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Falsetto workshop open to young male singers

By Staff | Sep 16, 2010

A living legend of Leo Ki‘e Ki‘e, Richard Ho‘opi‘i in 1997 received the National Endowment for the Arts Folk Heritage Fellowship, America’s highest honor for traditional artists.

KAPALUA — Festivals of Aloha, Maui Nui Style announced a special Leo Ki‘e Ki‘e Workshop for boys ages 13-17 interested in the traditional art of Hawaiian falsetto. 

The session is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25, from 2 to 4 p.m. in The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s Salon Ballroom. 

This is a unique learning opportunity for young men to share their singing talent and gain knowledge from well-respected Hawaiian falsetto master Uncle Richard Ho‘opi‘i. 

The goal is to help inspire and prepare them to compete in future Leo Ki‘e Ki‘e adult falsetto competitions. 

The workshop is free. Interested singers are invited to contact Toni Rojas, Maui island manager for Festivals of Aloha, at 344-8880 or toni@tonirojas.com

Attendees will receive a Certificate of Participation from Ho‘opi‘i.

Alaka‘i Paleka, KPOA 93.5 FM “Morning Goddess,” will serve as emcee for the event.  

Leo Ki‘e Ki‘e recalls a traditional music art form dating back to a time when Hawaiian women were forbidden to sing publicly, leaving men to sing the high-pitched notes usually reserved for women. 

Ho‘opi‘i said, “When you sing Hawaiian music, you’re not just singing for yourself. You’re representing the kupuna who have guided and inspired you, and all the musicians that came before and will come after. 

“That’s why it’s so important to do your best — not to show off, but to share what the kupuna and Ke Akua have shared with you.”

Ho‘opi‘i was featured on four Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar compilation CDs. The first two were honored with the 49th and 50th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Hawaiian Music Album.