GK Reflection: Heritage Tour 2014

What was this last weekend like while on the Heritage Tour 2014?

Let me tell you…

I usually opened up the show with my chant E Ho Mai Ka Ike, then did about 22 minutes of songs with a hula by Nani Edgar, our Hanai niece from Ventura, who danced Hi’ilawe for me while Nancy manned the CD & Merchandise table. I told a few stories and sang a few more songs, then Stephen Inglis came up and we did a duet of Dennis Kamakahi’s Wahine Ili kea about the mist of Molokai while Nani danced.


photo: Scott Hillman Photography

Then Stephen played his solo set starting with Slackkey #1 from Sonny Chillingsworth taught to him by Ozzie Kotani. He then promoted his Molokai Album by singing a medley of songs he co-composed with Dennis Kamakahi and a few of his originals about Kalaupapa and the leper colony there.

We took a break , sold CDs met with and greeted people…

And then Waipuna commanded the stage with Dennis Kamakahi’s song about the winds of Molokai. What is unique about Waipuna is their blend of voices with Kale Hannah‘s baritone bass voice and bass ukulele, Matt Sproat’s falsetto and guitar rhythm, and the lead pickings on ukulele and tenor voice of David Kamakahi.

It’s kind of neat to see all three performing sons of my childhood classmates from Kamehameha Schools, Neil & Mariann( Holu) Hannah’s whom I’ve known since 12-13 years old and Matts mom Zelda Zoller who was my Kamehameha classmate since Kindergarten since 4-5 years old and then of course, David’s dad, Dennis Kamakahi class of 1972.

What’s touring like when we’re not onstage? Being younger, the boys Matt and Kale hit the casinos at every opportunity and Kale did quite well on Blackjack. We share quite a few meals at the venues and the hotels together and all have a love and weakness for In-N-Out Burger. David tends to stay more to himself, like his dad Dennis does whenever I travelled with Dennis in the past.

The boys and Nani spent late nights around the pool taking story into the wee hours of the night while Nancy and I settled the CD receipts and printed out schedules and boarding passes for the next days flights. In LA the boys passed on an afternoon of chicken feet and dim sum before heading for the hotel to rest from the late night at the casino. Nani was a virgin chicken feet eater and I peeled out the bones for her so she wouldn’t choke! Being older Nancy and I got up early every morning to take advantage of the free breakfasts and hotel buffets. The “kids” were nowhere to be seen that early in the am between 6am-9 am. I also got to enjoy afternoon swims at the hotel pools.

Actually, I get to spend more time with Nancy on the road than when we’re home, which she loves! On the farm, there’s an endless array of farm work and mulching! I’m usually up by 3am and doing paper work or emailing until 6am. I make my own high protein shake with eggs, bananas, papayas from my garden plus frozen peaches and berries all mixed in with my homemade POG (juice mixture of PassionFruit, Orange, Guava).

On the road, somehow I get into hoarder mode and I start stashing packets of Best Foods Mayo, ketch soup [sic –ketchup] and shoyu.  I’m also into snacks from the Hawaiian Airlines premier lounge and all kinds of fruits, water and assorted snacks from our venues. So by the time we get back to OGG (Kahului, Maui) I got a big bag of goodies we never ate that I feed to my ducks, cookies, nuts, crackers, just to name a few.

It seems that the next generation is wired different from me with their carefree lifestyle of go sleep late and wake up late. I always like to be at the airport 2-3 hours early , while they like cruising in last minute, by the hair of their chinny chin chin! Also they aren’t as obsessed about food like I am! Whenever I go into an area, if I’m not performing or promoting, I want to experience the food from that area and I look forward to the food as much as the actual gig(s) that I’ve been booked to do in an area. For instance, in Tacoma, Nancy and I went shopping at Albertsons for snacks for our hula Dancers. I also brought Kimchee-style poke fish and Spam musubi from home. Kale’s Ohana brought a platter of Sushi. We added roasted chicken, fruits, cheeses, cold cuts, tomatoes, grapes, tangerines, oranges, tangelos and even Kings Hawaiian Sweet bread rolls we found at Albertsons. We tried to find Whole Foods Market in Tacoma but got side tracked and discovered it was a whole foods vitamin store not the market we were used to, here on Maui!

I know I’m getting older because I’m starting to think and act like how I remember my Dad and great grandfather would think and act. Except that I’m keeping up-to-date and toe-to-toe with social networking with the next generation. Whenever we had a break, each and everyone of us were in our own little worlds texting and emailing on our mobile devices.

On tour, it’s great to see and re-acquaint ourselves with friends and Ohana wherever we go. At least a third of these audiences have been to our show on Maui. We have increased or updated our mailing by at least 1000 people from our show survey forms and drawing for free CDs, DVDs and books!  (thank you Patti & Mort)

MIM Tour -photo from WaipunaMusic FaceBook

MIM Tour -photo from WaipunaMusic FaceBook

We also got a private tour of about an eighth of the collection of the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) where we played in Scottsdale AZ. It was here that we bonded with other musicians of the world seeing all the diverse cultures without boundaries with one thing in common: sharing music and celebrating rites of passage such as birth, marriage, death, housewarmings, anniversaries, birthdays and so on, all using music!

All in all, the Tour was a blast and I see and get to experience how Stephen Inglis and the boys are attracting a new generation to Hawaiian Music.  And guess what? I’m keeping up and standing toe-to-toe with them. Lucky Me!

Pics to follow
GK –Sent from my iPhone