For two nights in late September 2011, four living legends of Hawaiian music came together for an exquisite performance. Each individual artist is extremely talented and accomplished in his own right, the combination of all four sharing the same stage was as rare as it is extraordinary.
The resulting DVD is terrific too. Technically the videography is excellent. Nineteen tracks were recorded and mixed by fine professionals who achieved audiophile quality. The producers threw in a few interviews as an introduction to the Hawaiian Legends and then let them roll. As one woman said after the concert, “The sun just opened up in my head!”
The life of a professional musician is full of travel, and unless you’re lucky enough to live in a town with plenty of solid, steady gigs, you can expect to spend a lot of time on the road.
This has been true of professional Hawaiian musicians since at least the early 20th Century and it is still true, which brings us to the irony that it is often easier to catch a concert on the West Coast than in Honolulu these days. Appropriate then that this amazing combination of kanikapila kings was filmed in Seattle.
Led Kaapana, Dennis Kamakahi, Nathan Auweau and Mike Kaawa played two magical, sold-out nights at the Triple Door, organized by the seemingly inexhaustible Ken Levine. Realizing what riches he had on stage, Ken managed somehow to scare up a film crew and a recording rig. On a very limited budget and with very limited time, he captured a nice bit of the magic that happens when leading Hawaiian musicians get together. There are set pieces, well rehearsed and reflective of the solo gigs, and then there are the joyful go-for-broke jams when all four sit down together with a common repertoire and decidedly uncommon talents.
This was a precious event for everyone involved. We owe the artists and their families a huge debt of gratitude for letting us share it with the big, wide wonderful world.
If you have questions, please send us an email.