'Mele at the Moana' recalls the 'Hawaii Calls' era
Here’s a marvelous musical tip: “Mele at the Moana,” a monthly Hawaiiana evening, begins July 31 at the Westin Moana Surfrider’s famed Banyan Courtyard.
Raiatea Helm, left, and Natalie Ai Kamauu, above.
It’s a concept that harkens back to “Hawaii Calls,” minus the radio broadcast, where Hawaiian music-makers back in the day would engagement in kanikapila taped and beamed to listeners all over the world.
Surely, this is an update of sorts of the famed radio show (and short-lived TV version) but there must be an issue (like licensing) with using the “Hawaii Calls” name. The concept and intent are essentially the same: share and showcase Hawaiian music.
As Larry Hanson, general manager of the Moana Surfrider says, “We often hear guests recall fondly about ‘Hawaii Calls,’ and how their parents listened to the broadcast. We hope that ‘Mele at the Moana’ helps bring back a little of that magic at sunset on Aloha Friday.
So “Mele at the Moana” it is, with Raiatea Helm at the helm to kick off this Aloha Frida endeavor — with pre-show music from 5 p.m., and mainstage performance from 7 to 9 p.m., on the last Friday of each month. Helm, of course, is the Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning songbird and a Grammy nominee for her “Sweet and Lovely” CD.
John Cruz, left, and Maunalua group, above.
The schedule includes:
- John Cruz, Aug. 28. Cruz is best-known for his smooth Hawaiian acoustic soul, exemplified in his “Island Style” signature hit song.
- Natalie Ai Kamauu, Sept. 25. Kamauu is a former Miss Aloha Hula titlist in the Merrie Monarch Festival and three-time Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner for Female Vocalist of the Year.
- Maunalua, Oct. 30. Maunalua is one of Hawaii’s treasured musical trios, comprised of Bobby Moderow Jr., Kahi Kaonohi and Richard Gideon, who has been rewarded with Na Hoku laurels, too — for Hawaiian Album of the Year in 2000 and “Group of the Year” in 2007.
Diners at the hotel’s Beachhouse, or folks at the hotel’s new wine bar, Vintage 1901, may soak in the music from their nearby tables and seats.
However, preferred seating also is available and can be secured by calling Mason Waugh at 923-2811 weekdays or by email at Mason.Waugh@westin.com.