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Admin
Pupule

USA
4513 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2006 :  6:25:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Send Admin an AOL message  Send Admin an ICQ Message  Send Admin a Yahoo! Message
Getting to know the Grammy nominees

I thought it would be fun to feature this year's Grammy nominees for Best Hawaiian Music Album. I asked each nominee 9 questions. Unfortunately, not everyone responded, but I will post what I have over the next few days. Mahalo to all those who responded, and best of luck to all. In no particular order...

Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Volume 1


Answers by: George Kahumoku, Paul Konwiser, Daniel Ho

  1. Artist/Label:

  2. Daniel Ho Creations
    George Kahumoku, Jr.
    Cyril Pahinui
    Led Kaapana
    Ozzie Kotani
    Keoki Kahumoku
    Daniel Ho
    the Ukulele Boys

  3. Please tell us about your album? What do you want people to know about it?

  4. Daniel: These are all live recordings from George Kahumoku, Jr.'s weekly show at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua, Maui. Every week, uncle George features a different slack key artist. We complied the very best performances from over a year of shows.

    Paul: I am a producer rather than an artist on the Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Volume One album, so I’ll respond to your questions from my perspective.

    Our album is made up of selected live performances from the Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Concert Series. We do a show every Wednesday evening at the Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua, on Maui. In October we began our third year of operation. As far as I know, our show is the only place where you can find the top slack key artists playing live on a regular basis. An important part of our mission is to provide a well-paying gig to the best players, and to provide locals and visitors alike with an opportunity to hear this kind of performance. The artists featured on the album are George Kahumoku Jr, Ledward Kaapana, Cyril Pahinui, Daniel Ho, Ozzie Kotani, Keoki Kahumoku, Peter deAquino and Garrett Probst.

    George: The show takes place every Wednesday night, two shows 6 pm and 8:30 pm.

  5. Can you tell Taropatch.net about your personal practice routine, how you learned, tips, how to play better, etc?

  6. Daniel: When I'm working on a CD, I often spend 8 hours a day tracking guitar, vocals or ukulele. Recording music forces you to pay attention to details you might not otherwise notice - breathing, string buzzes, squeaks, tone, rhythm, etc. A click track is absolute and unforgiving. The best way to study rhythm is to work with a metronome. As uncomfortable as it may be at first, it will develop your musicality tremendously. I studied classical guitar for five years when I was 9.

    I use classical technique to play slack key and ukulele. Believe it or not, my D-VI has been a very helpful practice tool as well as a performing instrument. It has 6 strings, like a guitar, but because it's a tenor ukulele, it's small enough to play anywhere - trains, planes and automobiles.

    George: I played music professionally 7 days a week from 3-8hours a day before a live audience for over 35 years for the Westin Mauna Kea Beach Hotel then Westin Maui. I learned how to play by listening to family friends and other musicians. If I liked a song I'd write down the lyrics from what I heard. I've also written over 2000 mele and chants for friends' weddings, baby parties, houses, boats and canoes, places, events, 50th year reunion or anniversaries, openings of hotels all over the world, closing of hotels, ground blessings of all sorts, etc. Whatever I played for I found that coffee picking, playing marbles, and sorting macnuts while farming as a youngster helped with finger dexterity. I'm also ambidextrous. I hand write with my right and throw ball with my left hand. I find that if I slow things up and play one note at a time, with one finger, then add two notes and two fingers, then three notes and three fingers helps to build accuracy and speed. I also experiment and play with loud - soft, full sound vs single note, dampened sound vs open sound etc. to add dynamics to my music.

    Paul: I’ll skip the questions about practice routines and music gear, except to say that if I get anywhere near our stage with a guitar in my hand a large Hawaiian guy with a hook will make sure I don’t try to perform.

  7. Your music gear (guitar, `ukulele, strings, amps... if applicable maybe mention bandmates and their gear)

  8. Daniel: For live, I use a Renaissance nylon, Yamaha Silent Guitar steel string, and a KoAloha D-VI ukulele.

    I record with a Larrivee D-10E steel string, Esteve Nylon, Fender Stratocaster Deluxe with Lace Sensor Gold pickups, Yamaha TRB-5P bass.

    I have a Roland Micro Cube amp. I've used it to amplify my uke for workshops. Not for performances, but great to get a little extra sound when needed. My little PA system consists of JBL Eons (10 inch speakers) and a Mackie 1402.

    George: Mostly I play solo and am the host for a show at The Ritz Carlton Kapalua every Weds. I play all kinds of 12 strings. I love the playability and volume of the acoustic 12 string Rainsong, but use the Takamine because it has a better plugged in Bass sound. I use whatever strings that are on sale. I use 12 string John Pearse (free because I'm sponsored by them), D'Addario Lights for every day playing and Mediums for recording because the sound doesn't waver as much. I also love the plastic coated stuff by Martin, Gibson and I can't remenber the other company’s name, but it’s too expensive. The coated string sound isn't as great as plain bronze wound but the strings last longer. Before I met George Winston, (mind you I played 7 days a week), I changed strings once every two to three years or whenever a string broke. I was tuned to Taro Patch Eb tuned to my voice. Now I tune to Taro Patch F (C_F_C_F_A_C) because I need to play with others like Cyril Pahinui and Dennis Kamakahi who play in C. The playability of playing taro F gives me more options when I play with Aunty Genoa Keawe and Richard Ho'o pi'i who modulate between F- G- A-C as well as D chords. Nancy, my wife, makes me change strings at least once a month. I do because I use and need the old strings for cutting Clay (I teach ceramics 5 days a week to over 250 students @ Lahainaluna HS.)

