George Kuo: ALOHA NÖ NÄ KÜPUNA
On this all-instrumental album of vitage Hawaiian mele (songs) and original pieces, George Kuo sends his aloha to all the Slack Key legends, including Ray Kane, Sonny Chillingworth, Gabby Pahinui and Atta Isaacs, who shared their mana'o (knowledge) with George, and helped him to develop his trdemark 1940s-flavored Slack Key style.
Ki ho ‘alu (lieterally “slack the key”) is the name for the finger-style guitar tradition unique to Hawaii. First introduced to Island culture by Hawaiian cowboys in the early 1800s, this evocative world music is characterized by a variety of tunings and the wealth of deep feelings each individual artst brings to the music.
Waikiki Hula Medley: Royal Hawaiian Hotel/Le 'ahi/Kaimana Hila 4:25
Manu Kapalulu 3:49
Medley: Wai'alae & Koni Au I Ka Wai 4:01
He Inoa No Ka'iulani 3:56
Old Paniolo 3:27
Aia I Ka Maui 5:31
Golf Swing 4:10
Medley: Wai O Ke Aniani & 'Ahulili 4:30
Aloha Chant 3:26
Lullaby Chimes 4:50
Mauna Loa Blues 3:29
“I feel a lot of appreciation for the old style of Slack Key and the lifestyle of my grandparents, granduncles, grandaunts and all the older players. There's a special aloha for them that I try to convey in my style of Slack Key.”
George Kuo was born November 17, 1955 but his beautiful Slack Key guitar style dates back a generation or two earlier. “My feeling is in the older way of playing from the 1940s,” he says. “For me, the old tunings with real loose strings and a real prominent bass have a lot of chicken skin (goose bumps).” George’s feeling for the older style extends beyond technique to the more subtle area of attitude. “I like to play a nice relaxed, easy style,” he says. “Not too much fancy stuff, keep it within the melody. Simplicity is really my style. I try to keep it simple but blend in the right notes. It’s more delivering a message than playing runs.”
George first took up guitar in elementary school and kï hö’alu in high school. He learned by being around friends such as Richard Rathburn and Antone Gabriel, who liked to get together and jam. Antone played in the style of his grand uncle, Albert Kawelo, who had taught Slack Key legend Raymond Käne in the early 1930s. “When I heard Antone,” George says, “I said to myself that’s how I want to play...the old style.” George’s family was very supportive of his music. “My granduncle and aunt liked to hear that style too,” he says, “and they really encouraged me.”
For a young person attracted to old style kï hö’alu, the 1970s were heaven in Hawai’i. A wide–ranging revival of traditional culture was in full bloom. Countless kupuna (elders) at the height of their powers performed and shared their mana’o (thoughts) publicly many for the first time. George visited with and learned from legendary figures such as Ray Käne, Aunty Alice Namakelua, Tommy Solomon, Sonny Chillingworth, Atta Isaacs, Gabby Pahinui, Uncle Fred Punahou, Papa Kauhi and others. “That was really lucky, a real rare opportunity to be with those old masters,” he says. “They have a unique style. The expression and the feeling that they get when they play, you can see it on their faces. They concentrate hard, then they smile cause they feel the vibration, the ona (attraction). It goes throughout their body and moves their spirit. To me that’s what the enjoyment is about right there. I still like to be with old folks as much as I can. If I ever run into an old timer who tells me he plays Slack Key, they may say that they haven’t played in awhile, but I always encourage them because once they go, pau (end), you can’t hear that anymore.”
In 1979 George won an amateur Slack Key guitar contest at the Waikïkï Shell. This brought him to the attention of a wider audience and launched his public performing career. Through high school and college, he continued jamming, playing the clubs (with Tino Jacobs, Ray Käne, Sonny Chillingworth and others) and studying with the masters. He acquired a large repertoire of standards and originals, which he continues to add to today. In 1980 he released his first album, Nahenahe, on the Hula label. He also formed the group Kipapa Rush Band with a number of friends, including Wayne Reis, nephew of Atta Isaacs. In 1985 they recorded the album Hardly Working for the Kahanu label. “We had a nice sound,” George says, “a real nice traditional feeling with a little of today’s music.” In addition to Slack Key, the group featured steel guitar, reflecting the revival of interest among the young in this Hawaiian innovation.
