‘Malama’ Honors Hewett’s Kumu

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - September 29, 2010
| Del.icio.us
Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett honors his kumu in his new album, ‘Malama

With the release of his new album Malama, respected kumu hula, song-writer and performer Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett honors his kumu with a collection of traditional chants that perpetuate the knowledge they instilled in him.

“All my teachers - Aunty Emma DeFries, Aunty Edith Kanaka’ole, my grandma Iwa Kana’e, Aunty Iolani Luahine, Aunty Lani Kalama, Aunty Marion Espinal, Aunty Mae Loebenstein - these people were not only inspirational, but they took the time to teach me,” says Hewett. “For me, the one thought that kept pounding in my head is malama because they wanted me to honor, respect and perpetuate what they have taught me. So I thought to myself that that would be the focus of the CD.”

The album, which features all-original music written by Hewett, releases this month through Daniel Ho Creations. Accompanying Hewett on the album (vocals and percussion) is his daughter Ula.

“For now, I’m very fortunate Ula can accompany in all of these things,” adds Hewett, a Kaneohe resident. “I have three children and they all know what I expect of them. I really do believe that they understand the seriousness of the responsibility.

“Right now, the boys are busy taking care of their family, but I know when the time is right they’ll jump in. I’m very happy as a father and I really appreciate my children.”

Catch Ho‘okena in ‘An Evening of Aloha: Na Leo Lanakila’ Oct. 9 at Hawaii Theatre

To maintain the purity of what was taught to him, Hewett kept the songs very traditional. As he says, “Nothing fancy.

“The only thing that’s different is I have my daughter harmonizing with me on some of the chants.”

Composing his music also is a process that hasn’t changed - it begins with an ipu and the beat of the kaholo. Every song begins as a chant, as music and hula intertwine.

Hewett travels to Japan once a month and California 10 times a year to teach hula. And he has already completed recording his next album, which he anticipates will be finished this month.

“Kawaikapu is wonderful to work with,” says

Daniel Ho, producer of Hewett’s music projects. “He maintains the highest artistic standards while encouraging creative contributions from others. We always enjoy talking story about our experiences in hula and music.”

Raiatea Helm will take the stage in ‘An Evening of Aloha: Na Leo Lanakila

For more on Hewett’s album, visit danielho.com. And also tune in next week for more releases from Daniel Ho Creations ...

St. Francis Healthcare Foundation and Hawaiian 105 KINE present “An Evening of Aloha: Na Leo Lanakila” (Voices of Triumph) featuring Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning musicians Raiatea Helm, Jake Shimabukuro and Ho’okena at 7 p.m. Oct. 9 in Hawaii Theatre.

Also taking the stage are hula soloist Nani Dudoit, the Kamehameha Children’s Choir under the direction of Lynelle Bright, and the Kamehameha Hawaiian Ensemble under the direction of kumu hula Kaleo Trinidad. Guests also will enjoy video vignettes on St. Francis Healthcare System programs and services that touch the lives of people in the community.

“The Evening of Aloha concert has evolved into a special event that not only features the best in island entertainment, but also shares the story of the Sisters of St. Francis - of meeting the health care needs of Hawaii’s people over the past 127 years,” says Sister William Marie Eleniki, chief administrator of St. Francis Healthcare Foundation of Hawaii.

Tickets range from $25 to $75 and are available for purchase at the Hawaii Theatre box office or by calling 528-0506. Corporate sponsorships ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 also are available by calling 547-8030. Proceeds from An Evening of Aloha will benefit the Sisters’ health care ministries in Hawaii, which include a full range of community-based services such as hospice care for terminally ill patients and their families, healthy lifestyle programs for children and adults, and outreach to the homeless ...

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