Ozzie Kotani: To Honor a Queen - E Ho'ohiwahiwa I Ka Mo'i Wahine - The Music of Lili'uokalani

Ozzie Kotani
To Honor a Queen - E Ho'ohiwahiwa I Ka Mo'i Wahine - The Music of Lili'uokalani

"To compose was as natural to me as to breathe; and this gift of nature, never having been suffered to fall into disuse, remains a source of the greatest consolation to this day.... Hours of which it is not yet in place to speak, which I might have found long and lonely, passed quickly and cheerfully by, occupied and soothed by the expression of my thoughts in music...."
--Queen Lili'uokalani

The weekend these notes are being written, concerts throughout the islands are being held to celebrate the 163rd birthday of Queen Lili'uokalani. At 'Iolani Palace, Kawaiaha'o Church and other sites important in Her Majesty's life, songs she composed are being offered by performers of all ages in a variety of styles, including choral singing, brass band, vocal quartet, organ and slack key. This testifies not only to the aloha still felt for the Queen, but also to the continued popularity and expressiveness of her musical legacy.

Often cited as Hawai'i's most beloved composer, Lydia Lili'u Loloku Walania Kamaka'eha was born September 2, 1838, in Honolulu. Her mother was the ali'i nui (high chief) Anale'a Keohokalole, and her father, high chief Caesar Kapa'akea. Following traditional practice, her parents made her a hanai (adopted) child to the ali'i nui Laura Konia and Abner Paki, parents of Princess Bernice Pauahi, who was herself the hanai child of Kina'u, the powerful kuhina nui (prime minister) during the reign of Kamehameha III. This placed Lili'u very close to the ruling court from an early age.

In 1842, the future queen began her formal education at the Chiefs' Children's School. By all accounts, she excelled at music, including the ability to sight sing as well as to read and write Western notation. She also mastered Hawaiian poetics, most likely through the influence of kupuna (elders). Following the Polynesian ideal of music as a valuable part of daily life, she put her compositional talents to use often. As she writes in her autobiographical history, HAWAI'I'S STORY: "I scarcely remember the days when it would not have been possible for me to write either the words or the music for any occasion on which poetry or song was needed."

Like all great composers, Lili'u drew on the artistic environment around her. In her time, mele kahiko (traditional chant and hula) reinforced the Hawaiian aesthetic as newer forms extended it, including himeni (Hawaiian hymns), glee club singing, parlor songs, piano and string instrumental music and European leisure dances, like the waltz. Documenting Hawaiian culture in written form was also growing in importance in the 1850s, and Lili'u helped with Abraham Fornander's collection of traditional mele (songs), around the same time that her original compositions began to reach the public.

As Dr. George Kanahele writes in HAWAIIAN MUSIC AND MUSICIANS, Lili'u's songs are strongly melodic. In comparing them to the work of her contemporaries, Kanahele writes that "hers are more sophisticated and have more varied contours and complex harmonies." Her poetic sense is also highly developed, especially in mele ho'oipoipo, love songs exquisitely woven with closely observed nature imagery, kaona (veiled meaning) and other Hawaiian compositional features.

Hawaiian court life in the 19th Century was filled with music. Pa'ina (dinner parties), musical soirees, balls and all manner of grand events were the order of the day. Lili'u and her three siblings, David Kalakaua, Prince Leleiohoku and Princess Likelike, known collectively as Na Lani 'Eha (The Four Royals), have earned special recognition for their musical talents and patronage. All four composed chants and songs, played several musical instruments and organized singing groups.

Lili'u is said to have played guitar, piano, organ, 'ukulele and zither. She also sang alto, performing Hawaiian and English sacred and secular music. In 1866, four years after her marriage to John Owen Dominis, the son of an American sea captain, she assumed the role of organist and choir director at Kawaiaha'o Church. That same year, Kamehameha V asked her to compose a new national anthem, which resulted in He Mele Lahui Hawai'i, her first widely distributed song. In 1869, she allowed an American company to publish Nani Na Pua Ko'olau, another first.

On the death of Leleiohoku in 1887, Kalakaua appointed Lili'u next in line to the throne and lengthened her name to Lili'uokalani. By then, she was well established as a local composer and a close friend to many musicians, including, Heinrich Berger, the German-born bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band. A staunch supporter of the band, Lili'uokalani frequently attended their concerts, and they in turn played many of her songs, including, most famously, Aloha 'Oe, which they helped popularize.