In 1986 Eddie Kamae asked George to join his group The Sons of Hawai’i. George says he considers this a great honor and feels a special kinship with the other members. He also feels very comfortable with Eddie’s style as a band leader. “He’s not one to tell anybody what to do in the group,” George says, “he just says, ‘let’s go and play and have fun’, and we go. It’s not a rehearsed thing. We don’t talk about a lot of that stuff, we communicate it through playing.”
This closely matches George’s approach on Aloha No Na Kupuna. “There’s no overdub on the album,” he says. “Most of the arrangements were done in the studio or a day or two before. I like spontaneity. It gives you a very simple sound, a very pure sound.” Like most Slack Key artists, George often plays by himself at home to relax. Still, recording solo was something he never expected he’d be asked to do. “It’s a different experience,” he says, “but once you get into a feeling, a groove, it comes out real nice. The messages you convey can be real satisfying.”
1. Waikïkï Medley: Royal Hawaiian Hotel/Lë’ahi/Kaimana Hila
George assembled Waikïkï Medley based on both musical and subject considerations. As he explains, “These are nice melodies to put to Slack Key. They were put together thinking about places where I used to go. I grew up surfing, paipo boarding off Walls in Waikïkï.” Royal Hawaiian Hotel honors the world renowned hotel of the same name. Lyrics praise the soft beds, the marble walls, and the soft song of the sea, all of which still make a stay at the pink palace so memorable. Prolific composer Mary Pulaa Robins created the song in 1927 for the Royal Hawaiian’s grand opening. Also by Robins, Lë’ahi takes its title from the Hawaiian name for Waikïkï’s most famous landmark, the 760 foot volcanic cinder cone better known around the world as Diamond Head. The name Lë’ahi poetically points out that the makai (sea facing) side of the crater resembles the head of an ahi (yellow fin tuna). Kaimana Hila means Diamond Head, a name given to Lë’ahi by foreign sailors in the 19th century. The song is popularly attributed to Charles E. King and Andy Cummings. It celebrates the sight of the crater by moonlight as well as the surfing on the beaches nearby. It also makes mention of the old race track that used to draw riders, spectators and gamblers to Kapi’olani Park. Today the horses have been replaced by joggers, rugby players, and picnickers but the special feelings and beauty remain.
George created the medley in the studio. “I’m that kind of player,” he explains. Some other players are more rehearsed. I just let it happen in the studio and take the best recording!” A lot of George’s ideas come from playing with other players or by himself after work. “I play a lot outside on my porch late at night,” he says. “I enjoy the sound of the guitar late at night.”
Waikïkï Medley, is in the popular G Major “Taro Patch” Tuning (DGDGBD), tuned down two half steps to the key of F as George and many other Slack Key players often do.
2. Manu Kapalulu
Composed by Hawai’i’s prolific and beloved Queen Lili’uokalani (1838–1917), Manu Kapalulu uses images of the quail to describe the behavior and sonic level of children. Kulikuli (be quiet) is the operative lyric, but the melody and tempo reflect the bouncy pace of children at play. George associates the song with ‘ukulele master Eddie Kamae, who recorded a memorable version with Gabby Pahinui on Slack Key Guiar on the classic and influential 1971 album The Sons of Hawai‘i an Island Heritage on Panini Records (put number). “When I used to run into Eddie in the nightclubs,” George says, “I’d ask him to play Manu Kapalulu. There’s such a great feeling on that song. So, when Eddie asked me to join them, I asked to put it into the repertoire. It made me so happy to hear Eddie’s ukulele on that song again. To me, that’s one of the all time favorite songs that was done by the Sons of Hawai’i. It’s a great composition by Lili’uokalani and a great arrangement by Eddie. He blends a little classical and Spanish with the Hawaiian.”
For this recording, George took the basic melody that Eddie transcribed for ukulele and put it onto the guitar. “It’s a jumpy song with a nice bounce, like a quail,” he says, “so I play all around the neck Slack Key style and I try to get Joe Marshall’s bass style. He kept a rhythm like a Slack Key bass. He was great. He kept it simple, allowing everybody else space to move.”
Geogrge plays Manu Kapalulu is in C Mauna Loa Tuning (CGEGAE), tuned down two half steps to the key of B flat that Gabby Pahinui used on the Suns of Hawaii version. Mauna Loa Tunings are based on a Major chord with the top two thinnest strings tuned a 5th interval apart. This way these two strings can be played in 6th intervals, producing a distinctively sweet sound. The top two strings can also be ‘frailed’ (strummed rapidly with the index finger), producing a very characteristic sound of this tuning.
