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Hale Pai
Pacific American-News Journal

`Aukake - August 1996 Volume 2 Issue 8

 Folklife 1996

(Washington) - Once again Hawaiian and Polynesian cultures were well represented at this year's Pacific Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle over the Memorial Day weekend. The festivities started on Saturday evening with a ki ho'alu (slack key guitar) concert featuring Brother Noland and Tony Conjugacion, Na Molokama, and the Native Hawaiian Bank. Krash Kealoha, radio personality and promoter from Waimanalo, emceed the show.

Na Molokama, from Kauai, began the set with hula, and contemporary and traditional music. They are a fresh and very talented group who are making waves in Hawai'i, and from the show we saw them put on, we can certainly agree! Good music, good dance, and lots of aloha.

Brother Noland and Tony Conjugacion have become special favorites in the Northwest. Last year when they were here for the Hokule'a and Hawai'iloa they appeared at the festivities as well as at celebrations at different reservations. They provided the music for the documentary, Hawai'iloa: The Voyage Home. Their Folklife appearance ran in true Conjugacion style; terrific music, lots of humor, and incredible talent. When they finished their set, the crowd didn't want them to go. After a loud chorus of hana hou!, they returned with a rousing Coconut Girl.

Following the Conjugacion brothers, we were treated to the ki ho'alu stylings of George Kuo and Dennis Kamakahi. They in turn were joined by Brother Noland, Michael Ka'awa, Milton Lau, and Bla Pahinui - the Native Hawaiian Bank! What a show! These guys are all masters. It is rare that such talent visits the Northwest, and we all enjoyed it thoroughly; so much so, that the show went over its time by an hour and we had to be forced out of the Bagley Wright Theater.

We hope that next year, if Folklife schedules a ki ho'alu concert, they put the concert in a different venue. The Bagley Wright is a beautiful theater, but holds only about 400 people. There were people lined up for hours and many never did get in. When the theater filled, the ushers, by law, could only let in as many as would leave. It was awkward and disappointing, to say the least, for those who waited and never did see any of the show.

The next day, Sunday, was the Hula concert. This year the concert featured three Northwest halau and, once again, Na Molokama from Kauai. Moody Ka'apana of Hula Pulamahiakalikokehua, Ke Liko A'e O Lei Lehua (Claire Lehua Cortez, kumu hula) and Halau Hula `O Napualani (Gloria Napualani Fujii, kumu hula). The show began with all three Northwest halau taking turns dancing kahiko. While all three did an outstanding job, Ke Liko A'e O Lei Lehua put on a show-stopping Pele medley. The chanting and the choreography were great. Halau Hula `O Napualani brought their keikis (ages 4+). These little guys did their best and were a real crowd pleaser.

The show followed with `auana. Moody's band with Auntie Maile played some maika'i loa music for Hula Pulamahiakalikokehua. Halau Hula `O Napualani had a wonderful show with dancers ranging in age from kupuna to the little keikis again. They showcased the kaikamahines who competed in Kona's King Kalakaua Invitational Hula Festival in November. These young ladies showed their professionalism and the skill of their teachers when they were asked to perform two unscheduled dances to fill in some time. Good job, guys!

After the Northwest halau danced, Na Molokama performed. Once again they did an outstanding job with music, dance and aloha. It is always a treat for us to share the Hawaiian culture with other Northwesterners, but it is a special treat to share with Hawaiians.

We want to compliment Moody for a great job. It was a wonderful show. Until next year!

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Copyright 1996 Hale Pai Pacific American-News Journal
Last modified: February 28, 1998

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