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Posts Tagged ‘talk-story’

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, molokai, pilipo solatorio, anakala pilipo, return to halawa, kickstarter, hawaiian documentary, halawa valley

Aloha, gang!

What are your plans for this Saturday evening, 9/21/13?

If youʻre in NYC, I hope you’ll come to my show!

It’s a fundraiser concert/musical talk-story that is being done to help raise money for an upcoming documentary I’ve been telling you about: RETURN TO HĀLAWA-The Life and Music of ‘Anakala Pilipo.  It’s the story of my teacher (aka Pops) and his legacy.  And my own story is woven throughout the film, as well!

(Please click HERE to view the film’s trailer.  It’s AWESOME!)

I’ll be sharing lots of Hawaiian songs and stories of my (mis)adventures on my travels–especially about my time on Molokai down in Hālawa Valley.

And I’m so happy to be joined by some of NYC’s best Hawaiian/Hawaiian-at-Heart musicians.  (And hula dancers, too!)

And… I’ll be sharing some of the new songs that I’ve been writing for the film.  And one of ‘em is BRAND NEW.  The “world premiere” of a new song!  (Right on!)

I can’t wait to share this Aloha-filled evening with you.  I hope to see you there!

*All proceeds from the door will go toward the film’s completion.*

Our friends at Hālāwai have added it to the Community Calendar.  Please click HERE to see all of the details.

And just in case, here are the details, again:

Date: Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cover: $20 cash at door *All proceeds from the door will go toward the film’s completion*

Time: Doors open at 7:15pm (Jebon has a great menu–Come hungry & thirsty!)

Showtime: 8:00pm

Venue: Jebon Sushi And Noodle @ the downstairs lounge (Dinner and Drinks available for purchase!)

Address: 15 St. Mark’s Place  NY, NY  10003

RSVP: to Eleanor Eleia2000(at)gmail(dot)com to ensure a reservation on the guest list.  Seating is limited–the venue can accommodate up to 100 people with seats for 75.

**If you canʻt be there, you can still be a part of the magic by contributing to the film’s Kickstarter Campaign by clicking HERE.  We are raising funds until Tuesday, September 24, 2013.  Every little bit counts and helps to make this dream a reality!  Mahalo!**


Aloha from Molokai!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Accidental Hawaiian Crooner, Jason Poole, Anakala Pilipo, Pilipo Solatorio, Halawa Valley, Molokai, kupuna, Teri Waros, Kalele Books and Divine Expressions, Kaunakakai, Pakele Live

Aloha from beautiful Hālawa Valley on the island of Molokai!

Hui!  Aloha mai!

Iʻm on the beautiful island of Molokai at the moment, basking in the warm Aloha and natural beauty that surrounds us.  It’s been an amazing 10 days.  Most of the time has been spent down in Hālawa with Mom and Pops and the ʻohana. We don’t have telephone service or internet down in the valley, so communication has been limited.  I’ve been posting pics on Facebook when we come out the valley for supplies or to check messages.

(I’m using the wifi at Molokai’s DRIVE-INN in town right now while I munch on some ‘ono food.)

We had some HUGE rains the other night.  Folks are saying it’s all part of a tropical storm system in the vicinity.  And huge rains means HUGE WATERFALLS!  Auē!  I’ve never seen them so big! Like a scene from a movie.  Absolutely stunning.  The picture above is so that you can see it–and imagine that you’re right there with us.  Amazing.

One of the highlights of the trip, for sure, was participating in a talk-story/kanikapila at Kālele Books and Divine Expressions in Kaunakakai the other night.  Teri Waros owns the only bookstore in town–and she has the most beautiful backyard, too!  A perfect spot for a get together.

Jason Poole, Accidental Hawaiian Crooner, Molokai, Halawa Valley, Pilipo Solatorio, Anakala Pilipo, Kaunakakai, kupuna, Kalele Books, Teri Waros

Here’s the cool sign that Teri Waros had posted all over town about the talk-story session with the kūpuna at Kālele Books and Divine Expressions.

Talk-story sessions/kanikapila jam sessions are always fun, but this one was even MORE SPECIAL because of all the kūpuna, the island’s elders, that attended.  I came into the space and saw their faces–like seeing a Hawaiian royal court.  So wise.  So kind.  So much Aloha.  It was such a gift to be in their presence for a while.  To share a song (and a hula!) or two.  And then to just surround myself in their mana–their presence–so full of Aloha.

A night I’ll never forget.

A giant MAHALO to Teri Waros and all who came out to make the night so special.

I’ll be posting more stories and pics soon.  I should have regular internet service once I get to Oʻahu on Tuesday.

Wait!  What’s that?  Did I just say I was heading to Oʻahu?


And it’s for a good reason, too.  I’m so excited to be returning to the stage of Pakele Live next Thursday.  I’ll send the details out tomorrow–so stay tuned!  And it’s a concert YOU can see, too–over the internet!  Right on!

I’ll be posting details tomorrow.

Until then,

May you all have an awesome Aloha Sunday.

And please share some Aloha–the world needs all that we can give!

A hui hou!


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?!)


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!