  9. What does the Grammy nomination and potential Grammy win mean to you?

  10. George: Recognition of slackkey as an art form all its own. It’s also an honor that's recognized nationally, and a potential for more gigs worldwide for more slackkey and Hawaiian artists. It might also steer back to Hawaii the next generation towards real Hawaii Island Roots Music instead of other Island Carribean, Reggae music or so called roots music.

    Paul: The Grammy nomination was a wonderful surprise for us. Winning the Grammy would probably be a financial boost for our show. We are pretty much a shoe-string operation and we’ve never made a profit from doing the show (it was never our intention to do so). If we had more financial resources, we would have the opportunity to perhaps do more advertising than we can afford now and maybe expand the show to a second night.

    Daniel: It would be a great honor. I'm happy the Grammys are now recognizing Hawaiian music.

  11. With "Slack Key Guitar, Vol. 2" winning last year and 4 out of 5 of the nominees being slack key albums this year, what are your feelings about the Hawaiian Grammy category and the idea that there should be a separate "Hawaiian language" category?

  12. Daniel: I understand there is a lot of controversy surrounding the Hawaiian category. Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol. 1, was recorded and released before last year's Grammy. I've also been releasing slack key and ukulele CDs since 1998. We are really just doing what we love, not following any trends.

    The Masters CD is half vocal and half instrumental. What could be more Hawaiian than Cyril Pahinui singing Hi'ilawe. His live rendition of this song is so moving, we made it the first track on the CD! I hope Hawaii's music community feels this album represents the various aspects of its music and culture properly.

    Paul: Regarding slack key vs. vocals in the Grammys, one should keep in mind that nearly half of our album is vocal tracks. Kapono Beamer’s Grammy-nominated album also has a great deal of vocal on it, but some of the songs are in English. It brings up the question, what defines slack key? Is it just the tuning? Does it matter if the songs are Hawaiian songs? Is a “Jawaiian” album with Hawaiian words a Hawaiian album at all? What about a slack key album where every track is a vocal in Hawaiian language – which category would apply, vocal or slack key? I think it would be a shame if slack key instrumentals dominated the category year after year and wonderful artists like the Cazimero Brothers (to name just one group) were ignored. I believe it is up to those of us with an interest in Hawaiian mele to spread the word as to the wide scope of marvelous music and artists recording today.

    George: The real unsung heroes of Hawaiian slackkey are Gabby Pahinui, Sonny Chillingworth, Ray Kane, Leonard Kwan and it’s great that slackkey is getting recognized. However, some of Brotman’s vol 2 was not slackkey but classical. We can also ask is open tuning slackkey? Like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, or Leo Kottke? Or the Rolling Stones? How about the Grateful Dead and Gerry Garcia who played open tunings? Is that slackkey? Maybe we need to recognize traditional, and contempoary slackkey and everything in between.and be more open-minded like our open tunings. How about Barry Flanagan or Makana? The bottom line is this is America and even our album celebrates with two young boyz on `ukulele, not slackkey. Great music is great music no matter how its played! If it touches you and moves you, who cares?? Also slackkey is not only Hawaiian language, but is very Hawaiian. Chet Atkins recorded and played a bunch of slackkey stuff. He's playing the right chords, however even his recordings has his signature Nashville twang to it! I think this is all great for discussion, but the bottom line is, does it make you want to play or listen to this stuff for the rest of your life? I can say yes with the Masters that have died, and I can say yes for our Masters of Hawaiian Slackkey Album. I haven't listened to the rest so its hard to judge. I love Raiatea Helm's stuff, also the Cazimero's, and Keali`i Reichel, Lono, and Martin Pahinui.

  13. An unknown factoid about you or the album.

  14. George: We recorded the Masters series for archival purposes only so my brother-in-law George Winston could listen to our shows. Who would have guessed that it would be nominated to a Grammy?

    Daniel: It's not really an unknown fact, but I would like the credit for this album to go to the slack key masters - Cyril Pahinui, George Kahumoku, Jr., Ozzie Kotani and Led Kaapana. The Grammys associate the producers' names with the CD, but it is really the music of these great artists that should be recognized.

    Paul: Unknown factoid about the album: This is the first recording made by Da ‘Ukulele Boys, Peter deAquino and Garrett Probst. They are experienced musicians who have played professionally for years. Pretty amazing to be nominated for a Grammy the first time you record!

  15. Can you direct us to your website and does it have sound clips of your album?

  16. This CD is available online at www.slackkey.com, www.kahumoku.com, www.DanielHo.com and digitally through iTunes Music Store.