In 1891, after the death of King Kalakaua, Lili'uokalani assumed Hawai'i's throne. Tensions by this time were extremely high between the Hawaiian monarchy and various missionary descendents, who were agitating for even more control of the government than they had already. On January 17, 1893, the rebels ousted Lili'uokalani and created a provisional government. Attempts were made to align with America, but after an official inquiry, American president Grover Cleveland determined that the coup was illegal and the Queen should be reinstated. Instead, the revolutionaries created the independent Republic of Hawai'i on July 4, 1894, further polarizing the situation.

Tension boiled over again in January 1895, when royalists attempted a counterrevolution. It was suppressed quickly and more than four hundred people were arrested, primarily Hawaiians, but also a number of foreigners. The Queen herself was placed under house arrest at 'Iolani Palace. During this stressful time, she wrote several of her best-known works and continued her struggles for justice.

After the Queen's release in September 1895, she worked on an autobiography, an opera and a compilation of her own songs, as well as lobbied on behalf of Hawaiian causes. Overall she wrote over 150 songs. She remained active with many organizations and established the Lili'uokalani Trust and the Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center. On November 11, 1917, the Queen passed away. By all accounts, the outpouring of respect and aloha was profound. After laying in state for one week at Kawaiaha'o Church, where a double row of kahili (royal feather standards) bearers stood guard, the Queen was returned to the 'Iolani Palace one final time. After this, the huge procession wound its way to the Royal Mausoleum, following Hawaiian protocol. Representatives from many nations participated, but the final honor of performing Hawai'i Pono'i, the Hawaiian national anthem, as the casket was wheeled into the crypt, fell to the Royal Hawaiian Band. At the conclusion of the service, amid the tears, a spontaneous song rose from the group: Aloha 'Oe.

In recent times, the songs of the Queen have enjoyed a revival in popularity throughout Hawai'i, including in slack key. Slack key master and composer, Dennis Kamakahi, says, "Queen Lili'uokalani and I have one passion. That is the passion to write what we see and hear around us and transform these images to music. She has been the inspiration for me to write in the most poetical way using the Hawaiian language she knew so well. Like her songs, my compositions are real life episodes in my entire existence here on earth."

Slack key master and composer Keola Beamer says, "I have tremendous aloha for the compositions of the Queen. She made music of soulful heart and tenderness held in the arms of her own personal melancholy. After all these years, one can still feel her sadness singing in the quiet spaces between the notes."

Producer George Winston shares this aloha for the Queen's music. He is particularly touched by the recent trend to create instrumental arrangements. "Instrumental music can bring out a part of the soul of a song that vocal renditions don't," he says, "particularly solo instrumental music, which lays the musician's soul bare in a unique way. I feel this very strongly with solo acoustic guitar, especially in the Hawaiian slack key guitar tradition. Dennis Kamakahi is my favorite vocal interpreter of Lili'u's music, and Ozzie is my favorite instrumental interpreter of her music. One of Ozzie's great abilities is to bring out the deep soul in a Hawaiian ballad, particularly those of the Queen. In the years when I first started listening to and studying Hawaiian music, whenever a song really got to me, I would ask about it, and it so often was one of Lili'u's songs."

Ozzie Kotani was born in Honolulu in 1956 and began playing ki ho'alu (slack key guitar) in high school, inspired by Keola Beamer's early recordings. Studies with Peter Mederios and the legendary Sonny Chillingworth followed, leading to Ozzie's own teaching at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. His first Dancing Cat album, KANI KI HO'ALU (Dancing Cat 38013), was released in 1995. A short time later, Winston proposed his idea for this album. "I was honored and enthusiastic," Ozzie says. "Since the start of my interest in Hawaiian music, I've been captivated by the Queen's music."

He began creating his arrangements for the album in 1996, combining great respect for the music as written with personal expression, a guiding principle in slack key. "I feel that every artist in an oral tradition sounds different," Ozzie says. "Slack key puts a premium on playing from your heart with your own special touch."

According to Winston, this attitude translates well to the Queen's music. "Often the only source for Lili'uokalani's songs has been just the melody written in sheet music form," he says, "and it is up to the individual performer to create their interpretation."