Hawaiian composers have always celebrated significant events and several well known mele (song) chronicle the arrival of radio in the islands. Auntie Vickie I’i Rodrigues created this rousing song to welcome Hilo station KHBC to the airways. As the text points out, KHBC’s radio tower stood in Keaukaha ka home a’o Pele (the home of Pele) and na ka uwila e hali nei ka leo mele a lohe oukou (electricity carries the singing voice for you all to hear). Sonny Chillingworth also used this same lick and it originally came from the great full time steel guitarist, Jake Keli'ikoa Sonny played it backing up the late singer Myra English in the standard tuning, (E-A-D-G-B-E), playing in the key of G, on her album Drinking Champagne – (Hula Records – HS452).
“The Sonny and Myra version inspired me,” George says. “I used to fool around with them and Kalani Flores at some casual gigs and at the Marco Polo bar. Sonny really taught me to have fun and enjoy life playing Slack Key, sharing with everybody. And that when it comes time for you to take one, just give it all you got. He always played with a lot of feeling and just like all the races in Hawai’i are mixed, he blended different styles of music with his Slack Key. He was real cosmopolitan.”
On her recording, Myra yodels after each line. In tribute, George interjects a special run. “It’s almost like a blues run,” he says. “But I love that vamp on Myra’s recording. It’s real catchy. It think it’s an old Jake Keli’ikoa vamp.” Sonny Chillingworth also used this same lick and it originally came from the great full time steel guitarist, Jake Keli'ikoa. Sonny played it backing up the late singer Myra English in the standard tuning, (E-A-D-G-B-E), playing in the key of G, on her album Drinking Champagne – (Hula Records – HS452).
KHBC is in G Major Taro Patch Tuning, tuned down three half steps to the key of C.
4. Wai’alae / Koni Au I Ka Wai
The lovely Wai’alae dates back...performed here in a popular C Wahine Tuning (CGDGBD), (often called Leonard’s C because it is prominently used by the great Slack Key guitarist Leonard Kwan. Wahine is the term for a tuning containing a major 7th note, hammered up with the index finger to produce the tonic note, which is one of the characteristic sounds of Wahine Tunings) the lovely and graceful Wai’alae dates back to the turn of the century, when the waltz was very much in vogue. It was written by the prolific composer and former Royal Hawaiian Band leader Mekia Kealakai, (18671944). He reportedly based the melody on a Mexican source. King David Kalakaua, (18361891), composed Koni Au I Ka Wai, a lively march that praises ka wai ali’i (the royal liquid) that makes life cool and peaceful. And what is that liquid? Like all great Hawaiian poets, the royal composer uses ambiguity to creat a variety of possible interpretations.
For George, the song allows him to express his warm feelings for The Sons of Hawai’i, especially the late bassist Joe Marshall. “Playing with Joe really made me feel like playing this kind of music,” he says. “Eddie, too. He always wanted me to play Wai’alae. That was his favorite of mine that he always asked me to play to open up the show. And Joe’s favorite was Koni Au. In that great marching style of his, he always sang it with such heart and enthusiasm. I didn’t realize how nice that song could be until I heard Joe play it. That gave me the inspiration. You can feel the love for Joe in that song.”
When on the road with the Sons, Joe and George often roomed together. “He had a lot of aloha for everybody and he made a lot of people happy,” George says. “ The wit, the humor, the fun. Nothing bothered Joe. Nothing. The world could be crashing down, the club erupting in a melee, he always found humor in everything. Everybody would be moving at eighty miles an hour and along comes Joe in first gear. He really knew how to make friends. He had a lot to share. He had played with everybody. He was a real accomplished musician and he was real proud of his march cadences.”
5. He Inoa no Kaiulani
King David Kalakaua’s sister and successor, Queen Lili’uokalani composed this mele inoa (name song) for her niece, Princess Ka’iulani, pua ha’ahea o ke aupuni (the nation’s cherished flower). George learned the song while playing with Nina Keali’iwahamana in the Hawai’i Calls show in the early 1990s. This is one of his most powerful interpretations. He plays it here on the twelve string guitar in C Mauna Loa Tuning (CGEGAE).
