You get a glimpse of the true nature of folks when you travel with them. For one thing, you spend awfully long days with them in unfamiliar surroundings and out of the comfort of personal routines…
Uncle Richard Hoopii and his wife Ululani
Traveling with uncle Richard Hoopii and Aunty Ululani definitely has it’s perks. For one, we always give thanks before our journey, during our Journey, after our Gigs and on our journey way home, so we feel it’s a blessing to be with Richard & Ululani and that God is watching over us as well. Uncle Richard has knee problems making walking difficult, which brings up perk # 2. When we travel with the Hoopiis we get to board flights first, even before the First Class passengers. Perk # 3 is that Uncle is always smiling and on time and he is a team player, always not only thinking ahead but doing what’s best for everyone! His music is familiar and consistent and we can count on him and Ululani to come through with the sometimes tough decisions we have to face on the road (such as a 7-hour layover in San Francisco or Seattle to save $350 per person on both flights to and from our destinations!)
Led & Sharon Kaapana
“Solid” is the word that describes our long running relationship with Led and Sharon. Because they are seasoned travelers, there are no surprises, no egos, just friendship, appreciation of each other, observed boundaries and met expectations… and fun on the road! Led is an asset because of his “can do” and “no scared ‘em” attitude! He just listens to what’s being played by other World musicians and takes his cues from that, be it from South Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Ireland, England, whereever! He listens first, then he just charge ‘em and add his 2 cents to help the music sound better. Led is pure music with no barriers between countries, continents, race, religion, color or creed! He is the true ambassador of Music! He can play with anybody!
Nancy does everything to make my life better — on the road as well as at home. At home, she works with our Masters of Hawaiian Music team, serves as our booking agent and publicist for the newspapers, media and concierges. She is our bookkeeper and oversees printers and the rack card distributors, and books travel writers and our venues so everything works smoothly.
Oh yeah, and on a personal level… she coordinates dentist and doctor appointments, makes the food runs, and oversees dog shampoo and nail trimming, cat vet stuff, horse worming and hoof trimming, massages. And then there’s visits from family and friends both at home and when on the road. She also points my head and heart in directions I’m not paying attention to; such as maintaining our lifestyle, our equipment, buildings and supplies, long term planning, paperwork, taxes, lawyers and estate planning, the layers of bills, various insurance… all of it and more that I can’t even remember!
She’s my best friend and sometimes my worst enemy because she knows my weaknesses as a hoarder: of food, cardboard, mulch, manure, recyclables and boxes. A hoarder of just plain junk and throwaways that I’m sure I’ll use someday. And my propensity for dumpster diving and my Best Food mayonnaise addiction. Nancy knows what makes me tick and I feel most vulnerable to her!
For the road, she packs all the bags, music and business equipment, coordinates and schedules and calendars everything. Being on the road, touring on music gigs is hard work but it often like a honeymoon and vacation all put into one. Nancy gets 100% of all my attention and there are no farm chores to do. We actually get to relax more, get some swimming and exercise in and actually catch up on some sleep, reading and writing. It doesn’t get any better than this.