together earlier in the afternoon to string some beautiful lei.  Wow.  What a welcome!  That sure was nicer than the smell of the airport!

On Saturday morning, we were up early and moving around.  Kumu June loves to eat healthy, organic foods so we rode bicycles to the Oak Park Farmer’s Market and gathered all sorts of great edibles. (And some beautiful dahlias, too.) (Crooner note:  One word to describe me on a bicycle: YIKES!)

Afterwards, I watched an ipu making/decorating workshop.  So amazing to see what one can do with a gourd.  Next time I’ll be a participant, for sure.  I’ll need to remember to save space in my carry-on bag for the gourd to come home to NYC with me.

I was scheduled to give a talk-story/performance  on Saturday night.  But before we went to the Zen Life & Meditation Center (the fantastic venue where the event took place), we stopped off at a house party to give a short performance.  It’s a treat to share Aloha!

I began my talk-story/performance at about 7:30 PM and wrapped it up about 9:00 PM.  And it felt like I’d only gotten started.  I was concerned that I wouldn’t have much to talk about.  Even though I’ve just gotten back from Molokai, I’m still in the process of chewing/digesting it all…

But if you know me, you know that once I start talking—I can’t stop!  One story lead to another and another and another.  (And I did my first public performance of a new song that I’d written while I was on Molokai!  I’ll be posting that song on the website soon—stay tuned!)

The evening was also blessed by some beautiful hulas, danced by the lovely ladies of Hālau i Ka Pono.  What an honor to have them bring the songs to life through their dancing!

And if that wasn’t enough Aloha and hula for one weekend—we did ANOTHER show at the Millennium Park Family Fun Festival on Sunday afternoon!  It was a thrill  to be a part of it.  The dancers rocked the event and the audience loved it. (And it was great to be sharing the stage with Bob Althouse on mandolin. ‘Ukulele, mandolin and Hawaiian music make a happy trio, for sure!)  We ended the afternoon with some lunch and sightseeing. I love being a tourist!

Oh!  And did I mention that I barely got a wink of sleep the whole weekend because one of my buddies (who is one of Kumu June’s dancers) was sleeping over at the house, too?  It was a weekend-long slumber party.  The only difference is that we’re older now.  AND WE ACTUALLY NEED TO SLEEP TO BE ABLE TO FUNCTION!  Oh well, I can catch up on sleep now that I’m back in NYC.  (At least for a few days…)

It was an awesome and jam-packed weekend.  I’m always so grateful for the opportunity to share the spirit of Aloha—as well as stories and songs from Molokai and Hālawa Valley. It’s an honor.

Right on.

A giant MAHALO to Kumu June Tanoue, Robert Althouse, the dancers of Hālau i Ka Pono, the members of Zen Life & Meditation Center and everyone else who helped to make the weekend such a success.  I’m looking forward to my next Chicago trip, already.  (Le’ts do it again SOON, ok?!)

4 Responses to “Chicago was AWESOME!”

  1. We absolutely loved having you here Bruddah Jason! And we will have more talk stories – to share what it’s like to live on the beautiful island of Molokai! Plus your beautiful leo/voice that gives a rounded wholeness to the stories! Much aloha to you!!!

  2. Nicole Thibadeaux says:

    Jason, I thought at first that was a giant hot dog!

    Glad you’re home safe, even though it is very far away from me! ;-)

    I’m sending you a photo of a squirrel who looks like you (the photo wil be self-explanatory).

    Aloha,
    Nicole.

  3. Jason Poole says:

    Aloha e Kumu June! Mahalo, again, for a wonderful weekend. You provided the opportunity for me to share the stories and songs that I love so very much. And it was an honor to play for your hālau. Let’s do it again–SOON!

  4. Jason Poole says:

    Aloha e Nicole! Ha! I can see how you could see a hotdog at first glance! The sculpture/piece/installation was really mind-blowing. I loved it. Much Aloha to you.