Pianist, flutist reunite for Kaua‘i concert

PRINCEVILLE — Two musicians who haven’t performed together in more than a decade are reuniting for a three-date tour of the Hawaiian islands.

Pianist Peter Kater and Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai perform 7 p.m. Saturday at the Church of the Pacific in Princeville. Between the two of them, the talented duo has racked up 13 Grammy Award nominations.

Kater was scheduled to perform with Tibetan flutist Nawang Khechog, but in a sudden turn of events, Khechog was taken to the hospital Tuesday to undergo surgery to remove a large blood clot in his brain.

At press time Thursday Khechog was in stable condition, and his recovery is cautiously optimistic, Kater said.

“I asked R. Carlos to perform the Awakening Kindness tour with me in honor of Nawang,” Kater said.

Kater and Nakai met more than 20 years ago and released multiple recordings together, but have spent the last decade apart from each other. The duo will reconnect creatively and musically for the first time in more than 10 years when they perform today on Maui.

“It’s a a cool thing for us to come together over our friend who will hopefully will have a full recovery,” Kater said.

Nakai is of Navajo-Ute heritage, has been described as a an adventurer and risk taker.

“Nakai is also an iconoclastic traditionalist who views his cultural heritage not only as a source and inspiration, but also a dynamic continuum of natural change, growth, and adaptation subject to the artist’s expressive needs,” his website states.

Nakai draws on his instincts and roots, Kater said.

“We like to improvise and be present in the moment. Sometimes it’s relaxing. Sometimes it’s more upbeat and sometimes it’s more hypnotic.”

The concert will open with Kater and Nakai performing solo pieces before uniting for an extended set.

“Our concerts are pretty intimate and personal,” Kater said. “We haven’t talked about what we will be doing, but I imagine with what’s taking place, it will be pretty real. It won’t be an egocentric performance.”

Kater lives full-time on Maui and doesn’t have to travel far to find inspiration.

“Usually, I find inspiration on the beach, but I find it everywhere,” Kater said. “In the last three years I try and get up as early as 5 a.m. because I like to watch the sunrise and meditate on the beach. I get a lot of inspiration and peace of mind in nature.”

Kater has performed twice in Kaua‘i and said he’s excited to perform at Saturday’s concert.

“Playing in Kaua‘i is wonderful,” Kater said. “I’m looking forward to celebrating our friend and wishing him a healthy recovery.”

The Awakening Kindness tour stops at Kaua‘i for one night only. See Kater and Nakai 7 p.m. Saturday at the Church of the Pacific in Princeville.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Visit www.globalmediaproductions.com to purchase tickets or call 875-8820.

• Andrea Frainier, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681, ext. 257 or afrainier@ thegardenisland.com.

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