Ozzie says he wants his efforts to reflect back to the Queen first and foremost. "It's really just one individual's attempt to honor the Queen," he says. "Albums come and go, but Lili'uokalani's memory and music will live on and be appreciated forever."

As the album is readied for release after five years of work, the Queen's personal motto, 'onipa'a (steadfast), remains as relevant as in any time. Her songs enjoy wide popularity again and somewhere throughout each performance, on this album and all others, echoes a song that Bernice Pi'ilani Irwin recalls in her book I KNEW QUEEN LILI'UOKALANI. This song voices what many still feel:

"Mo'i wahine Lili'uokalani
Long may she reign,
And happy may she be."

Ozzie's Statement on Doing the Album:
When approached by George Winston to do an instrumental album of Lili'uokalani's music, I was honored and enthusiastic. Since the start of my interest in Hawaiian music, I have been captivated by her songs and by who she was. Hoping to be able to cross over to her Western Music influences while still retaining elements of the slack key tradition, the Hawaiian language phrasing and, most important, the feeling of aloha that prevails in all of her works, was an extraordinary experience for me. I hope my interpretations and some liberties taken of the pieces will be acceptable. It is one individual's attempt to honor a Queen. May Lili'uokalani's memory and music live on and be appreciated forever.



  1. He 'Ai Na Kalani
    G Major "Taro Patch" (D-G-D-G-B-D, from the lowest pitched string to the highest) on steel string

    A brisk, cheerful melody, He 'Ai Na Kalani describes the food traditionally served to Hawaiian royalty and the events surrounding a meal. Found on page 118 of the THE QUEEN'S SONGBOOK, this song is said to have been composed for King Kalakaua, who loved parties and earned the nickname "The Merry Monarch" during his reign, from 1874 to 1891. Scholars speculate that the song dates from either 1881 or 1888, though revisions may have occurred making both dates accurate.

    Ozzie opens the song with what he describes as the guitar equivalent of a kahea, the traditional opening of a chant. "The old Martin I play works well for this song in creating vibrancy and enthusiasm in the playing," he says. "I chose to play in the spirit of the moment, light, lively and spontaneous, which I hope captures the joy the King experienced during the meal." He adds that he was inspired by both Eddie Kamae and Dennis Kamakahi's approaches to the song.

    Kamae, whose grandmother was a hula dancer in the court of Lili'uokalani, did much to help return the music of the Queen to wide popularity in the modern era. He recorded this song with his group, The Sons of Hawai'i, as part of an 'ukulele medley on THE MUSIC OF HAWAI'I, a long out of print album he produced in 1974 for National Geographic. He also recorded a vocal version for EDDIE KAMAE PRESENTS THE SONS OF HAWAI'I (Hawai'i Sons 1001).

    Also recorded on slack key guitar by:
    • Dennis Kamakahi in the G Major Tuning, tuned down to F, on his album 'OHANA (FAMILY) (Dancing Cat 38043). This Sons of Hawai'i alumnus and slack key guitarist and composer extraordinaire also performed on both of the earlier versions mentioned above.

  2. Pauahi 'O Kalani
    C Wahine "Drop C" (C-G-D-G-B-D) on steel string

    Pauahi 'O Kalani honors Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the great-granddaughter of Kamehameha I and Lili'uokalani's hanai (adopted) sister. It was composed in 1868 in Mana, on the island of Hawai'i and recounts a visit by the Princess to that area. The Bishop Estate, which is the Princess' ongoing legacy, created and maintains the Kamehameha Schools. Students at Kamehameha sing this song every year on Founder's Day. Here it receives a slack key treatment in the tuning that the late, great slack key guitarist Sonny Chillingworth (1932-1994) called "Drop C." "The Drop C adds depth and resonance to the arrangement," says Ozzie. "To get the purity of the composition, I listened to the Kamehameha School Choir's a cappella rendition. I love the Queen's melody and the elegance and dignity it expresses."

    Also recorded on slack key guitar by:
  3. Ka 'Oiwi Nani
    G Major "Taro Patch," tuned down to F#, on steel string

    Translated by the Queen herself as "Beautiful One," this charming 1886 love song, found on page 48 of THE QUEEN'S SONGBOOK, displays the Hawaiian love for poetic ambiguity. 'Oiwi, for example, can refer to native son or physique. Notes in the songbook reflect the long-held speculation of a romance between Lili'uokalani and Royal Hawaiian Band director Henry Berger. Ozzie composed an introduction for the melody. After the second verse he adds a beautifully composed interlude with the chords A minor 7th, D dominant 7th, G Major 7th, E minor, A minor 7th, G Major 7th, E minor 9th, G Major, A dominant 7th, G Major, D dominant 7th and G Major. "By trying to accentuate the sweetness of the melody, I hoped to capture the feeling she may have experienced," Ozzie says.