“Nina moves a melody so nice,” George says. “I tried to put her phrasing into the Slack Key. I golf with Nina, too, and after playing we’d have a kanikapila (play music) or we’d get together for her father’s birthday memorial. Mahi Beamer would come by, Boyce (Nina’s brother) would dance and sing, Lani (Nina’s sister) dances that beautiful hula and they bring out all the verses to Makee Ailana. Nina’s daughters dance, getting the tradition passed on to them by Nina and by Nina’s mom, the great musician Vicki I’i Rodgrigues. Despite the modern times, with our jobs and all the pressures, when you play Slack Key it brings back all the good times, when everybody just had a party and a good time. At a Hawaiian party everything gets loosened, it gives you that feeling behind the music...almost like a voice behind the voice coming in. That’s when the Slack Key comes out real nice.”
6. Old Paniolo
In G Wahine Tuning (DGDF#BD), tuned down two half steps to the key of F, Old Paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboy) pays tribute to Slack Key pioneer and noted composer Aunty Alice Namakelua. George used to go up to her apartment and she would show me her runs,” he says. “One day she told me, ‘George, you know, people think that I can only play the one style that you always hear me playing, but I can jam too!’ and she started playing pretty fast, real nice runs and notes. I went like, ‘Gee, you've been hiding it, uh, the old family secret.’ But she was the inspiration for this melody. In her G Wahine Tuning she had this bounce, different from everybody else's.”
7. Aia I Ka Maui
Aia I Ka Maui (There's The Maui) describes a sailor's travels on sea and on land back in the days when Honolulu was the only big town in Hawai’i. Solomon Kaopio,who apparently served on The Maui, wrote the song. Ho'opili Ka Maui pili ka uwapo, he says at one point, honi malihini au me ku'u aloha (The Maui tied to the wharf, I kissed strangers with my aloha). George recorded this rollicking mele with Kipapa Rush Band on their Hardly Working album. The Melelani Serenaders and The Makaha Sons, two groups with connections to the island of Ni'ihau, have also done nice versions.
“Aia I Ka Maui leaves lots of room for improvising,” George says. “I did the arrangement for Kipapa Rush and just carried that over to solo Slack Key in Taro Patch. In Taro Patch you can get a real distinctive bass and play many different melody patterns and rhythms.” George utilizes the whole range of Taro Patch in this recording but keeps the sweetness that’s so important in Hawaiian music. “The more you get away from that sweetness,” George says, “you’re doing another kind of music, not Hawaiian.”
Aia I Ka Maui is in G Major Taro Patch Tuning (here tuned down two half steps to the key of F).
8. Golf Swing
As owners of the Hawaiian Touch album (Dancing Cat 08022 380262) already know, George is an avid golfer and belongs to the legendary Kanikapila Golf Club started by steel guitar master Barney Isaacs. George plays golf regularly and recognizes its many similarities with Slack Key. “In both the secret is good tempo and timing,” he says. “That’s what I’m after in this song. It has a nice little bounce, which is kind of characteristic of Wahine Tunings. You have this hammer on; open string to the first fret, like Aunty Alice’s sound in G Wahine. The feeling is from the 1950s style of playing, smooth and loose like a jam session.”
“This is the second piece I’ve put together in Gabby Pahinui’s C Wahine Tuning (CGEGBE, here tuned down two half steps to the key of B flat – sometimes ”Hi’ilawe Tuning” because Gabby recorded his signature song in this tuning),” George says. An original composition, it debuted in Eddie Kamae's film Listen to the Forest. “It’s in the scene when Bea Krause is talking about shampoo ginger.” George has never counted the number of tunes he’s composed. “I don’t keep track,” he says.
A classic Hawaiian waltz, Honesakala uses the honeysuckle as a symbol of love and betrayal. As the second verse puts it so poetically, “I waiho iho wau i kahi ua mae I ho’ailona nou e 'ike iho ai a he 'u'a keia ua hiki iho nei. (I left a lei, now withered, a sign that someone has taken my place).” Sadly the story in the song is true and concerns a young paniolo (cowboy) who left Hawai’i to attend school on the mainland. When he returned, no one told him, he had to find out for himself that his love was in vain. Old time Kohala residents can tell you the names of the people involved. As singer and storyteller Clyde Halema’uma‘u Sproat points out, Kohala folklore maintains that the bitterness of the lyrics led to disaster for the author; another example of the mana (power) connected with Hawaiian music.
