4517Re: Mike Hanapi!
- Mar 10, 2010Bev, I'm sure you've found the best way to listen to Kalama's Quartet is to crank up the volume and let 'er rip! Open the doors and windows, too, so the neighbors can enjoy!
We have steel player Bob Brozman to thank for collecting the very hard-to-find 78s from which the modern recording was made. The guys who did the sound restoration are absolute geniuses! Having frequently dubbed and mixed old 78s for my radio programs in the 1980s, I know just how difficult that is, believe me.
We must also thank Dennis Kamakahi, Hawaiian slack key player and composer, for relating the story of John Kalama (not William), the young Hawaiian who worked for the Hudson's Bay Compamy and found himself on Washington's shores. JK fell in love with and married Mary, a Nisqually Indian maiden; Kalama, Washington, is named for him.
Upon hearing the story at the slack key festival last November, I became curious about the town's history. A quick google or two and up popped the Kalama Quartet and Mike Hanapi! The surname Kalama is fairly rare, even in Hawaii, so I suspect there's a family relationship there somewhere.
Speaking of Dennis Kamakahi and Hawaiian music in general, I can recommend viewing the performance calendar found at
Many of the Hawaiian musicians perform regularly in the Islands and on the mainland, particularly in California. Three of my favorites -- Dennis K, Cyril Pahinui and George Kahumoku, Jr. -- will be in California later this month at various venues. Unfortunately, my work schedule and budget do not allow me to travel south right now. But if any of you can make their concerts, or those of other artists, I can guarantee you will enjoy every minute.
My collection of Hawaiian CDs is growing by the hour. Last week I finally obtained George's "Drenched by Music" CD as well as an early CD by Cyril. This morning, success at last in winning the Gabby "brown album!"
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