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Jason Poole, Accidental Hawaiian Crooner, Halau i Ka Pono, Chicago, chicago hula, oak park, oak park hula, family fun festival

Aloha, gang!

Are you going to be in the Chicago area this weekend?

I’ll be heading Chicago on Thursday to join up with Kumu Hula June Kaililani Tanoue and Hālau i Ka Pono for a weekend of Hawaiian music, hula and fun!

There will be several public events over the course of the weekend–and you are invited to attend all of ‘em!

First Up:  On Friday, July 26th, the hālau will be giving a free hula performance (with live music!) at Chicago’s legendary Millennium Park at the Family Fun Festival.  Look for us in the Family Fun tent at 1:00 PM .  (I had the chance to perform at this event last year and it was tons of fun for the whole family!)

A perfect way to spend the afternoon on Aloha Friday!

Next:  On Saturday, July 27th,  please join us for an evening of multi-cultural music and dancing, hosted by Hālau i Ka Pono.  A fundraiser to benefit Oak Park’s sole educational resource for hula instuction.

I’ll be performing with some awesomely talented folks!  Tribal dancer, Danielle Meijer will be sharing a Javanese temple dance.  Chicago mezzo, Czerina Salud, will be sharing beautiful Hawaiian songs.  And, of course, you’ll see lots of beautiful hula by Hālau i Ka Pono!  (And knowing Hawaiian events, there will be plenty of time to talk-story and have fun when the performances have ended.)

The showcase will be from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM at the Zen Life & Meditation Center in Oak Park.  Here’s a link with all of the details:

And finally:  On Sunday, July 27th, I am honored to be speaking about Hawaiian Music, Culture and Meditation at the Zen Life & Meditation Center in Oak Park.  The Sunday Morning Zen Meditation is from 9:00 AM -10:00 AM.  Here’s a link to the center’s website for details:

So it’s a weekend that promises to be FULL OF ALOHA!

And we could all use some Aloha, right?

Looking forward to seeing you soon, Chicago friends and family!

Right on.


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?!)


Strummin’ in the City (#70)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kamaka, kamaka ukulele, tenor ukulele, Jason Poole, Accidental Hawaiian Crooner, Chicago, Millennium Park, June Tanoue, Halau i Ka Pono

Kamaka 6-string Tenor (Lili'u model) at Chicago's Millennium Park with Kumu June Kaililani Tanoue and Hālau i Ka Pono (8.14.12)

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!)

*To learn more about Hālau i Ka Pono in Chicago, please click HERE.


A weekend of Hawaiian culture in CHICAGO!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chicago, Halau i Ka Pono, June Tanoue, Oak Park, Accidental Hawaiian Crooner, Jason Poole

Aloha,  gang!

I know… I know I just UNpacked from my trips to Molokai and Pittsburgh. But…

I’m packing up the suitcase, again.


I’m heading to Chicago for a weekend of Hawaiian cultural activities!

Yup! Hawaiʻi Island-born kumu hula, June Kaililani Tanoue has a hālau hula (hula school) out in Oak Park–Hālau i Ka Pono!  And they’ve invited me to join them for a jam-packed weekend of hula classes, an ipu making/decorating workshop and a performance at Chicago’s Millennium Park!

And I’ll be giving a talk-story/performance on Saturday night!  My first talk-story since the most recent Molokai trip.  I’m excited to share stories and songs–and I think the hālau is going to grace the evening with some hula, too!

So… are you coming?

If you’re in the Chicago area, I hope to see you at any/all of the weekend’s events!  

Here’s a link with all of the information to help get you registered, etc:

Now… where did I put my ‘ukulele tuner?

A hui hou!