Pacific American-News Journal
Kepakemapa - September 1996 Volume 2 Issue 9
Teresa Bright ~ Kawaikapu Hewett
ka pilina A Unique
Honolulu (August 7, 1996) -- Ka
Pilina is a unique collaboration by Teresa Bright and Frank
Kawaikapuokalani Hewett. It combines the chant and song writing
talents of one with the singing/arranging talents of another.
Both are cousins, the match is a natural, the result is
In this original concept album Hewett has written all the
songs and chants which are based on a variety of Hawaiian
legends. Pele's journey from Tahiti to the Hawaiian Islands. The
legend of Hopoe, and other less familiar legends among them.
These represent some of his best and exemplify his tremendous
talent. Bright sings all the song selections, she also joins
Hewett on his vocal selections. In this effort she confirms her
status as one of the reigning vocalists of today.
Bright also serves as producer/arranger and, as such, has
tapped some of the most notable musicians in Hawai`i. Kit
Ebersbach on piano and keys, Ben Vegas on guitars, Steve Jones on
bass and Noel Okimoto on drums and percussion. While the songs
and chants are based on myths and legends, there is a decidedly
contemporary feel to this album, due to Bright's arrangements of
the songs, chants and narration. Also, Hewett is writing new
material based on existing lore.
Pi`i Ke Kai is a good example, Hewett's vocal,
while reminiscent of a chant, weaves with narration of the Pele
and Namakaokaha`i legend. Bright provides accompaniment and added
color. From her palette Bright chooses a variety of styles to
color the songs. Nani Wale Ku`u `ike O Ha`ena has a
jazzy tone; Bossa nova characterizes Popo`alaea, and
Kahikilani has a decidedly pop rock beat.
Hewett's forte as a songwriter is his ability to write new
material based on his vast knowledge of Hawaiian folklore. Note
Hopoe, which has been recorded before, most notably by Loyal
Garner and the Makaha Sons. But here he relates the song in
chant, giving it new dimension and another life. Another song,
Kamali`i O Ka Po, which can stand as a fable, is
enriched once we know about the legend that inspired it.
In fact, all the songs are prefaced in the accompanying
booklet with its corresponding legend, and references are made
for additional reading. The booklet is very artistically composed
by Maurine Paishon. Included are photographs by Paishon, Bright
and Derrick Llanos as well as archival photographs from the
families of Hewett and Bright. All together the package enhances
their theme of creating music based on their legacy, for their
The descendants also make their appearance. Hewett's son and
daughter accompany him on Tutu Kana`e and the whole
project is dedicated to them and Bright's daughter Keaolani.
This album succeeds as a showcase of Hewett's writing talents
and Bright's vocal prowess. As a gift to their descendants we all
gain a better appreciation of the rich folklore of our Hawaiian
This album is available on CD and cassette, and distributed by
Music Craft Distributors of Hawai`i. The booklet is available
with the CD, and made available by mail for cassette buyers. For
more information write: Generation Music, P.O. Box 813, Kane`ohe
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Copyright © 1996 Hale Pai Pacific American-News Journal
Last modified: February 28, 1998
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