A Debut Album And A New Ukulele

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - November 11, 2009
| Del.icio.us
Makalei’s debut album

Debut albums are always exciting. Here’s one from the duo Makalei: Pehea Ka Lawai’a. Released Nov. 3, this album captures Stew Kawakami and Mike Judd‘s love for their Hawaiian island home.

Kawakami, a Kamehameha Schools and UH-Manoa graduate, is a former member of the groups Pai’ea and Alaka’i. Judd is a Kona boy who grew up watching Gary Haleamanu perform at cattle brandings and after a day of ranch work spent his evenings on the porch playing music with his ohana.

Their album incorporates their backgrounds and honors the many people who helped them learn the power of music. It has 13 tracks: Pehea Ka Lawai’a, Ka Paniolo Nui O Moloka’i, Kukonaala’a ,The Graduation Song, Silversword, Lei Aloha Lei Makamae, Ka Lei Punahou, Lifetime’s Too Short, Oceans Away, Pu’uanahulu/Keawaiki, Come Fly With Me, Moloka’i Nui A Hina and The Wonderful World of Aloha.

Kawakami, a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines, pays tribute to all of the employees of Aloha Airlines and the fond memories of his employment there as a pilot with the song, The Wonderful World of Aloha. He also penned the song Kukonaala’a for his mother with help from his friend Kanalu Young.


Also lending their talents to the album are George Kuo, Barry Kimokeo, Pomaika’i Brown, Jack Ofoia, Casey Olsen, Kit Ebersbac and Claire Hazzard ...

Music Is Good Medicine (MIGM), the nonprofit organization supported by Jake Shimabukuro and his management company, Toastman Inc., just announced a brand new ukulele developed by the renowned musical artist and the world-famous Takamine Guitars company. The newly minted instrument will play a key role in supporting Four Strings for Kids, a program dedicated to making the ukulele available to children all over the world.

A portion of the proceeds generated from the online sales of the MIGM ukulele will support the organization’s outreach programs, but its greater contribution may be in helping to expand MIGM’s mission “to use the power of music to heal, influence and inspire people to improve our community, maintain a healthy lifestyle and pursue their dreams with a positive attitude” to a broader audience.

When Shimabukuro envisioned the Four Strings for Kids program earlier this year, he wanted to develop an ukulele that was affordable without sacrificing quality. Thanks to Takamine Guitars, Shimabukuro’s dream has now become reality.

“I am extremely grateful to Takamine Guitars for developing and producing this beautiful new MIGM ukulele for our Four Strings for Kids’ program,” says Shimabukuro. “Although I will continue to use the Kamaka ukulele in my own artistic endeavors, I believe that this new program will allow us to reach out and touch children’s hearts around the world through the power of music, shared experiences and the gift of aloha.”

The new MIGM ukulele was unveiled to the public at the Musical Instruments Fair Japan 2009 last week in Yokohama.

For more information about Music Is Good Medicine, visit www.musicisgoodmedicine.org ...


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