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Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

Aloha, gang!

A new addition to the website and the Crooner Video YouTube channel:

Crooner Breaks!

After talking with some folks about what they’d like to see more of here on the blog, we think this might be exactly what we need.

Check out Crooner Break #1 to see what this all about.  And then be sure to subscribe to the Crooner Video Youtube Channel (Click HERE) so that you’ll always be caught up on what’s happening.

Right on.

Sending warm Aloha to each and every one of you!


Jason Poole, accidental hawaiian crooner, molokai, anakala pilipo, pilipo solatorio, halawa valley, return to halawa, documentary, talk story, talk-story, hawaiian music, new york city

After filming the talk-story in Manhattan with filmmaker Allan Piper. (June 9, 2014)

Aloha, gang!

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of working with NYC-based filmmaker, Allan Piper.  We spent the afternoon together, filming the NYC-portion of the upcoming documentary, Return to Hālawa: The Life & Music of ‘Anakala Pilipo.

It was pretty unbelievable.


It started back in November of last year when I was on Molokai to record the soundtrack for the film. Matt Yamashita, the fearless filmmaker of the documentary, said that he wanted an NYC portion of the film.  My first reaction: You’re crazy, dude.  I don’t know the first thing about filmmaking.  And I even imagine how you go about setting up something like that in New York City.  No way.

Thankfully, Matt is patient and persistent.  He explained that it would be awesome to show that the things Pops has shared with me are traveling beyond Molokai’s shores, that I’m truly carrying them out into the world and sharing and teaching.  He asked about the possibility of filming me teaching in NYC public schools.  Again, I said NO WAY as the schools don’t let us bring cameras into the classroom because the kids are minors.

(Who knew I could be such a downer?)

And then he had a great idea:  I could do a talk-story/presentation, just like Pops and I do on Molokai.  Nothing major–small and intimate.  And it would be great if I could get keiki/kids there, too.  The whole thing could be filmed.

And… in an ideal world, moments that were filmed on Molokai (like me getting ready in the morning, packing up to go to the presentation, traveling to the venue, etc) would be filmed in the Big Apple–highlighting the differences in my two very different worlds, NewYork City and Hālawa Valley.

I still thought he was crazy.  But it was definitely worth a shot.

Finding a filmmaker to shoot the portion in NYC wasn’t as tough as I’d imagined.  Especially when you know someone like Allan Piper, an established filmmaker and documentarian.  I was thrilled when he said he could do the filming for us.  And then we actually found a time that we could shoot it. (Coordinating schedules to meet up for dinner with friends can sometimes be impossible.  I’m still amazed we found a time to make this happen!)

Once a date had been secured, I needed to send out an email to folks to invite them to the talk-story.  Matt had envisioned something intimate like we’d done on Molokai.  ”No need to have a big audience.”

I thought we’d be lucky if we got 10 people.  Sundays are precious days here in the Big Apple.  Folks cherish those few weekend moments and fill them quickly–especially when they have kids.  I crossed my fingers that we’d have enough folks there to do it. (Or that Allan would be such a filmmaking wiz that he could make 3 people look like a crowd.)

Allan showed up at my apartment and we were able to recreate a lot of the shots that I remember from Molokai–even a scene where I’m brushing my teeth!  I’m not sure either scene will make it into the final cut of the film, but I thought it would please Matt to see things come full-circle.  This is how it happened on Molokai/this is how it happened in New York City.

He filmed my commute to the venue, including walking down the chaotic, traffic-filled streets of midtown Manhattan. A huge difference from Molokai where there isn’t a single traffic light.  (*Note: At the time of this writing, there may be a temporary traffic light while they work on one of the bridges.)

And then at the venue… WOW!

A beautiful space in midtown Mahattan (lovingly gifted to us for the afternoon by one of the Crooner team, the fantastic Mariko Gordon!) with windows that looked out at skyscrapers and a park.  The room filled up quickly with (count ‘em!) 18 people–including 6 young folks!  Amazing!  I mean absolutely amazing!

