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Posts Tagged ‘mele.com’

Aloha gang!

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.

The album is for sale online via MKAloha.com and Mele.com.

#SupportHawaiianMusic!

Mahalo. Thank you.

And…

Right on.

2 Comments

Hawaiian Christmas Music? Right on!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Accidental Hawaiian Crooner, Molokai, Halawa Valley, Anakala Pilipo, Hawaii, Jason Poole, Christmas Music, Christmas Music Playlist, Hawaiian Christmas music, kealii reichel, amy hanaialii, john keawe, keahiwai, slack key, eddie kamae, sons of hawaii, hookena, willie k.,

Aloha Kalikimaka!

Hui!  Aloha mai!

Christmas is right around the corner.  And that means that everywhere I go, I hear Christmas music Piped in over the loudspeakers at stores, at holiday parties, on television and the radio, my world is filled with the sounds of the season.

Here in NYC, we hear a lot of the “traditional” recordings.  The standards, recorded by the greats like Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Julie Andrews, Nat King Cole, Burl Ives, Brenda Lee et al. (You know the ones I’m talking about, right?)

And please don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE those songs.

But as a Hawaiian Crooner, I need some holiday tunes with an Aloha-infused, Hawaiian vibe to help ring in the holiday spirit.

And I’m guessing YOU do, too.

So this year, I thought I would share a list of some of my ALL-TIME FAVORITE HAWAIIAN CHRISTMAS ALBUMS.  Culled from my personal Hawaiian Christmas music collection–which is far from complete–these albums are in constant rotation in our home during the holiday season.  Each of ‘em are full of great tracks that will make you smile.

(Note: Click on the title for a link to Mele.com–a fantastic online Hawaiian music source.)

The Crooner’s Hawaiian Christmas Music Picks:

A Hawaiian Christmas (Amy Hānaialiʻi)

Maluhia (Kealiʻi Reichel)

Hilo for the Holidays (Kuana Torres Kahele)

Christmas ʻUkulele Style (Daniel Ho)

Christmas Time (Eddie Kamae & The Sons of Hawaiʻi)

Huliau (Hoʻokena)

Santa’s Gone Hawaiian! (Various Artists)

Christmas Day in Hawaiʻi Nei (Mākaha Sons)

Kī hōʻalu Christmas: Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar (Various Artists)

Willie Kalikimaka (Willie K.)

Christmas Is… (John Keawe)

Merry Christmas (Keahiwai)

What are some of YOUR FAVORITE Hawaiian Christmas albums?  Drop me a line and let me know! I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Hui!  Aloha mai!

Did you guys catch the webcast of the 2013 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards the other night?  Wow! It’s amazing to be able to sit in an apartment 5,000 miles away from the ceremony and still be able to tune in.

(Ok… I’m only a little bit jealous of those of you who actually attended the show.  Only a little bit…)

It’s no secret that I love Hawaiian music.  I value it as an art form.  I believe in its ability to heal a person from the inside out.

I love and respect the artists working so hard perpetuate this incredible musical tradition.

And when all of the year’s greatest Hawaiian artists come together for an award show, it’s unbelievably cool.

For those that don’t know what I’m talking about:

Every year, Hawai’i has its big Hawaiian music awards show, the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards.

(*Note:  Please see comment from Auntie Maria below–she helped me to clarify what I was saying.  Hawai’i and her music/musicians are a diverse crowd, for sure.  And the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards celebrates that diversity.)

Produced by the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts, this beautiful event honors the best in Hawaiian music.  The cream of the crop.

(Note: In Hawaiian, Nā Hōkū means “the stars” and Hanohano means “exalted, glorious, honored, distinguished.”)

The voting members of HARA certainly had their work cut out for them this year.

Why?

With all of the jaw-dropping talent that was nominated for awards, I don’t know that I would have been able to choose a winner in every category!  I mean, the talent is STELLAR!

Categories include Album of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Graphics, Liner Notes, etc.  (Very similar to some of the award shows I grew up watching here on the mainland.)

And then… they have other categories like Haku Mele of the Year which celebrates a composition written in Hawaiian.  And Hawaiian Language Performance.  And Hawaiian Album of the Year.

I was going to post a list of the winners, but the I realized that our friends at MELE.com have already done an amazing list–including links to the albums/artists that won!  It’s fantastic.  Truly.  And you can check it out by clicking HERE.

Please continue to support Hawaiian Music and Hawaiian Artists.  We are all working to share some Aloha with the world.

Right on.

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I love to run.