George’s love for the song dates back to jam sessions with steel guitar master David “Feet” Rogers. “He had a beautiful way of sharing,” George recalls, “always giving and real considerate. You didn’t have to be an all star to play with him, just get in the spirit and join in. He played a real sweet style, with little surprise riffs to throw you off guard. He could throw in these real wild runs every so often. I tried that on this song with a bass run and the modulation from C to G. Steel guitarist Barney Isaacs and Atta Isaacs showed me how to modulate, especially with 7th chords. That’s the progressive part of Hawaiian music that comes from jazz, but just enough – try not to overdo it.”
George plays this song in the C Wahine Tuning (CGDGBD). The modulating transition 7th chords to the key of G are especially inspired by Atta, who played his jazz influenced Slack Key in C Major Tuning (GCEGCE).
10. Medley: Wai O Ke Aniani & ‘Ahulili
The bouncy Wai O Ke Aniani is a Slack Key standard closely associated with “Pops” Gabby Pahinui, who first recorded it in 1947 for the Bell label in Honolulu. The lyrics pay tribute to cool, refreshing liquid. The title is often translated as clear water, but, typical of Hawaiian poetry, other meanings are possible. Multiple interpretations are also possible for the hui, or chorus: Hu'i au konikoni, i ka wai konikoni, wai hu'ihu'i o ke aniani. As George says, “It brings to mind your favorite beverage of choice.”
A real Slack Key standard, Wai O Ke Aniani is a popular jamming song among Slack Key guitarists. The song is played by many performers and has become one of Slack Key guitarist Ray Käne’s signature songs as well. “We play it in a jam session,” George says, “and each person takes a turn. You make your runs off of the person before you.” The song has been recorded by many performers. “Some people might say ‘I’m not going to record that, it’s been done so many times,’ but to me it’s how it’s played,’ says George. “This one was probably the most spontaneous recording we made. Fooling around, you find something that fits, you go, ‘Ah, that’s the one!’ You feel real good.” It is played here in the G Major Taro Patch Tuning, tuned down two half steps to sound in the key of F.
Attributed to Scott Ha’i, ‘Ahulili tells the tale of a widow courted by two suitors. One is a hard working paniolo (cowboy) who rides the range every morning, the other is a kolohe (rascal) musician who sits in the yard under a mango tree playing guitar. Does the widow marry one? Of course. Does she give up the other? Well, ‘Ahulili refers to a mountain on Maui. Lili means to be jealous. The mele puts this coincidence to good use. “That came from putting together songs Gabby would do,” George says. “It keeps real close to the melody, with a lot of syncopation, which Gabby liked. It makes it come alive, smooth, then bouncy, then smooth again.”
11. Aloha Chant
Composed by poet and philosopher Palahi Paki, Aloha Chant appeared on the 1971 Sons of Hawaii album on the Panini label, Record KN1001. Moe Keale, a member of the Sons at that time, has also recorded it on his Aloha Is A Part OF Me, A Part of You album. George plays it in the C Mauna Loa Tuning (C-G-E-G-A-E, here tuned down three half steps to sound in the key of A) that Gabby Pahinui used on the Sons of Hawai’i recording (An Island Heritage – Panini Records). George’s love of the song was inspired by his playing with Eddie and the Sons.
“One time we performed at the Chozen–Ji Zen Buddhist temple in the back of Kalihi,” George says. “Pilahi Paki was getting some kind of recognition for the Spirit of Aloha, so we performed Aloha Chant. That’s where the inspiration and love for that song came about. This place in the back of Kalihi Valley had a lot of aloha.” Mauna Loa has a beautiful range from nice deep lows to an almost haunting high,” George says. “It’s almost like singing in falsetto, where you can sing in a baritone then go up to a falsetto. A lot of the playing is in letting the notes really ring.”
Aloha Chant is in C Mauna Loa Tuning..
12. Lullaby Chimes
An original composition in G Major Taro Patch Tuning, tuned down two half steps to sound in the key of F, Lullaby Chimes combines the dulcet sounds of ho’opapa (harmonic chimes) with a hypnotically nahenahe (relaxing) feeling. “I play that way to put myself to sleep,” George says. “When I want to relax, I play something like that.” “It’s spiritual, lilting, it’s like getting a lomilomi(massage),” George says. “The vibrations pass through your body when you play this style. You feel it in your fingers and arms, your back. It makes your heart kind of skip a beat. Gabby and Joe Marshall used to call that the ona, you know, onaona(attraction) When you hit certain phrases, it's like you hit the ona.”
