By Kerry Miller Share Del.icio.us
Eddie Kamae played to a “jam-packed” crowd at a recent concert at the Hawaii Kai Towne Center, as his wife Myrna recalls. Besides performing, the accomplished Hawaiian musician, composer and filmmaker was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts with a National Heritage Fellowship award, the country’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts.
“I’m following all of my friends who were recipients of that award, I followed them,” laughs the MidWeek cover subject from June 1989. “That’s what life is about in music, you can satisfy the people. I like to share what was passed on to me.”
The 80-year-old also has a new CD on the horizon, and there a few places around town where fans can catch him performing. Included so far on the unfinished album are recordings of Kamae and the Sons of Hawaii, both past and present.
“I’ve finished a few songs now. I want to use material that I’ve never used before. Six songs of yesterday and six songs of today,” he says.
Every Tuesday Kamae is onstage at the Elks Club in Waikiki, from 5-7 p.m. and Fridays 7:30-10:30 p.m. He’s at Honey’s in Kaneohe on Sundays from 3:30-7:30 p.m., adds Myrna. Speaking of his wife, Kamae says he’s recording songs for her and for his family, with a couple of them titled Why and I’ll See You at Home.
“I like to write songs about my darling,” he says.
Aside from his music, he and Myrna have two films in the works, Tutu Spokes and Those Who Came Before. Tutu chronicles elderly women and the villages where they came from. Those captures special stories from people who taught Kamae important lessons throughout his life.
“I had some wonderful times with my teachers. They have some wonderful stories, that’s what I want to capture,” reveals Kamae.
Kamae says he always has ideas for films floating around in his head. In preparation for recording each idea, he has a system in place:
“I always have a pencil and a pad right next to me. I just log my thoughts and ideas.”
The husband and wife team live in Waikiki, where they have for the past 30 years, “with palm trees around and the birds singing every morning,” Kamae says with a laugh.
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