  4. Penei No (Keolaokalani)
    C Wahine "Drop C" on steel string

    Dedicated to the controversial hanai (adopted) son of Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop and dating from around 1863, Keolaokalani plays a dual role in Hawaiian music. As THE QUEEN'S SONGBOOK points out on page 211, it can accompany a child's hand game or it can be performed as a mele ho'oipoipo (love song) abounding in very adult double entendres.

    Ozzie composed the bridge with the C dominant 7th, F Major, D dominant 7th and G dominant 7th chords. He also added the beautiful interlude in the middle of the verses with the chords C Major, E minor 7th, A minor 7th, to D dominant 7th. He plays in a slow swing tempo inspired, he says, by the legendary Kahauanu Lake Trio, whose version appears on HAWAIIAN STYLE (Hula 508). "Such wonderful harmonies and swing, they've always been one of my favorite groups," he says. "I patterned my version on theirs, though, without the vocalizing I added a bridge. I hope it compliments the song."

  5. Liliko'i
    G Major "Taro Patch" on steel string

    A mele inoa (name song) for Lili'uokalani's first of three hanai children, Liliko'i, on page 232 of the songbook, describes the finest beauty of the forest. A beautiful waltz, it dates back to August 1878. Ozzie added the intro and bridge after the verse two, with the chords G minor 9th, C Major, A minor 7th, D minor 7th, G minor 7th, A dominant 7th , D minor, G minor 7th and D dominant 7th.

    Ozzie credits Emma Veary with the inspiration here. "Her version on her [mid-1970s album, THE BEST OF EMMA (Mountain Apple 2034)] made me aware of the phrasing and movement of the melody," he says.

  6. Moanalua
    G Major "Taro Patch," tuned down to F#, on steel string

    Like most composers, Queen Lili'uokalani drew inspiration from the songs of others in creating some of her own works. Similarly, other composers have creatively adapted some of her songs. This rollicking travel song, describing a trip to Moanalua, is believed to date from around 1864, but received a new melody by David Nape in the late 1920s. Research by Eddie Kamae and Hawaiian scholar Mary Kawena Pukui helped restore the original tune, which was first recorded by Dennis Kamakahi. This is the second time this original tune has been recorded. "I never heard this melody before Dennis' great recording," says Ozzie. "I chose it to showcase the Taro Patch Tuning, which I find practically limitless."

    Ozzie states the melody in the first verse and then improvises. He adds a nice interlude with D7th and G chords to the introduction and between some of the verses

    Also recorded on slack key guitar by:

  7. Medley: Paoakalani/Ku'u Pua I Paoakalani
    G Major "Taro Patch" on nylon string

    A medley of two songs written for the Queen's home in Hamohamo, Waikiki. The first, most likely composed in the late 1870s or early 1880s, was co-written with a friend, most likely Emma Kapena. According to page 256 of the songbook, it refers poetically to the soft rustle of bamboo, quivering at the wind's touch, as well as several standard metaphors for love, including chilly waters and a pleasant sensation of cold.

    The second song dates from a far more melancholy time, the Queen's 1895 incarceration at the 'Iolani Palace after the failed revolt by Wilcox and other Royalists trying to reinstate the monarchy. While imprisoned in the palace, the Queen was allowed few visitors, though young Johnny Wilson was allowed to bring flowers from her gardens. On Wednesday, March 20, she reportedly recognized flowers from Paoakalani, which this poignant song commemorates. Maintaining the Hawaiian love of riddles, the verses describe the flowers and challenge listeners to guess the type. It can be found in the songbook on page 61.

    Ozzie composed an introduction in the key of D, which modulates to the key of G for the rest of the song. As George Winston says, "Ozzie is the slack key guitarist who has explored playing in the key of D in the G Major Tuning the most." Ozzie says a vision of the Queen at the window inspired him: "As she looks out, breathing in the fragrances and reminiscing, rain begins to fall and a gentle breeze begins to play with the drops on the glass."

