For the second straight year, the Royal Hawaiian Band will be performing on Kauai.
Bandmaster Clarke Bright said bringing the musical group over for a concert on The Garden Isle was an easy call. First, they were invited and were more than happy to accept. And two, they love the appreciation they receive when playing on one of the neighbor islands. There is nothing but harmony.
“It’s a joy to be able to be part of that,” Bright said. “It’s a joy, an absolute joy.”
The RHB concert is scheduled 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Prince Kuhio Park. It is free. Musicians Triple T and Brother Noland will take the stage first.
The band will play about 10 songs in an hour.
Last year’s concert attracted an estimated 1,000 people. Then, tickets were $10. With no charge this time, expect another large crowd to see the Royal Hawaiian Band, which is an agency of the City and County of Honolulu. It was founded in 1836 by King Kamehameha III and is the only band in the United States with a royal legacy. Its mission is to promote and foster music, and inspire young musicians. It performs almost exclusively on Oahu.
Chucky Boy Chock, one of the event organizers and a show emcee, said they received donations from South Shore hotels and others to cover the cost of transportation and food for the band, which arrives Saturday morning and leaves that night.
“That was a big help,” he said.
It was Chock who came up with the idea of bringing the Royal Hawaiian Band to Kauai last year when he was visiting in Kekaha and listening to kupuna talking about the old days.
“I asked, ‘How many of you have ever seen the Royal Hawaiian Band?’” he said.
Two raised their hands.
“Would you guys want to see them again?” Chock asked.
Yes, came the answer, “but it’s too expensive to go to Honolulu.”
So they brought the band to Kauai.
It will be the last performance at Prince Kuhio Park, too. It is a fragile area that must be protected, Chock said.
“We don’t want to overuse it,” he said.
About 40 band members will be traveling over for the concert.
Bright said they are planning some special songs, medleys and surprises, including one number they didn’t play last year. As well, there will be a vocalist, hula dancer and they will be featuring a vocalist, “Lady Jane,” from Kauai, too.
“We’re kind of upping it a little bit this year,” he said.
The performance is about traditional music, but it’s also about community service and sharing Hawaiian history.
“What we’ve noticed is the amount of recognition and appreciation is great on the neighbor island,” he said. “They don’t get a chance to see us that often, but they know how important the band is to the Hawaiian culture.”
Bright said it’s always an honor to lead the Royal Hawaiian Band, which has an impact wherever it performs.
“I am so blessed to be able to work with some of Hawaii’s finest musicians,” he said.
The RHB is busy, performing in more than 300 concerts and parades each year. It rarely leaves Oahu, but Kauai is special.
“Knowing how well it went last year, we’re willing to come back again this year,” he said.
The concert is sponsored by the Kauai Museum, the Club at Kukui‘ula, the Royal Order of Kamehameha (Kaumuali‘i Chapter), the Hawaii Tourism Authority, and the City and County of Honolulu.