Keola Nakanishi

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - August 16, 2006
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KEOLA NAKANISHI
Keola Nakanishi

Halau Ku Mana Hawaiian Charter School will kick off the release of its ambitious two-CD album, Mana Maoli II and III, with a fundraising concert from 1 to 10 p.m. Aug. 26 at Andrews Amphitheater at UH-Manoa.

Proceeds from CD sales ($20) and concert tickets sales ($10-$25) will support Halau Ku Mana and the 11 other charter schools affiliated as Na Lei Na’auao. According to Halau Ku Mana principal Keola Nakanishi, his school has another pressing need from the benefit - finding a new home by December.

“We’ve been at the UH Hawaiian Studies building, at the Atherton Y, and we are now at Paradise Park,” explains Nakanishi, a music lover who has directed the school since 2001.


Charter schools do not get permanent facilities from the state. The agency that hosted the Halau Ku Mana for the past two years notified the school in mid-June that its time would be up in December.

It was Nakanishi’s St. Louis Heights back yard that served as the recording studio for the live kanikapila music by students, alumni and friends for Mana Maoli - a mixture of “live, raw, real, unplanned and unmixed” music - as well as professional studio tracks. The CD compilation should be available in stores beginning Aug. 15.

“I love to hear them all jamming,” says Nakanishi. “(The album project) attracted people who were talented and wanted to make a positive change.”

With the overwhelming support of 241 engineers, singers, chanters and poets giving their time and talent, he admits there was still the challenge of putting the CD together, plus duplication and marketing costs. The vivid red-and-white cover, with copious liner notes, is enhanced by the illustrations of Hoku award-winning artist Solomon Enos.


“I had so many people who offered to be a part of that project. There was so much support,” explains Nakanishi, noting that their first effort, Volume I of Mana Maoli , broke even, selling 1,500 copies by word-of-mouth alone. “That’s how overwhelming the support was.”

Familiar names on Vol. II and III include John Cruz, Jack Johnson, Paula Fuga, Guy Cruz, Ooklah the Moc, Kupa’aina, and B.E.T. Both studio recordings and video are also in the mix.

For more information, call 988-8998 or log onto www.halaukumana.org.

Tickets are available at UH-Campus Center, Hungry Ear Records in Kailua, Jelly’s in Aiea, Waimanalo Point Break, TooGruves at Puck’s Alley, and from Halau Ku Mana students.

- Linda Dela Cruz

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