HANAMAULU — It’s the third of 10 Monday nights in the heritage Hawaiian music program, E Kanikapila Kakou, now in its 36th season. Monday’s guests at EKK are composer and singer Amy Hanaialii and composer and classical, jazz and slack-key guitarist Jeff Peterson.
Both independent artists have performed in locations throughout the world. And at times, such as on this night, they appear together.
This year’s theme for EKK is “Music is Our Mo‘olelo (Story).” Guest entertainers from around the islands share their stories of important events, places and people in song in the program that continues weekly through March 25.
Hanaialii remains Hawaii’s top-selling female vocalist of all time. Her success as a recording artist is evidenced by a multitude of awards and acknowledgements, including five Grammy nominations for best Hawaiian music album and 18 Na Hoku Hanohano awards.
Growing up on the slopes of Haleakala, Peterson cut his teeth on music he heard from small-kid time when his father, Bart Peterson, a paniolo on Haleakala Ranch who, along with other paniolos, played slack key.
The young Peterson listened as well to recordings by the greats — Gabby Pahinui, Leonard Kwan and Sonny Chillingworth, then went on to play slack key, jazz and classical music. Critic Wayne Harada of The Honolulu Advertiser once wrote, “Add the Peterson name to the top-10 list of slack-key giants.”
Peterson has contributed to two Grammy Award-winning recordings and has been honored with nine Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in Hawaii. He is a 2018 Native Arts &Cultures Foundation Fellow and 2018 First People’s Fund Fellow.
All EKK gigs are held from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Jasmine Ballroom of the Aqua Kauai Beach Resort near Hanamaulu. A suggested donation in the calabash of $5 to $10 or more treats you to an evening of aloha from the heart.
A no-host bar and food concession in the ballroom operates throughout the event.
E Kanikapila Kakou is funded in part by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, supported by the County of Kauai Office of Economic Development, the Kauai Beach Resort, and Garden Island Arts Council/EKK supporters.
Next Monday, Feb. 11: ʻOiwi — More great mo‘olelo (stories) and music, plus falsetto by John Kepa Mahi.