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Posts Tagged ‘Keiki Kupuna’

Aloha kākou!

Here’s this week’s question:

Which Hawaiian recording artist released the album KEIKI KUPUNA in 2004?

A. Dennis Pavao

B. Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom

C. Nathan Aweau

D. Darlene Ahuna

• Please submit your answer by posting a reply to this entry on the blog.
• 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:

Yes!  You all know your Hawaiian albums and Hawaiian recording artists, that’s for sure!

The correct answer to this week’s question is A. DENNIS PAVAO.  The album (one of my favorites!) was released by Uncle Dennis’ family  after he’d  passed away in 2002.  From what I’ve read, he’d recorded the songs just weeks before he passed away.  We lost him too soon–he was so young.  And one of the most brilliantly talented people I’ve ever listened to.  This album is a treasure, for sure.

This week’s winner, chosen randomly from all of the correct answers, is… (Drum roll, please…) KANILEHUA.  Congrats, Kanilehua.  That makes you this week’s Trivia Superstar.

A giant MAHALO to you all for playing along this week.  Hope you’ll take the challenge next week, too!

Have a great weekend, gang.

A hui hou…



red hibiscus

Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day!

Hawaiian love songs are my favorite. No contest. No other music can compete when it comes to creating a romantic mood.

Maybe the geographic isolation of the Hawaiian islands makes it a fertile ground for romantic thought. Maybe it’s because the composers are surrounded by such natural beauty. Maybe it’s because the sunsets in Hawaiʻi are the best on the planet–and they have a way of creating a romantic mood.

I’m not sure. But…

To honor this day of romance, I thought I’d share 5 MORE of my Favorite Hawaiian Love Songs with you:

1. Kuʻu Pua Mae ʻOle (Kealiʻi Reichel’s recording on the album Lei Haliʻa)

This contemporary ballad is a true favorite!  I first heard this song years ago, before I’d really begun my Hawaiian language studies.  Without even understanding the lyrics, I knew the song was a love song that was DEEP!  Ha!

Years later, after the language began making sense to my ears, I listened to the song, again.  And it knocked my socks off.  The title translates as “My Beloved Never-fading Flower.”  Wow… a love that remains eternally beautiful and fresh.  Even typing these words brings tears tears to my eyes.

Written by Kealiʻi Reichel, it’s a treat to hear him sing it–as he intended it to be sung.


2. Mahina ʻO Hoku (Dennis Pavao’s recording on the album Keiki Kupuna )

Often attributed to Lilian Awa, this song is crooner staple.  Why?

Well, for starters, the lyrics are incredibly beautiful–simple yet lush oh-so-lush imagery about two lovers spending a romantic evening on a deserted beach on the night before the fullest phase of the moon.

And the melody allows a crooner to embellish away–adding all of the crooner dips and flourishes that they love!

And it’s one of the most requested songs I’m asked to play when I’m playing for a hula dancer.  The song is a bit tricky when it comes to playing for a dancer–there are two accepted versions that I’m aware of.  And each version differs slightly, whether it’s a full vamp in between verses or what some of my hula friends call a “cheated vamp”–a variation of the traditional hula counts.

Its complexity is actually a lovely gift because it means that the dancer and the musicians must work together.  No one can go on autopilot.  We listen and watch and move and breathe as one.

(Don’t you think that’s kind of perfect for a love song?)

And Dennis Pavao’s stunning voice makes this song come to life so beautifully.

3. Ka Lehua I Milia (Kuʻuipo Kumukahi’s recording on the album Nā Hiwa Kupuna O Kuʻu One Hānau)

Another staple in the crooner repertoire.  This song, written by the inimitable duo of Mary Kawena Pukuʻi and Maddy Lam, describes a beloved flower, a caressed blossom.

It’s not hard to imagine that the composers might have been talking about a beloved person, as well.  Right?

And Kuʻuipo’s touching rendition reaches right into my heart.  Perfection.

4. Pua Hone (Rev. Dennis Kamakahi’s recording on the album ʻOhana)

One of my all-time favorite songs-to listen to and to sing.

This classic love song was written by Uncle Dennis as a proposal to his bride.  Imagine?!  You can read the story on Huapala’s website by clicking on the link HERE.

It’s been covered by a ton of artists–and all of the versions are beautiful!  But Uncle Dennis sings it the way he sang it to propose.  So special!

5. I Miss You, My Hawaiʻi (Nā Leo Pilimehana’s recording on the album, I Miss You, My Hawaiʻi)

I heard this song playing the other day and it made me get all teary-eyed.  True story.

A love song written for Hawaiʻi.  And sung by the amazingly lovely voices of Nā Leo Pilimehana.  You just can’t ask for more than that.

