homepage logo

Films to feature Hawaiian music masters

By Staff | Mar 13, 2014


WEST MAUI – George Kahumoku Jr., The Slack Key Show and Dave Barry of Makai Studios announced the launch of a new documentary series to tell and preserve the stories of Hawaii’s most influential musicians called the “Masters of Hawaiian Music Film Series.”

The first two films of this series will feature Richard Ho’opi’i and Dennis Kamakahi.

The films will document the lives and musical careers of these prominent musicians, helping to carry the legacy of Hawaiian music and culture forward to future generations.

Such films can be a bridge to the past for tomorrow’s children of Hawaii.

The goal is to produce two films a year, targeting PBS broadcasting, online distribution and traditional DVD releases. The films will also be made available to Hawaii’s teaching institutions for educational use.

Each film will explore one individual musician, to document his/her life, musical career and influence in both Hawaiian music and the Hawaiian community.

Kahumoku will host each film, introducing each artist. Interviews with the artist and others will then tell the story.

The films will be created at no cost to the artists, produced through crowd funding on Kickstarter.com. This method was used successfully to fund Kahumoku’s documentary, “Seeds Of Aloha.”

Best known as a member of the famous Maui duo the Ho’opi’i Brothers, Uncle Richard’s music emanates from the tiny coastal village of Kahakuloa. He has a truly timeless style that has circled the globe.

Ho’opi’i in 1997 received the prestigious National Endowment of the Arts Folk Heritage Fellowship, America’s highest honor for traditional artists.

Uncle Richard is a featured artist on four Grammy Award-winning albums. His mastering of the traditional Hawaiian art of leo ki’eki’e (falsetto) is a product of his lifelong dedication to the art and is reflected in his contributions to Hawaiian music.

The second film will tell the story of Hawaii songwriter and master slack key guitarist Rev. Dennis Kamakahi.

Many of his songs are famous Hawaiian standards. Once a member of Eddie Kamae’s Sons of Hawaii, replacing the great Gabby Pahinui, Kamakahi was in a unique position at the beginning of the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance.

Among his most famous songs are “Pua Hone,” “Wahine ‘Ilikea,” and “Koke’e.” He is also a Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame inductee, and his music was prominently featured in the recent motion picture “The Descendents.”

Anyone interested in helping to preserve the legacy of these treasured Hawaiian artists is invited to participate by donating to the Kickstarter campaign.

For more information, visit www.mastersofhawaiianmusic.com or contact Barry at Makai Studios at (808) 377-6600, Dave@makaistudios.com or www.makaistudios.com.