…I’m here on a bit of a cultural lark. Truth be told, I never really “got” the whole Hawaiian music thing. (I blame this on my parents, who dragged me to see Don Ho, Mr. “Tiny Bubbles” himself, when I was an impressionable 12-year-old visiting Waikiki for the first time. Scarily, Ho is still at it.)

I discover one more musical gem at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua when I attend the Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Concert Series. Held every Wednesday evening, the concerts are hosted by George Kahumoku Jr., an affable and multitalented musician, author, and teacher who welcomes guest artists to join him on-stage for some fine music-making and storytelling. On the night I attend, Kahumoku introduces his guest, the ducktailed Ledward Kaapana, as “probably the most inventive slack-key guitarist of my lifetime”.

Watching and laughing with these two masters, I feel like I’m sitting in someone’s back yard, listening to the music that Hawaiians might play for their families and friends late at night, after a couple of beers. It’s what I expect a real Hawaiian musical experience to be: sometimes tender, often humorous, always evocative of the life and traditions of these beautiful islands…

Copyright © 2005 — Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp
For complete article, visit the Georgia Straight website at: www.straight.com

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