Imagine hearing "chicken skin" Hawaiian music, in Hawaiian and Japanese, funky country western, old style Portuguese music, R&B and opera all performed in one concert by one outrageous entertainer. That was the treat I had today at the local senior community center.
I felt a little bit like an impostor sitting amongst the teeny tiny white hair crowd, until I remembered that I just earned my stripes, and great affordable music in an intimate setting is one of the perks. Local plate lunch on the beautiful grounds followed the concert...what a deal!
Willie Kahaiaili'i, fondly known as Uncle Willie K, was raised on Maui. Inspired by jazz, blues, country and R&B at an early age, Willie K is a musical veteran who performed in his father's band at the early age of 10. He really connects with his audience, talking story and hamming it up on stage. He is a pleasure to watch, and an even greater treat to listen to.
This morning he shared with us his growing interest in opera. A Hawaiian man singing opera is not something one experiences often, unless you are lucky enough to live on Maui. I noticed a few moist eyes in the crowd more than once during this morning's concert.
Willie K is leaving for tour in Germany this Friday. The tour is called Simply Red, and the performance dates were listed on his site as May 5,6,7,9 and 11. If you are lucky enough to make it to his concert, you won't be disappointed. I'm sending this out to my readers in Germany, hope you get a chance to listen to this charismatic island performer.
All for now on this peaceful Hawaiian evening, Aloha, a hui hou.......... and happy almost May Day.
May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii. Bank tellers wear leis, school kids perform hulas for their families. It is very sweet.