And I never thought I’d write those words, either.  I mean, I wasn’t very athletic as a kid.  And then I broke my hip in my late 20s.  Not a lot of signs pointing to the fact that I’d be running as an adult.

Thank goodness things can change!

I’ve been listening to some great playlists that have helped to make my time on the treadmill a lot of fun.  And with so many folks working to take better care of themselves in 2013 (“Hello, New Year’s Resolutions!”)…

I thought I’d share some of my recent favorite playlists with YOU!

**Note: I have so much respect for DJs–manually creating a playlist stresses me out!  I can literally spend hours putting together a running order. (Pun intended!)  For most of these, I used the Genius feature in iTunes to create the lists.  It makes me feel like I’m listening to a radio station–I’m surprised by the next song!**

Now get out there and get MOOOVIN’!

Playlist #1:

Honolulu City Lights (Beamer Brothers)

Ku’u Home ʻO Kahaluʻu (Olomana)

You Kuʻuipo (Willie K.)

About You (Cecilio & Kapono)

Pua Hone (Dennis Kamakahi)

Fish And Poi (Sean Na’auao)

Love And Honesty (Hawaiian Style Band)

Island Style (John Cruz)

Hawaiʻi Au (The Sunday Manoa)

‘Ōpihi Man (Ka’au Crater Boys)

Waiʻoli (Mark Keali’i Ho’omalu)

Pōhai Ke Aloha (Kawai Cockett)

Nani Kauaʻi (Amy Hānaiali’i Gilliom)

Pāpālina Lahilahi (Genoa Keawe)

Ke Aloha (Uluwehi Guerero)

Playlist #2:

Haleakalā (Brothers Cazimero)

E Hoʻi I Ka Pili (Kealiʻi Reichel)

Kuʻu Lei ʻAwapuhi (Hapa)

He ʻAi Na Ka Lani (Eddie Kamae & the Sons of Hawaiʻi)

E Kuʻu Morning Dew (Keola Beamer)

Waterfall (Willie K.)

Radio Hula (Led Kaapana & Friends)

Hula Lady (Dennis Pavao)

Hanohano O Cowboy (Israel Kamakawiwoʻole)

He Punahele Nō ʻOe (The Sons of Hawaiʻi)

Sitting in Limbo (John Cruz)

Pane Mai (Brothers Cazimero)

Pelekane (Mākaha Sons of Niʻihau)

Kuʻu Wehi O Ke Aumoe (Kealiʻi Reichel)

Kuʻu Home O Kahaluʻu/Kuʻu Lei ʻAwapuhi (Barefoot Natives)

Playlist #3:

Pua Loke (Akoni)

My Isle of Golden Dreams (Alfred Aholo Apaka)

I Ali’i Nō ʻOe (Aloha Pumehana Serenaders)

Beautiful Kauaʻi (Aloha Pumehana Serenaders)

Hiʻilawe (Aloha Pumehana Serenaders)

Ala Moana Annie (Amy & Willie K.)

Haleʻiwa Hula (Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom)

Kikawahine (Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom)

My Little Grass Shack (Amy Hanaialiʻi & Willie K.)

Wahine Uʻi (Andy Cummings & His Hawaiian Serenaders)

Waikīkī (Andy Cummings & His Hawaiian Serenaders)

Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai (Ata Damasco)

KHBC (Ata Damasco)

Nani Kauaʻi (Auntie Geri Kuhia)

Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai (Aunty Edith Kanakaʻole)

Halemaʻumaʻu (Bill Aliʻiloa Lincoln)

Beautiful Kauaʻi (Kawai Cockett)

ʻUlupalakua (Aunty Genoa Keawe)

Baby Can I Hold You (ʻAleʻa)

On Fire (Kaʻau Crater Boys)

I Hear Music (Kaʻau Crater Boys)

Playlist #4:

La ʻElima (Israel Kamakawiwoʻole)

Lei Pīkake (Hapa)

Kawaipunahele (Kealiʻi Reichel)

The Hukilau Song (Alfred Aholo Apaka)

Kaulana Nā Pua (Keola Beamer)

Aloha ʻOe (Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom & Willie K.)

