Stories regarding Molokai’s music scene

‘Music of Kalaupapa’ Awarded

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa News Release

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa was presented with a Preservation Media Award by Historic Hawaii Foundation for its virtual concert, “The Music of Kalaupapa.”

The concert was recognized during a virtual ceremony recently along with seven other preservation projects and five individuals who were acknowledged for their longtime commitments to preservation of the islands’ special places and cultures. The Preservation Honor Awards by Historic Hawaii Foundation (HHF) are considered to be the highest recognition of projects in Hawaii that perpetuate, rehabilitate, restore or interpret the state’s architectural, archaeological and/or cultural heritage.

“The Music of Kalaupapa concert celebrates and memorializes the music and songwriters of Kalaupapa,” wrote Kiersten Faulkner, Executive Director of HHF in the congratulatory letter to Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa.…

Molokai Music Students Release CD

Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Molokai Music Students Release CD

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

A group of Molokai musicians of the first ever cohort of students in the University of Hawaii Maui College Institute of Hawaiian Music have released a CD and celebrated with a live streamed concert at Hiro’s ‘Ohana Grill last week.

Over the last two years, the group remained intact through the pandemic and their compilation CD, called Awaiaulu ‘Ia E Ke Aloha No Molokai (Bound Together By Love For Molokai), features nine recordings, seven of which are original compositions by the students.

Natalie Sambajon, Kelly Kaawa Richardson, Lehiwahiwa Ritte, Valerie Temahaga, Po’okela Napoleon, Keakaokalani Kaiama, Daniel Pelekai, Jr.,…

The Music of Kalaupapa Rebroadcast

Wednesday, December 9th, 2020

The Music of Kalaupapa Rebroadcast

Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa News Release

The virtual concert, “The Music of Kalaupapa,” which celebrates the often-forgotten musicians of Kalaupapa, will be rebroadcast from Dec. 19 through Jan. 3 on Facebook and YouTube.

The 90-minute concert, produced by Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa, debuted in October to high praise and virtual applause from hundreds of viewers.

“This is Ka ‘Ohana’s holiday gift to those who are interested in the history of Kalaupapa or who simply enjoy music,” said Valerie Monson, Executive Director of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa. “We decided to rebroadcast the concert over the holidays when people will be home more than they usually are this year and looking for some joy that we hope this music will provide.”…

Virtual Concert Brings Kalaupapa Music to Life

Wednesday, October 7th, 2020

Virtual Concert Brings Kalaupapa Music to Life

By Catherine Cluett Pactol

Music has a long history in Kalaupapa — a history of healing, bonding, and yes, quarantine. A virtual concert, “The Music of Kalaupapa,” sponsored by Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa, will bring that music into listeners’ homes on Oct. 17, offering tribute to the settlement’s often-forgotten musicians and composers of the past.

“I have long been amazed at how music has been such a constant thread throughout the history of Kalaupapa, from earliest days to now, and I believe it helped people to heal,” said Valerie Monson of Ka ‘Ohana O Kalaupapa, a nonprofit of Kalaupapa residents, their family members and friends honoring the legacy of those who were exiled to the settlement.…

Catch Lonomusic Online

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

Lonomusic News Release

We miss you all and hope you are doing well this season. Just putting out a heads up on some of the things that are happening with Lonomusic.

We are doing a live interview with local comedian Andy Bumatai on Thursday, Sept. 10 on YouTube. The show goes from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Hawaii time. We will be on at 4pm. So here is your invite to get caught up with Lonomusic and the things that have been going on with us. So if you are able to, please join us and enter the chatroom with your questions or thoughts.…

Schonely Releases CD

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Schonely Releases CD

Molokai musician Rick Schonely has recorded his first CD and recently went live on radio and performed a couple shows in Honolulu. Schonely, who retired with the Maui Fire Department, teaches at Molokai High, gives tours in Kalaupapa for the Molokai Mule Ride, is the sports reporter at The Molokai Dispatch, and plays music with several local bands.

“Music is life for many of us and we especially enjoy the local Hawaiian music,” he said. “And even more so the music of Molokai is special. Local Hawaiian music reminds us of our ‘ohana and our island and our kuleana to take care of the land the water and most importantly, each other.”…

Youth Symphony Comes to Molokai

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

Hawaii Youth Symphony News Release

The classrooms of Kaunakakai Elementary School on Molokai will be filled with the joy of music during the Hawaii Youth Symphony’s string workshop held at the school on Saturday, June 23 through Sunday, June 24. 

“The Hawaii Youth Symphony is thrilled to share more of the opportunities and wonder that music education has to offer with students on Molokai,” said Randy Wong, president of the Hawaii Youth Symphony. “Music is a right, not a privilege, and we look forward to inspiring these enthusiastic young students to further develop their skills and have fun while learning.” 

In partnership with Kaunakakai Elementary School teacher and bassist Bob Underwood, the Hawaii Youth Symphony will teach Molokai students the fundamental techniques of string instruments, general musicianship skills and the opportunity to rehearse as an orchestra. …

Melveen Leed Honored

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

PPSEAWAH News Release

Molokai musician Melveen Leed will be honored with the  Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Pan Pacific Southeast Asian Women Association of Hawaii (PPSEAWAH) in a ceremony on March 24.

Leed is being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, only the second recipient from Hawaii in PPSEAWAH’s 90 years of service in the Pacific. PPSEAWA-Hawaii’s Lifetime Award honoree is selected from a list of distinguished Pacific iconic figures. Leed has made her marks in myriad of ways in education, television, entertainment, indigenous issues, her philanthropic charity work in the past 50 years, as well as a positive role model for young people in the Pacific and the USA. …

A Morning of Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar at the Library

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

A Morning of Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar at the Library

Dressed in aloha attire — slippers, shorts, aloha shirt and a lei — and armed with a strange-looking musical instrument nested on his lap, Maui musician Joel Katz gave a free performance and talk story at the Molokai Public Library on the morning of July 27.

As Katz began plucking the chords of his Hawaiian lap steel guitar, the roughly 20 people who attended the performance immediately surrendered to his music.

The sweet melodies coming out of the odd-looking instrument were all-too-familiar. Traditional Hawaiian music, haole-hula songs, country music, Beatles melodies, all felt right at home among an audience of a wide age range.…

Celebrating the Bon Festival

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Celebrating the Bon Festival

By Molokai Dispatch Staff

Last Saturday at Molokai’s Guzeiji Soto Mission, the community gathered to honor the memories of loved ones and keep a Japanese tradition alive. The annual bon dance brought hundreds of residents and visitors together for a lively drum performance, dancing and food. Draped from the temple roof, names of deceased love ones on slips of paper fluttered in the breeze as the beat of Taiko drums signaled a reunion with their spirits. Photo by Sarah Ching.