For more than a decade, her husband Aaron Mahi, George Kuo and Martin Pahinui, have been performing every Sunday from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Hotel, Moana Terrace. Their performances are known as “Kiho`alu Sundays” because they play traditional Hawaiian music with Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar stylings (kiho`alu – to loosen the guitar strings to a particular tuning and play Hawaiian finger-picking e guitar). Their blend of instrumentation mastery and warm vocal harmonies are chicken-skin moments (goose bumps on the arm from feeling the deep soulful character of the music) reminiscent of an older, romantic, traditional style of Hawaiian folk art music with spontaneous riffs and passages being created only for the moment. Their stories in introducing the songs provide special insight on the older culture of Hawaii relevant to the Kaona of the songs (special meanings, secret poetic references and similes) involving romantic affairs and adoration, and tributes to special persons and places.
MARTIN PAHINUI – Martin is known for his out-of-this-world singing and legendary family musical tradition. Martin’s incredible voice range from a low deep bass to a rich high and haunting falsetto is reminiscent of his legendary father, Gabby Pahinui. Martin grew up listening and watching his dad and other legendary performer friends gather at their home for rehearsals and memorable jam sessions that sometimes lasted for several days. Martin played on his father’s recordings with his brothers Cyril, Bla, Philip, and master slack-key guitarists Leland “Atta” Isaacs and Sonny Chillingworth. Martin performed at nightclubs on Maui for many years before coming home and playing with the Peter Moon Band in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Currently Martin performs with George Kuo and Aaron Mahi at their regular engagements and concert tours. Martin has done many recordings with his family on Panini Records; The Peter Moon Band (Kanikapila Productions); a solo CD Martin Pahinui (Mountain Apple Productions); and with George Kuo, Dennis and David Kamakahi, on a CD titled Hui Aloha, and with George Kuo, Aaron Mahi, and Bobby Ingano on the CD, Ho`olohe (Dancing Cat/Windham Hill Records).
AARON MAHI – Aaron is one of Hawaii’s living legends in traditional Hawaiian music. He has a tremendous repertoire and knowledge of the hidden meanings of traditional Hawaiian songs, and combines traditional Hawaiian with formal music arranging, and has achieved the highest accolades in classical music circles. Upon graduating with distinction from the Hart School of Music, he performed as a bassist and later became the assistant conductor for the Honolulu Symphony, and currently, Aaron has been the conductor of the City and County of Honolulu’s Royal Hawaiian Band since 1980. Aaron is also fluent in Hawaiian language and perpetuates many of the old ways that he spent time learning from his family and from many elder Hawaiians that were famous musicians, arrangers, and songwriters. Aaron is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools, famous for its Hawaiian musical tradition and he learned and performed with his classmates, many who became prominent Hawaiian musicians. Aaron is Hawaii’s musical ambassador to the world as he performs with various Hawaiian shows and was the conductor for 24 years from 1981 – 2005 with the Royal Hawaiian Band all over the world. Aaron has recorded with and arranged recordings with many legendary Hawaiian artists.
Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Photos: A.B. Cruz III and Lillian Kimura Receive 2011 AALDEF Justice in Action Awards
Photos: Chinese New Year Festival at The Huntington in San Marino
Geffen Playhouse Production Photos: LaBute’s The Break of Noon- Kevin Anderson, Tracee Chimo, Catherine Dent & John Earl Jelks
Photos:The Working Theater’s Off-Broadway production of HONEY BROWN EYES by Stefanie Zadravec at The Clurman
Andy Warhol, Romare Bearden, Alexander Calder, Lia Chang in Art & Healing Exhibit at Snug Harbor on SI
Photos: David Duchovny, John Earl Jelks, Amanda Peet,Tracee Chimo opening night of Neil LaBute’s The Break of Noon
André De Shields leads cast of Charles Smith’s Knock Me A Kiss at Abrons Arts Center
STORIES FROM CHINESE AMERICA: The Arthur Dong Collection, Vol. 2 as 4 disc DVD Box Set
Photos & Video Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas-In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Photo Call: BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society
Multimedia: Promises, Promises’ Stars Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes at Lord & Taylor Fifth Ave
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As a photographer and videographer, Lia collaborates with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive and social media presence. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.
This year, selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space will become part of newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PHOTOGRAPHY PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.
Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, thelmagazine.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.