Kahilu Theatre, Waimea
December 16, 2017
What better way to stay warm in Waimea on a wet and chilly night than to come out dancing to Kahulanui at the Kahilu Theatre.
Dance at the Kahilu? In his show intro, Kahilu’s Artistic Director Chuck Gessert announced that he wanted to try an experiment for a venue that has no dedicated dance floor. Cleverly, he had his staff open the divider between the Mike Luce Studio and stage left, add a little dappled ballroom lightning, and magically dancers had sufficient room to Jitterbug, Lindy Hop, and cut a rug to tunes from the swing era.
Grammy nominated Hawaiian swing band Kahulanui are no strangers to the Kahilu stage and have celebrated the holiday season with fans for years, and hinted to the packed house that they’d love to come back to the theatre next year.
The evening began with a well-directed short video of archival footage and photos that harkened back to a time when names like Sol Hoopii and Johnny Almeida fused big band sounds with Hawaiian music and brought the steel guitar to forefront, quickly making it one of Hawaiian music’s most identifiable elements.
Kahulanui’s show was filled with iconic Hawaiian images like authentic Hula dancers and a 1940’s sailor boy dancing with a local lady. The band also celebrated the release of their second album Mele Hoʻoilina-– A Musical Legacy and brought exactly enough CDs for every seat in the house.
The 15 tunes on the CD include: “Analani E, E Mau,” “Eating of the Poi” by Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs, “Ka Ua Loku” by Alfred U. Alohikea, “Ho’oluana” by John Alameida and Randy Oness, “Sweet Someone” by Harry Revel and Mack Gordon, “Fly Me To the Moon” by Bart Howard, “Heatwave” by Irving Berlin (solo vocal by Jesse Snyder), “Kahulanui Boogie Woogie” by Bill Noble, “Almost Like Being in Love” by Frederick Loewe, “On The Beach at Waikiki” by G.H. Stover and Henry Kailimai, “Maui Medley/Maui Boy” by Steve Steventon, “Maui Girl” by Sylvester Thomas Kalama and “Medley-Old Hawaiian Style/He’eia,” based on “Real Old Style” by Keola Beamer and “He‘eia” by G.H. Stover and Charles E. King.
Mele Ho’oilina, was produced by Kahulanui LLC and Michael Surprenaut of Mana Music Studios in Hilo, with an additional arrangement by Emmy Award-winning composer/arranger David Pierce. Album graphics and design are by Scarlet Eskildsen.
The members of Kahulanui include originator Lena Naipo on lead vocals and guitar, Patrick Eskildsen on bass guitar and vocals, Duke Tatom on ʻukulele and vocals, Tim Taylor on drums/percussion, and Dwight Tokumoto on steel guitar.
The horn section members are Jesse Snyder on clarinet and tenor sax, Bill Noble on alto saxophone, Joshua Timmons on trumpet, and Vincent D’Angelo on trombone.
Be sure to check out our interview with Jesse Snyder on bigislandmusic.net
Copies of the new CD can be purchased here: http://www.kahulanui.com/the-legacy-of-music.html
For more information on Kahulanui and their 2018 tour, go to www.kahulanui.com