I love you, Hawaiʻi.  And I miss you…

What romantic songs are making YOU swoon?  Drop me a line and let me know!

**Please click HERE to see The Croonerʻs TOP 5 Hawaiian Love Songs from 2011.

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!


The Crooner’s Weekly “TOP 5″ (12.21.11)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

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. Mahina O Hoku (Dennis Pavao’s recording on the album Keiki Kupuna)

One of my favorite songs (a crooner classic!) recorded by one of my favorite singers.  Kind of a perfect combination, wouldn’t you say?

This song, attributed to Lilian Awa, talks about the night before the full moon.  Two lovers.  A secluded beach.  (Dot…dot…dot…)

In this version, Uncle Dennis presents the song with his beautiful leo kiʻekiʻe (falsetto) in a soothing way.  And he presents each verse two times–a hula dancer’s dream.  Note:  He doesn’t sing the third verse that’s sometimes included.

I love the golden crooning of Uncle Dennis Pavao.  I’m so glad we have his recordings–we can still thrill to his voice.

•Please click HERE to see a tribute page to Uncle Dennis Pavao.

2. Hiʻilawe (Ernie Tevares’ recording on the album Hukilau Hulas)

I was on the treadmill at the gym the other day and this version of the classic song, Hiʻilawe, came on.  It was different from others that I was familiar with.  Bouncier.  I loved it.  I loved it so much that I had to look to see who recorded it.  (Note to self: Stop the treadmill before attempting to read anything.  I practically wiped out!)

Only after I got home and searched the internet did I learn about the amazing musician, Ernie Tevares.  I’m blown away by what I read about him.   Coming from a classical “conservatory background”, I’m always so humbled when I learn about self-taught musicians that are so talented they’d make the best “conservatory trained” musicians bow down to their abilities.  I wish I could be like that!

This is a great recording and one I will go back to again and again.  And it’s bouncy tempo made for some great listening time while I was running!

*Please click HERE to read a little bit about Ernie Tevares and his brother, Freddie.

3. Panini Puakea (Israel Kamakwiwoʻole’s recording on the album Facing Future)

Ah!  This recording brings back such memories!

Like so many folks, Facing Future was one of my very first Hawaiian albums.  I remember listening to it–and THIS SONG in particular!–in my tiny studio apartment in NYC’s Lower East Side.  Ok… it was really more like a closet.  But when this song played, it felt like the whole space opened up.  Even a gloomy NYC winter’s day became sunny.

Long before I had dreams of even visiting Hawaii, I loved this song. And the healing sounds of Braddah IZ’s voice and ʻukulele.

The song, attributed to John K. Almeida, talks about a favorite flower.  And I think it would be easy for one to see the similarities between the flower and a beloved.  But that’s just my take on it…

Magical, indeed.

*Please click HERE to visit IZ’s official website.

4. Falling (Keahiwai’s recording on the album Satisfied)

Listening to Keahiwai takes me back to the first time I went to Hawaiʻi.  I’d gone to Oʻahu for a friend’s wedding.  We were cruising around Waikīkī and I heard their music a lot on the radio.  My hula/ʻukulele friends and I had been listening to their debut album, Local Girls, a lot.  But the sound made so much sense when I got to Oʻahu and breathed the same air, saw the same sights, tasted the same tastes, heard the same sounds.

(It was on that trip that I also learned a lot of the music that made sense to my ears in NYC seemed loud and grossly out of place in Hawaiʻi!)

Simple.  Sweet.  Awesome.  (Makes me wanna close my eyes and sway.)

*Please click HERE to visit the Keahiwai’s official website. (And let ‘em know we miss them and want more music!)

5. Keʻala’s Mele (Leonard Kwan’s recording on the album Hawaiian Slack Key Masters Vol. 1)

This album served as my introduction to kī hōʻalu (slack key guitar) and I still love it.  What a great collection of so many amazingly talented musicians!

This track, recorded by the incredibly gifted Mr. Leonard Kwan, is pretty close to heaven.  I mean, I imagine this is what heaven must sound like.  The guitar is “honeyed’ and golden and sparkles.  The way light might dance along the water.

Love it.  And I love the way it makes me feel… (So thankful for recordings like this!)

*Please click HERE to read Leonard’s bio from Dancing Cat Records.

**Christmas Bonus Song:  Do You Hear What I Hear (Keola Beamer’s recording on the album Kī Hōʻalu Christmas)

This “traditional” Christmas song is magical.  And Keola’s recording captures the magic and mystery of Christmas for me. It brings to mind all sorts pictures–wise men following a star.  A deep blue-indigo night.  If something could be called perfect, this is it.

(**Crooner Note:  The whole album is fantastic!  This is something that plays all season in our home!)

*Please click HERE to visit Keola’s website.

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!  I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!

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