Like all Slack Key masters, George stresses the importance of emotion when talking about Slack Key. “It’s a very personal kind of art,” he says, “and it displays a lot of the person’s feelings. If you’re feeling sad, you can play it sad, you can make the notes really linger and cry. And if you’re feeling creative, you can really take off. You can make it fit to the mood you’re in. If you’re feeling jumpy, you can speed up the song and make it bouncy or you can take a bouncy song and wind it down, make it hypnotic and dreamy. The nicest time for Slack Key is aumoe (late at night), everything is quiet and calm and the spirit of the Slack Key is coming out. You can hear the spirit of all the ancestors. The tradition is passed on in Slack Key, you can feel that at night time.”
Lullaby Chimes is in G Major Taro Patch Tuning.
13. Mauna Loa Blues
Not about the famous mountain or even the ship, Mauna Loa Blues dates back to George’s first explorations of the C Mauna Loa Tuning. “When I was first learning the Mauna Loa Tuning,” he says, “I came across these runs and put them together trying to bring out the nicest sounds. It was real exciting to be playing in that tuning.”
This recording dates back to a ^1986 acoustic solo guitar concert at Orvis Auditorium at the University of Hawai’i Music Department.
For George a concert focuses attention on the music. “You pick the songs and you can arrange them around a theme,” he says. “In a concert people are really concentrating on the music, so the subtlety comes out. Every note that you pull off is going to result in some kind of a reaction from the audience, whether it’s good or bad. Also, how you feel can effect the audience. If you’re feeling good and relaxed, then the audience will loosen up. They adjust to you.” Playing in a club tends to be more of a social event in which music plays a less dominant role. “In a club there’s a lot more noise,” he says, “there’s a lot more things going on. A lot of times the sound system is junk. The people aren’t always paying attention to the music or they have other ideas about what they want to hear. Slack Key is more of a music of self expression. At a club people a lot of times want to hear a popular song. They request songs and you have to adjust to them. That’s all part of the fun. It’s a lot more loose and high energy entertainment. It’s a lot of giving and I enjoy that a lot. But no matter where you’re playing, it’s the greatest satisfaction when you see people smile. When you see you’re bringing happiness to them, that brings happiness to you, too.
George Kuo’s Tunings used on this album:
G Major (“Taro Patch Tuning”) (DGDGBD) for Waikïkï Medley, Lullaby Chimes, Aia I Ka Maui, KHBC, and Wai O Ke Aniani & ‘Ahulili Medley
G Wahine (DGDF#BD) for Old Paniolo.
C Wahine ^(“Leonard’s C Tuning”) (CGDGBD) for Honesakala and Wai’alae/Koni Au I Ka Wai.
C Wahine ^(“Hi’ilawe Tuning”) (CGEGBE) for Golf Swing
C Mauna Loa (CGEGAE) for Aloha Chant, Manu Kapalulu, Mauna Loa Blues, and He Inoa no Kaiulani
Produced by George Winston.
Recorded, engineered and mixed by Howard Johnston.
Additional engineering by
Mastered by Bernie Grundman at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles, CA.
Cover design by Nelson Makua Design.
Cover photography by Shuzo Uemoto with interior photography by
Booklet interior editing and design by Su Gatch, with editing and research assistance by Heather Gray and Leimomi Kuo.
Mahalo: All my musical friends, especially the older ones who were kind enough to share their knowledge and love of Slack Key and share each other’s company. Grandparents, granduncles & aunts, parents, George Winston, Howard Johnston, Richard Rathburn, Antone Gabriel, Albert Kawelo, Tino Jacob, Ilima Piianaia, Leimomi Apoiliona, Barney Isaacs, Wayne Reis, Sonny, Gabby, Atta, Eddie, Dennis, Joe Marshall, Ray, Herb, Ocean, Charlie, Uncle Fred, Uncle Tommy Solomon, Tini Natto, Alika Ngum, Leonard Kwan & Leonard, Jr., Oz Kotani, Doug Ching, Aaron Mahi, Mat Nakamura, Peter Mederois, Byron Yasui, Leimomi Akana, Violet Almeida, Kawika Chung, Gary Aiko, Lani Maa, Alvin Meyers, Nina, Lani, Mackey and Boyce Rodrigues, Bill Kaiwa, Uncle Alvin, Kiki, Cookie, Myrna and Ernie and Kathy. “The music evolves each time from the interaction of the people involved.”