    Ozzie adds that Steve Sano helped him with many of the songs. "He played the melody as written in the early manuscripts," Ozzie says, "then a himeni (hymn) version, then a contemporary version with chordal variations and modern voicings. That really helped me get a feeling for these compositions." For Ozzie, both songs embrace the fond memories associated with home as a place of rest, happiness and reassurance. "I thought the nylon string guitar added to the deep feeling," he says.

    Ku'u Pua I Paoakalani has also been recorded on slack key guitar by:
    • Ozzie Kotani in the G Major Tuning (D-G-D-G-B-D), tuned down to F, on his album CLASSICAL SLACK (Pacific Sound Design Records—out-of-print).
    • Cyril Pahinui in the Open C Major Tuning (C-G-C-G-C-E) for his next album on Dancing Cat.

    PART 2

  8. Puna Paia 'A'ala
    G Major "Taro Patch" on nylon string

    Set in the famous hala groves in the Puna district on the island of Hawai'i, this mele ho'oipoipo from 1868 remains a favorite among leo ki'eki'e (falsetto) singers and one of the Queen's most popular waltzes. Found in the songbook on page 75, it describes Puna's shaded bowers as redolent with perfume, sweet in language, full of love.

    Ozzie composed the introduction and ending in D, though he plays the song in G. He also composed the third section, the part that starts with a G7th chord. "I see a dance, while keeping in mind the beauty of Puna," he says. The nylon strings help lighten certain passages, as does limiting the bass in spots.

  9. Ka Hanu O Evalina
    G Major "Taro Patch" on steel string

    Written in collaboration with her brother, King Kalakaua, who is credited with the mele (text), this song celebrates an acquaintance, possibly Evelyn Townsend Wilson, a close friend of both composers. Palani Vaughan found the song in the state archives and revived it on IA 'OE E KA LA, VOL. 2 (Nakahili 200), the second of his four volume set of songs by and about Kalakaua. Ozzie added the introduction, an interlude between the second and third verses, and the ending. He alternates between the keys of D and G, which is not often done in G Major Tuning. "I added the arpeggios and chose this tempo to lighten up the arrangement and create the feeling of a soft breeze, or breath."

  10. Ahe Lau Makani
    G Major "Taro Patch" on steel string

    A beautiful mele ho'oipoipo (love song) in which sighing breezes and soft voices warm the heart, Ahe Lau Makani possibly dates from 1868. Found in the songbook on page 28, it is often played as a fast waltz. First revived by Eddie Kamae on THIS IS EDDIE KAMAE (Hula 513), it has spread to many slack key guitarists. Ozzie states the melody and then improvises. After the second and third verse and the bridge, he adds a short interlude with the chords B minor 7th, B dominant 7th, E minor 9th, A minor 7th, to D dominant 7th flat 9. "I waltzed my way through this one with thoughts of a happy and playful wind," Ozzie says.

    Also recorded on slack key guitar by:
  11. Ka Wai 'Apo Lani
    G Major "Taro Patch" on steel string

    A powerful declaration of the author's pride in her royal ancestry and her right to rule, this 1896 composition reaffirms that the sacred torch, Lili'uokalani's family symbol, still burns across the land. Found in the songbook on page 181, it is fairly rare. "Again, Emma Veary's version inspired me," Ozzie says. "This is one of my favorites of the Queen's melodies. The climbing and descending lines show great skill."

  12. Aloha 'Oe
    C Wahine "Drop C" on steel string

    Perhaps the most famous Hawaiian song in the world, Aloha 'Oe dates from an 1877 or 1878 visit to the Maunawili ranch of Colonel James Boyd, King Kalakaua's chamberlain. One version of the story has Colonel Boyd and Princess Likelike embracing, another claims that Boyd received a lei from a young girl on his ranch and said much of what became the chorus as his parting words. In any case, as the composer often stated, the incident inspired a mele ho'oipoipo, which can be translated more than one way.

    As noted in most histories of the song, Aloha 'Oe borrows aspects of several earlier parlor songs, including The Rock Beside the Sea by Charles Converse and There's Music in the Air by George Root. Found in the songbook on page 33, it gained great popularity when adopted by The Royal Hawaiian Band as their standard closing. After they took it to San Francisco in 1883, the song spread throughout the world.