And the icing on the cake: we had beautiful blue, sun-filled skies yesterday here in NYC.  Talk about a blessing!

The talk-story went really well–even though I wasn’t sure HOW I was going to craft a presentation that was family friendly, short and included enough interaction that it would read well (maybe even without sound) in the final cut.  But I could imagine Pops telling me, “Iakona, just go as the makani (winds) blow.”

The audience was a ton of fun to work with.  They were the real stars of the day. I shared stories about some of the animals we have down in the valley because that always seems to make folks’ jaws drop.  Yes, we have cats and dogs and birds in the valley, but we also have wild boars, goats and lizards.  (And sometimes you might find a lizard in the toilet–but that’s another story…) I even shared one of the songs with motions, a short hula noho (school kid-kine) that I’d written. An epic audience participation moment!

And then… we were blessed with a hula by the lovely Ms. Eleanor.  She danced her beautiful choreography to my song, Healing Waters.  Such a gift to have something like that captured on film.  I wish you all could have seen the faces of the folks in the audience–all smiles and even a few tears.  (Mahalo for that, Ms. Eleanor!)

Time flew by and before I knew it, we needed to wrap up and head home.

I’m still in shock that it all came together, all of those moving parts.

I can’t wait to see how it fits into the final film.

We’ll keep you posted.

Right on.

(The next time I make a snap judgement and say NO WAY, remind me of this, Ok?)



jason poole, accidental hawaiian crooner, kawika alfiche, halau o keikialii, jebon sushi

Aloha, gang!

You guys: Tomorrow night in NYC is gonna be magical!


Kumu Kawika Alfiche and members of Hālau o Keikialiʻi are HERE IN NYC.


(And I’m gonna be there singing and strumming along with them!)

We had a great rehearsal today.  ʻOno tunes and awesome dancing.

So here’s my question:  ARE YOU GONNA BE THERE?

I’d love to see you there!

Here are the details:

Friday, July 12th


JeBon Sushi & Noodle

15 St. Marks Place

NY, NY  10003

$15 at the door

* Please check out Hālau o Keikialiʻi’s website by clicking HERE.



Strummin’ in the City (#84)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

kamaka ukulele, jason poole, accidental Hawaiian crooner, strummin in the city, urban strummer, ukulele, uke, nyc uke

Strummin’ beside the new Citi Bikes here in NYC. (Kamaka 6-string tenor/Lili’u ‘ukulele. Union Square, NYC. June 2013)

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: 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, uke night, birdland, broadway at birdland, strum, kamaka ukulele

Aloha, gang!

I’m so excited to be a part of this AWESOME EVENING OF ‘UKULELE MUSIC here in NYC on Monday, April 15th!!

Yup.  This one is gonna be GOOD!

Lots of Broadway stars.  Lots of singing.  Lots of strumming.

And all of it the legendary venue, BIRDLAND.

Here’s what they’re saying about it on Facebook: UKE NIGHT! at Birdland on Monday April 15th. Proceeds to be donated to the Barden Family Fund, helping the family of young Daniel Barden who was a victim of the Sandy Hook/Newtown tragedy. Come on out, hear some fine uke-playing on some songs you might not expect and help donate to a very worthy cause.

And please click HERE to access a link to Birdland’s website.

So if you’re going to be in the NYC area, I’d LOVE to see you there!  Great music for a very worthy cause.

(And come on–you know you’re going to need some good tunes to take away the sting of Tax Day, right?!)

Right on.



Monday, April 15th  7:00PM

$25 ticket plus $10 food/drink minimum.

For tickets and reservations: (212) 581-3080



Video Blog: The Day After Sandy (10.30.12)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Aloha, gang.

Continuing to keep everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy in thoughts and prayers.  May we all move about with open eyes and open hearts…

Stay safe.