Na Leo Ho‘okele Concert


Hawaii Island Workforce & Economic Development Ohana announces the 4th Na Leo Ho‘okele Concert on Sunday at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s Moanahoku Ballroom, featuring multi-Na Hoku Hanohano award recipient, Kainani Kahaunaele.

Doors open at 4:30 with pre-concert music by the newly named Na Leo Ho‘okele Serenaders, which includes talented local musicians: Na‘ilima Gaison, Hanohano Yung, and special guests.

Professional vocalist and composer of traditional song (haku mele), Kainani Kahaunaele hails from Kauai but now calls Hawaii Island her home. While earning her B.A. in Hawaiian Studies with an emphasis in Hawaiian language here at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, this talented songstress embarked on her career of composing and singing original haku mele as Hawaiian language curriculum for Aha Punana Leo, (a pioneering Hawaiian language revitalization program) that encourage and promote documentation of our history through mele.

She also earned several Na Hoku Hanohano Awards along the way, including Most Promising Artist, Hawaiian Language Performance, and the highly coveted Female Vocalist of the Year, which established Kainani as one of the most notable talents of her generation for her 2004 Na‘u ‘Oe CD debut.

Kainani’s proficiency in haku mele continues to attract many renowned artists such as Weldon Kekauoha, Aaron Sala, and Na Leo to record her original mele while numerous halau hula dance her songs around the world. She has also recorded with many artists from Hawaii including Kaumakaiwa Kanakaole, Kekuhi Kanahele and Shilo Pa.

In her latest CD release Ohhai Ula, Kainani and her Wish List Band team up with award winning producer Shawn Pimental and engineer Michael Grande to present an impressive collection of new original mele that depict ancestral practices, honor genealogies and storied locales, reveal deep romances, and offer up some traditional and contemporary musical styles sure to please any music lover.

“The Na Leo Ho‘okele Concert Series brings Na Hoku Hanohano level of entertainment to our Hilo community, a feat not often available except on the Merrie Monarch stage,” says HIWEDO Development Coordinator and event organizer, Danelle Avelino, a 38 year professional musician herself.

She adds, “Enjoying a pleasant early evening out, listening to quality entertainment in a beautiful venue, at an affordable price, while supporting HIWEDO’s community programs, is a win-win situation and a great opportunity to hear Hawaii’s finest — right here in Hilo.”

Call Hawaii Island Workforce & Economic Development Ohana at 959-6200 for tickets or more information.

At the 1st Na Leo Ho‘okele Concert, Nathan Aweau brought down the house with a powerful performance that included special guest artist Benny Chong. What a treat!! Hōkū Zuttermeister captivated our audience at the 2nd Concert while his mom surprised us all with her beautiful hula. The 3rd Concert last November, featured Grammy Award Artist, Sonny Lim. Sonny, sister Lorna, and mom, Mary Ann (all who are multi-Nā Hōkū Hanohano award recipients, and who have recently received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award) shared a beautiful evening with stories of their life intertwined with laughter and exemplary music. HIWEDO is a non-profit whose mission: to promote the development of a highly competent and productive workforce to sustain a vibrant Big Island economy and lifestyle.

 

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