The purpose of the Maui Mahalo to Senator Akaka is to pay tribute to Senator Daniel K. Akaka (ret.) for his years of service to the United States Senate and to the people of Hawai‘i. It provides an opportunity for citizens to show their support and appreciation for the work Senator Akaka has done during his many years of community and government service.
The event also provides an opportunity for citizens to support one of the many aspects of the Hawaiian culture that Senator Akaka believes in: The support and perpetuation of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar. Music has always been a part of the Akaka household, and a very young age, Senator Akaka made his son Alan aware that the technique Alan was using to play a guitar was in fact the way the Hawaiian Steel Guitar was played. The rest is history.
Proceeds from this gala will go directly towards supporting the 6th Annual Maui Steel Guitar Festival to be held on April 11-13, 2014. This year's festival takes on an international flavor, featuring eleven master players from the state of Hawai‘i, from Texas and California, and from Japan. In addition, the festival's Open Stage performances, open to any Hawaiian Steel Guitar player, will include players from the United States, Germany, New Zealand, and Japan, as well as "Next Generation" Hawaiian steel guitar players from 9 to 15 years in age. This year's festival will also feature Hawaiian steel guitar students from music schools of Alan Akaka and Lion Kobayashi (Japan) as well as some of the recent graduates of Joel Katz's first-ever Hawaiian Steel Guitar class at the University of Hawai‘i - Maui College.
The gala is underwritten by the Festival's presenters: The Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel, Arts Education for Children Group (Maui) and Ke Kula Mele School for Hawaiian Music. By paying tribute to Senator Akaka, you are not only acknowledging his service to his home State but also helping to further one of Senator Akaka's causes—the support and perpetuation of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar. Mahalo for your support!
The Maui Mahalo fundraiser and gala will be hosted by Maui actress/comedienne/storyteller/radio personality Kathy Collins, Kathy has been performing on stage since the age of 13. She began her broadcasting career at 17; years later, with her late husband Barry Shannon, she co-founded Mana'o Radio 91.5 FM, a non-commercial, non-profit radio station staffed entirely by volunteers.
This year's honoree will talk about Hawaiian music and the commitment to the Hawaiian Steel Guitar.
The gala will feature a menu prepared especailly for this event by the Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel chefs.
Hawaiian music entertainment will be provided throughout the evening for your enjoyment.
The program will feature Alan Akaka and The Islanders, Pomaika'i Lyman, and her daughter Malie Lyman (age 10) and Alexis Tolentino (age 15), two steel guitarists from the Ke Kula Mele School of Hawaiian Music.
Alan Akaka is the director of Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i School for Hawaiian Music and sings and plays steel guitar professionally with the Keawe ‘Ohana and with his group Alan Akaka and The Islanders. His music features traditional Hawaiian music and upbeat Hapa-Haole arrangements sure to please everyone.
Mandy Pomaika‘i Lyman sings Hawaiian songs that embraces a broad range from traditional ha'i style melodies to romantic Hawaiian songs to contemporary Hawaiian music. She appears individually and with the Keawe 'Ohana.
Mālie Lyman is the daughter of Pomaika‘i Lyman. At age 10 Mālie has mastered hula and plays several instruments including the ‘ukulele and Hawaiian Steel Guitar. She has performed with the Keawe ‘Ohana and at previous steel guitar festivals and will amaze you with her talent as she sings and plays her steel guitar.
Alexis Tolentino is another steel guitar student at Ke Kula Mele. At age 15 Alexis is also a seasoned hula dancer and plays the ‘ukulele and the upright bass. She has appeared at previous steel guitar festivals and at the Keawe ‘Ohana show. Her specialty is playing solo steel guitar selections such as "Whispering Lullaby" and "Maui Chimes."
A photo opportunity with the honoree will be available at the end of the program.
A silent auction will be held with proceeds benefiting the Maui Steel Guitar Festival.
Maui Mahalo to Senator Daniel K. Akaka, a special evening under the stars featuring dining and entertainment, takes place Thursday, April 10, 2014 at Kaanapali Beach Hotel. In addition to providing an opportunity for Maui to say mahalo to Senator Akaka for his many years of dedicated service, the event is a fundraiser for the Sixth Annual Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival.
The Sixth Annual Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar, free and open to the public, takes place April 11-13 at Kaanapali Beach Hotel. It includes performances, presentations, workshops and jam sessions along with Hawaiian cultural arts and crafts, exhibits and activities. "The festival serves to promote and sustain the Hawaiian steel guitar as a viable part of Hawaiian culture," says Bryant Neal, executive director of Arts Education for Children Group, one of the nonprofit organizations presenting the event. "Our goal is to stimulate interest and provide opportunities to learn about the Hawaiian steel guitar. The perpetuation of this instrument is important to Senator Akaka and he has graciously offered to assist us in raising funds for this cause."
Daniel K. Akaka is the first United States senator of Native Hawaiian ancestry. Born in Honolulu, he served in the army during World War II, graduated from the University of Hawaii, was elected to the US House of Representatives and served for 13 years. He was appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by the death of Spark Matsunaga and was then re-elected for three full terms. Music was always a big part of his life and he served as musical director of historic Kawaiahao Church in Honolulu.
Senator Akaka and his family are part of the evening's entertainment: Daniel Akaka Jr. will offer the oli; Alan Akaka and The Islanders will perform; and, the Akaka ohana will sing family favorites. Maui actress/storyteller/ comedienne and radio personality Kathy Collins will be mistress of ceremonies. Pomaikai Lyman (granddaughter of Aunty Genoa Keawe) and her daughter, Malie Lyman, will also perform. A silent auction offering rounds of golf, hotel stays, activities, dinners and more will also raise funds to support the festival.
The Sixth Annual Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival is presented by Arts Education for Children Group, Ke Kula Mele School of Hawaiian Music and Kaanapali Beach Hotel. It is supported by Maui County Office of Economic Development, Hawaii Tourism Authority, and Budget Rent-A-Car.
Kaua‘i Steel Guitar Festival
Maui Steel Guitar Festival
Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week
Hawai‘i Island Steel Guitar Festival
Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival
Kona Steel Guitar Festival