Award-winning Hilo musician Mark Yamanaka will kick off ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center’s evening series, ‘Imiloa After Dark, tonight in the planetarium. Join Yamanaka for an intimate performance at 7 p.m., when he will talk story and play various selections from his debut album.
Born on Oahu, but raised from a young age in Hilo, Yamanaka never imagined that his life would take a musical route. But at Hilo Intermediate School in 1992, he picked up his first ukulele and from that point on his life would never be the same.
His debut release, “Lei Pua Kenikeni,” relates to the fragrant aroma of the pua kenikeni lei, a strong, permeating scent that lingers in the hearts and minds of all those who experience it. The beautiful garland is the perfect metaphor for this captivating collection of songs.
The solo artist has assembled a varied collection of his favorite songs that showcase his depth of talent: some written by his mentor, Johnny Lum Ho, one reaching back to the hymn-singing roots of his great-grandmother, one a country favorite, and even one written by Yamanaka, himself, for his daughter.
Yamanaka was honored with an amazing seven nominations at the 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and walked away with four of the most prestigious awards of the evening: Most Promising Artist, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year for his original song, “Kaleoonalani.”
Admission is $15, with member discounts.