Kanahele family concert tonight at War Memorial

  • Bill Buley/The Garden Island

    Mama Ane Kanahele will lead her family’s free concert tonight at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

The Kanahele family will give its first public concert at 7 tonight at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

About 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren will be singing, some songs in Hawaiian, while Mama Ane Kanahele will explain the meaning of the songs.

The lyrics of each song will be displayed on a large video screen for all to sing along. There will also be a translation of the Hawaiian lyrics into English, to understand the meaning and purpose of each song.

Mama Ane, the family matriarch, said she wanted to make this rare concert happen.

“I want Jesus’ name to go around the world. That’s what I want,” she said.

Her wish is that the concert touches those who attend. It’s expected the convention hall will be packed to hear the Kanaheles.

“If you love the music, grab the music, and put it in your heart,” she said. “Whoever wants to sing, let them sing, yeah?”

K-Iesu Radio, 94.9FM, is hosting the free concert.

“How often, if ever, have you ever met a native who has lived on the island of Niihau, let alone learned about this ancient people group?” Pastor Lon Malapit asked. “This humble, gracious and peaceful group of family members have a desire to share their spiritual lives with the rest of the world, through their gift of music.”

Most of their music was written by Mama Ane, who was honored by the Kauai Museum in 2012 for being a Living Treasure. She was recognized for her service to the community and for being one of our most prolific composers of himeni, or Hawaiian hymns. In 2001, her ohana won a Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Religious Album of the Year, for “Na Himeni Ho‘omaikai‘i I Ke Akua.”

Born and raised on Niihau, she is also known for her spiritual leadership and for being a master shell lei maker.

Malapit said well-known secular artists have offered to produce a CD and concerts with the family that splits time between their homes in Waimea and Niihau, However, they have declined. It’s not about the music, the artist, the money, or the fame.

“It’s time to start sharing their gift, their love and to share the love of God with others,” he said.

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