    For more information about the CD and to hear an mp3 soundclip please visit: www.danielho.com/html/masters1.html

  17. Anything we didn't ask but you'd like to answer?
    George: It is my hope your listeners and registered members get a life and listen and play our music and don't spend too much time on the internet!

    Slackkey is only about 2% of my life. I also enjoy writing, cooking, gardening, teaching, learning, and relaxing in our new home in Kahakuloa, and problem solving life's mysteries, going to church and singing Hawaiian hymns, and sharing and enjoying with family and friends. Thanks for the opportunity to share my mana'o on Christmas Eve 12-24-05.

Larry Goldstein
Lokahi

267 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2006 :  07:44:58 AM  Show Profile
Andy - just want to say mahalo nui for very enjoyable and informative reading.

Larry
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Admin
Pupule

USA
4513 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2006 :  09:10:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Send Admin an AOL message  Send Admin an ICQ Message  Send Admin a Yahoo! Message
I'm glad you liked it.

Andy
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Leonard
Lokahi

USA
124 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2006 :  12:36:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit Leonard's Homepage
Thanks, Andy, for this very interesting feature. We seldom get this kind of look behind the scenes and we almost never hear from the actual people involved. Great questions, great answers. Can we do this with some other artists too? LRR

Be the change that you wish to see in the world. M. Gandhi

Edited by - Leonard on 01/24/2006 12:37:32 PM
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Keone
Akahai

50 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2006 :  3:13:29 PM  Show Profile
Andy,

Mahalo nui to you for asking the questions and for the brilliant idea. Also, thanks to George, Daniel, Paul for answering the questions. It was extremely enjoyable, insightful, and entertaining to read the interview. It also seemd very personal. I learned some great stuff...who would have guessed using old guitar strings for cutting clay! I loved it. Thanks.

Keone
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Admin
Pupule

USA
4513 Posts

Posted - 01/25/2006 :  7:06:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Send Admin an AOL message  Send Admin an ICQ Message  Send Admin a Yahoo! Message
quote:
Originally posted by Leonard

Great questions, great answers. Can we do this with some other artists too? LRR

It's a definite possibility. Ha!

Andy
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Admin
Pupule

USA
4513 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2006 :  04:40:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Send Admin an AOL message  Send Admin an ICQ Message  Send Admin a Yahoo! Message
Congrats to the winners! Here's a photo from the Star Bulletin.


ASSOCIATED PRESS
Producers Daniel Ho, left, and Wayne Wong, and performers George Kahumoku, Led Kaapana, Keoki Kahumoku, Peter de Aquino and Garrett Probst posed yesterday with the award for best Hawaiian music album at the 48th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.


For the full article: http://starbulletin.com/2006/02/09/news/story02.html

Andy
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chunky monkey
`Olu`olu

USA
883 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2006 :  05:55:22 AM  Show Profile
Keoki in a tux! Worth the price of admission.
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MahinaM
Lokahi

USA
389 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2006 :  06:50:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit MahinaM's Homepage
Whee-ha! Congratulations to the winners and all the nominees! Pretty thrilling, especially for 'Da Boyz!
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Mika ele
Ha`aha`a

USA
1485 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2006 :  08:28:38 AM  Show Profile
What a CROWD! Congratulations!

E nana, e ho'olohe. E pa'a ka waha, e hana ka lima.
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Mika ele
Ha`aha`a

USA
1485 Posts

Posted - 02/09/2006 :  08:34:06 AM  Show Profile
How about this Father and Son photo from the same article. Don't see that too often!

E nana, e ho'olohe. E pa'a ka waha, e hana ka lima.
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Admin
Pupule

USA
4513 Posts

Posted - 02/26/2006 :  7:06:37 PM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Send Admin an AOL message  Send Admin an ICQ Message  Send Admin a Yahoo! Message
The party continues. There's a nice article in the Maui News titled, Slack key masters bring it home.

Andy
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Retro
Ahonui

USA
2362 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2006 :  08:02:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit Retro's Homepage
Folks in the PacNW can read an article/interview in the March issue of Northwest Hawai`i Times, coming out later this week (the online version will be available at the beginning of April.)
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Reid
Ha`aha`a

Andorra
1526 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2006 :  10:45:06 AM  Show Profile
OK, some pix from the Ritz-Carlton party concert. The organization is rough, but the pix are swell (since Sarah took them). But, NO pic of Sarah - and she was spectacular! Auwe!

The Flickr URL will have the same space trubs around the @ ; edit them out and click on the pix for a somewhat better view (I downsized them, but we have *big* ones, too).


http://www.flickr.com/photos/15554866 @ N00/

...Reid

Edited by - Reid on 02/27/2006 11:54:10 AM
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hapakid
Luna Ho`omalu

USA
1533 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2006 :  11:46:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit hapakid's Homepage
Thanks for the pix Reid and Sarah! What a treat to be there.
Jesse Tinsley
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Mika ele
Ha`aha`a

USA
1485 Posts

Posted - 02/27/2006 :  2:33:24 PM  Show Profile
Looks like a small venue. The acoustics must be OK.

E nana, e ho'olohe. E pa'a ka waha, e hana ka lima.
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