Pua Hone (Brothers Cazimero)

Constellations (Kaukahi feat. Jack Johnson)

The Rest of Your Life (Remix) (Nā Leo Pilimehana)

Let’s Talk Story (Hawaiian Style Band)

Mahina ‘O Hoku (Dennis Pavao)

Hiʻilawe (E. Tavares)

Kalua (Alfred Aholo Apaka w/ Danny Stewart’s Hawaiians)

Pānini Puakea (Israel Kamakawiwoʻole)

Maunaleo (Kealiʻi Reichel)

Falling (Keahiwai)

Mānoa in the Rain (Hapa)

Playlist #5:

Lāʻiekawai (Hōkū Zuttermeister)

Medley: Ka Manu/ Manu Oʻo (Nā Palapalai)

My Sweet Pīkake Lei (Brothers Cazimero)

Pālehua (Willie K. and Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom)

Ke Lehua Pūnono (ʻAleʻa)

Maile Swing (Genoa Keawe)

Makee ʻAilana (Dennis Pavao)

Poliahu (Teresa Bright)

ʻAlekoki (Raiatea Helm)

He Pō Lani Makamae (Robi Kahakalau)

Ke Anu O Waimea (Nā Palapalai)

ʻAkahikuleana A Ka Piko (Hōkū Zuttermeister)

Pōhai Ke Aloha (Amy Hānaialiʻi Gilliom)

Waikā (Brothers Cazimero)

Iā ʻOe E Ka Lā (Hoʻokena)

What are YOU listening to these days?  What makes YOU feel like MOOOVIN’?  Drop me a line.  I’d love to hear from you!

P.S.  A great resource for Hawaiian music is www.mele.com.  A fantastic selection of Hawaiian CDs and DVDs–from classics to contemporary.  I’m always “hanging out” on the site–planning my next order.  Ha!

4 Comments

The Crooner’s Weekly TOP 5 (10.10.12)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

I LOVE HAWAIIAN MUSIC!  True story.

And I listen to it all the time!  Especially when I’m on the move–either walking along NYC’s crowded sidewalks or riding the rails on the subway through the tunnels under the concrete.  (I’m convinced that it helps to keep me sane in this crazy city!)

I love a really wide variety of it: vintage, traditional, contemporary, instrumental…

And I love sharing some of my favorites with you.

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

1. Here In This Enchanted Place (Emma Veary’s recording on the album The Best of Emma Veary)

This time of year, when autumn chills the air, I like to wrap myself up in a warm cocoon of sounds.

And this week, I decided to wrap myself up in the amazingly lovely voice of Ms. Emma Veary.  I mean, wow…

And the orchestration on this recording is BEYOND lush and rich and over-the-top-wonderful.

2. Medley: Leis for Sale/For You A Lei (Gary Aiko’s recording on the album A Romantic Night In Hawaii)

You guys know how much I love the golden sound of a crooner‘s voice.

And one of the very best crooners on the planet is Mr. Gary Aiko.  He’s got Hawaiian music in his veins–he’s Aunty Genoa Keawe’s son!  And he is  a true master of this era’s music… smooth and “crooner-iffic!”

And he’s got a new album, too!  Please click HERE to check it out!

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle Gary’s website.

3. Manaʻo Pili (Diana Aki’s recording on the album Moments with You)

This song was a wonderful surprise this week!

I heard it and I had to stop what I was doing and just listen.  I mean, it captured my full attention.  Jazzy. Cool.  And that voice… unmistakable!

Are you familiar with this recording by Aunty Diana already? Am I just a latecomer to the party?

If you’re not familiar with it–you’re in luck.  You’ll be blown away by it, too.

(Note: It’s also on the album, Troubled Paradise, but that one is more difficult to find.)

*Please click HERE to see a great article (with a REALLY GREAT video link) about Aunty Diana.

4. Seabird (Andy Kimura’s recording on the album Island Classics)

My musical trip to “yesteryear” this week.  And what a good trip it is!

Any song that opens with a super cool jazz flute automatically gets my attention.  And it’s tropical vibe–almost like something you’d expect to hear on a classic THE LOVE BOAT episode, makes me grin from ear to ear.

And Audy Kimua can sing!  Right on, sir!  I’m totally digging his smooth sound!  Sadly, I’m unable to locate a copy of his album, Looking for the “Good Life.  So I’ll just have to wait to hear more…

5. Lei ʻOhu (Cyril Pahinui’s recording on the album 6 & 12 String Slack Key)

One of my favorite musicians to listen to is Uncle Cyril Pahinui.  I had the great chance to see him years ago here in NYC at a venue called The Knitting Factory.  He and Uncle Led Kaʻapana were playing a double-bill.  I was in heaven!

There’s just something special about him.  The way he sings.  The way he plays.  He’s a master, no doubt.  The music oozes out of him. Hawaiian to the core!  There are moments where, if I close my eyes, I can’t tell whether it’s him singing or his legendary father, Gabby “Pops” Pahinui.