    Ozzie gives a unique interpretation, adding an introduction and substituting a D minor chord (the II chord) for the usual F major chord (the IV chord). He also takes some liberties with the melody. "I'm very concerned about this arrangement and how it will be received," Ozzie says. "I'm not playing the original, familiar melody in the verses but I do play the chorus the way everybody knows it." Ironically, that's not right either, as written. "Two wrongs don't make a right," Ozzie adds. "I just hope the playing evokes the affection and aloha I feel for this song and what the song so beautifully expresses."

    Also recorded on slack key guitar by:
    • George Kahumoku, Jr. on two guitars—one in the G Major Tuning capoed five frets to sound in the key of C and the other in the D Wahine Tuning (D-A-D-F#-A-C#) tuned down to C—on DRENCHED BY MUSIC (Dancing Cat 38038).
    • George Kahumoku, Jr. in two versions on E LILI'U (Kealia Farms 1008). The first version has two guitars—one in the C Wahine Tuning (C-G-D-G-B-D) and the other in the G Major Tuning capoed five frets to sound in the key of C. The second version has two guitars in the same tuning, with the one tuned down to A flat and the other capoed up one fret to sound in the key of A flat.
    • Winston Tan in the G Major Tuning on his album TEA TIME AT THE MOANA (Rosewood & Silver Records)
    • James "Bla" Pahinui in the "Dropped D" Tuning (D-A-D-G-B-E) for an upcoming release on Dancing Cat.

  13. The Queen's Prayer (Ke Aloha O Ka Haku)
    G Major "Taro Patch" on steel string

    Composed March 22, 1895, near the outset of Lili'uokalani's imprisonment, The Queen's Prayer, subtitled Ke Aloha O Ka Haku (The Lord's Mercy) is a powerful testimony of divine support in time of need. Its stately music and passionate message have made it a staple for Hawaiian choirs of all kinds: church, school and civic. It has also been recorded in a variety of settings. Ozzie bases his arrangement on a piano version by Steve Sano. His treatment involves beautiful chord substitutions and composed interludes after the second verse and at the end. "Because of the message as well as the beauty of the writing, this is another of my favorites," Ozzie says. "I play it in homage and tribute to a truly magnificent Queen who loved her land and her people as only she could. I hope my playing conveys all the aloha I sensed in doing this whole project over the course of five years to honor a Queen."

    Also recorded on slack key guitar by:

The following texts and resources were used and referenced for these notes:
THE QUEEN'S SONGBOOK by Her Majesty Lili'uokalani, published by Hui Hanai. Text and Music Notation by Dorothy Kahananui Gillett. Edited by Barbara Smith.
HER ROYAL HIGHNESS, QUEEN LILI'UOKALANI – POET, COMPOSER, MUSICIAN. Prepared by Lynn Waihee and the Docents of Washington Place.
The State of Hawai'i Archives
The Bishop Museum Archives

Recommended Videos about Queen Lili'uokalani:
HAWAI'I'S LAST QUEEN (PBS Home Video—The American Experience)

Other Queen Lili'uokalani songs recorded by Hawaiian Slack Key Guitarists:

'Apapane By and By Ho'i Mai 'Oe
  • Dennis Kamakahi in the G Major Tuning (D-G-D-G-B-D) to be issued on a future Dancing Cat album.
Ehehene Ko'aka
  • Dennis Kamakahi in the G Major Tuning (D-G-D-G-B-D), tuned down to F, to be issued on a future Dancing Cat album.
He Inoa No Ka'iulani
  • Ozzie Kotani in the G Major Tuning (D-G-D-G-B-D), tuned down to F, on his album CLASSICAL SLACK (Pacific Sound Design Records 1001—out-of-print).
'Ike Ia Ladana (also known as Queen's Jubilee, the same melody as 'Ike Ia Ladana with different words) Ka Hanu Ka'u Eli'a Nei
  • Dennis Kamakahi in the C Mauna Loa Tuning (C-G-E-G-A-E) to be issued on a future Dancing Cat album.
Ka Hanu O Ka Hanakeoki Kehaulani
  • Dennis Kamakahi in the C Mauna Loa Tuning (C-G-E-G-A-E) to be issued on a future Dancing Cat album.
Manu Kapalulu
  • Gabby Pahinui, with Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawai'i, in the C Mauna Loa Tuning (C-G-E-G-A-E), tuned down to A, on their album THE FOLK MUSIC OF HAWAI'I (Panini 1001).
  • George Kuo in the C Mauna Loa Tuning, tuned down to B flat, on his album ALOHA NO NA KUPUNA - "LOVE FOR THE ELDERS" (Dancing Cat 38009).
Ninipo Ho'onipo Queen's Jubilee (also known as 'Ike Ia Ladana, the same melody as Queen's Jubilee with different words)
  • George Kahumoku, Jr. in the G Major Tuning (D-G-D-G-B-D), capoed up 4 frets to sound in the key of B, on his album DRENCHED BY MUSIC (Dancing Cat 38038).
  • Joanie Komatsu, with Ozzie Kotani and the late Sonny Chillingworth, in the G Major Tuning on her album WITHOUT TEARS (WAIMAKA'OLE) (Little Pine Productions 1004).
  • Keola Beamer on 4 guitars—acoustic steel string in the F Wahine Tuning (C-F-C-G-C-E) and three electric guitars in the C Wahine "Keola's C" Tuning (C-G-D-G-B-E), played in the key of F—on his album MOE'UHANE KIKA - "TALES OF THE DREAM GUITAR" (Dancing Cat 38006).
  • Bla Pahinui in the Dropped D Tuning (D-A-D-G-B-E) on two albums: MANA (Dancing Cat 38033), capoed up 3 frets to sound in the key of F, and BLA (Pua Lani Records 1001—out-of-print), not capoed. Cyril Pahinui also appears on the latter track playing in his D Tuning (D-A-D-F#-B-E).
  • Hui Aloha, with George Kuo on double neck guitar with the 12 string neck in the C Mauna Loa Tuning (C-G-E-G-A-E) and the 6 string neck in C Wahine Tuning (C-G-E-G-B-D), Dennis Kamakahi in the C Mauna Loa Tuning, David Kamakahi on 'ukulele and vocals by Martin Pahinui, on their album HUI ALOHA (Dancing Cat 38053).
  • Cyril Pahinui in his D Tuning (D-A-D-F#-B-E) on his album NIGHT MOON (PO MAHINA) (Dancing Cat 38030).
  • Dennis Kamakahi in the G Major Tuning (D-G-D-G-B-D), tuned down to F, for a future album on Dancing Cat Records.
Wiliwili Wai
  • Atta Isaacs in the G Major Tuning (D-G-D-G-B-D) on his "Orange" album ATTA (Tradewinds Records 1126—out-of-print).

Also recommended:

  • The Galliard String Quartet's album SONGS OF LILI'UOKALANI (Wa Nui Records 49501).

Liner notes by J.W. Junker and George Winston, with special assistance from Chris Orrall, Ozzie Kotani and Dennis Kamakahi
Liner notes edited by Corrina Burnley

Produced by George Winston
Engineered by Howard Johnston
Additional engineering by Justin Lieberman, Mark Slagle, Jon Mayer and Porter Miller
Mastered by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles, CA

Design by Janene Higgins
Cover photography by Dirk Vandenberk
Crown flower photo by shuzo Uemoto
Queen's portrait by M. Okamoto
Hands illustration by G. Halinowski


My deepest gratitude extends to so many people who supported me on this endeavor. This project would not have been possible without the help, guidance and patience of George Winston and Howard Johnston.

Special appreciation goes out to the following: George "Keoki" Winston; Howard Johnston; everyone at Dancing Cat Productions, Windham Hill, RCA and BMG; Steve Sano, Director of Choral Studies at Stanford University; Chris Orrall; Jay Junker & Hella Kihm; Dennis Kamakahi and Carol Silva.

Mahalo Nui Loa to Audio Resource Recording Studio, Keola Beamer, Gary Brawer Stringed Instrument Repair, Pauline Chung, Karen and Jeffrey Fujimoto and Family, Keoki Halinowski, Harry's Music Store, Eddie and Myrna Kamae, Ethel Kotani, Mariko Kotani, Justin Lieberman, Porter Miller, Michael Okamoto, Lisa Smith, Shuzo Uemoto, Linda Uyechi and Mitch Yanagida of Guitar Tech. My warmest aloha and mahalo to all the Dancing Cat and other artists I have met and to my many students and friends who have supported my efforts and befriended me over the years.



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