Note:  He’s coming back to NYC this weekend!  If you’re around, check him out!  You won’t be sorry!  Please click HERE to learn more about his upcoming visit to the Big Apple.

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle Cyril’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 www.mele.com for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place!  I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!

**Wanna be the first to know when Crooner News/Updates are posted?  You can subscribe by clicking HERE!**

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The Crooner’s Weekly TOP 5 (9.19.12)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ukulele Croonerʻs Weekly TOP 3 iPod Jason Poole Accidental Hawaiian Crooner

I LOVE HAWAIIAN MUSIC!  True story.

And I listen to it all the time!  Especially when I’m on the move–either walking along NYC’s crowded sidewalks or riding the rails on the subway through the tunnels under the concrete.  (I’m convinced that it helps to keep me sane in this crazy city!)

I love a really wide variety of it: vintage, traditional, contemporary, instrumental…

And I love sharing some of my favorites with you.

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

1. Ei Nei (Lena Machado’s recording on the album Hawaiian Song Bird)

One of my favorite voices from the past is Aunty Lena Machado.  And while her voice and this song are both considered to be vintage by some folks, in my mind they’re also timeless.

One of my favorite things to hear when I’m on Molokai is when one of the kūpuna (elders) calls out so sweetly to someone across the room, “Hui!  Ei nei… aloha!  Aloha mai!”  (“You there!  Darling!  Love from me to you!”)

There’s a great story in the book, LENA MACHADO: SONGBIRD OF HAWAI’I that describes Aunty Lena’s relationship with her husband, Uncle Lu.

Listening to the song takes me back to when I was a little boy, staying in my grandparents’ house in Pennsylvania.  After dinner was finished and the dishes had been washed, they’d turn out the overhead lights and the kitchen would be lit by a tiny light over the sink.  We’d all go into the other room to watch television, with my grandparents holding hands while they walked.

Ei nei…

2. Nā ʻOno O Ka ʻĀina (Aunty Edith Kanakaʻole’s recording on the album Hiʻipoi I Ka ʻĀina Aloha)

I love this album and I love this particular track.  Here’s why:

This piece is dedicated to Aunty Edith Kanakaʻole and inspired by her song, Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai as well as her teachings.  The composition, attributed to Kalani Meinecke and George Kahumoku in the album’s liner notes, describes different types of taros (Aunty Edith’s favorites) and is done like a hymeni-style (hymn-like) chant with beautiful vocal harmonies.

The last verse of the piece will be instantly recognizable to so many people as the group HAPA used it to close their legendary recording of Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai.

Note to self: I need to make this part of my repertoire!

*Please click HERE to visit the website of the Edith Kanakaʻole Foundation.

3. A Lei Of Aloha (Moe Keale’s recording on the album Imagine)

Wanna hear a beautiful song that really describes the spirit of Aloha?  This is it.

Incredibly simple–and yet so deep. How do you describe the Aloha spirit?  Well, this song’s lyrics do a great job of illustrating something so easily felt but so difficult to put into words.

And who better to sing it than Uncle Moe Keale?  His voice… his voice…

I’ve been listening to this song on repeat.  I like to think that the more I listen, the more it sinks into my bones.

*Please click HERE to visit a page that display’s the song’s lyrics.

4. One Day Soon (Ernie Cruz Jr’s recording on the album Portaits)

Oooh!  This song is smooth!

And that awesome slap-strum that makes such a fun beat!  I bet you can’t listen to it without moving your body.  I find myself snapping along while I listen–like I’m back in my father’s jazz club.

The song reminds me of a Stevie Wonder tune.  Old-school soul groove all the way–island style.  Love it.

5. Noenoe (Cyril Pahinui’s recording on the album 6 & 12 String Slack Key)

When I’m stressed out, I put on some amazing kī hōʻalu, slack key guitar, music.  It soothes me.  Reaches down inside me and acts a pressure release.  Seriously.  I can feel my shoulders drop away from my ears…

This song, played by the one and only Cyril Pahinui, is like listening to the soundtrack of a dream.  Ah!  Those arpeggios!  The notes mix and swirl like colors on an artist’s palette.

A true master, he bends the strings and the rhythms under his skilled fingers.

*Please click HERE to visit Uncle Cyril’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 www.mele.com for being an awesome Hawaiian music resource. You all make the world a better place!  I’m DEFINITELY thankful for that!

**Wanna be the first to know when Crooner News/Updates are posted?  You can subscribe by clicking HERE!**

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