Ukulele Ohana Molokai to celebrate Mele O`o
Full Heart Productions News Release
This coming Memorial Day weekend, May 27-31, the sounds of the happiest instrument on earth will once again fill the lodge at Pu`u O Hoku Ranch as the Ukulele Ohana Molokai workshop and its teacher Lono, return for the fifth year.
The theme this year will be Mele O`o or powerful music. Participants will learn the deep roots of Old Style Hawaiian music with Lono on their ukulele, and to experience the vibrant community of Molokai. When asked what inspires him to write and teach Lono says, “The line between the past and the present, through our ancestors, prepares us for the future. I feel connected and in the presence of our ancestors when I create the mele….Music is life and life is a never ending story.”
At the age of 3, Lono began his musical training in traditional Hawaiian folk music with his grandmother Miriam “Freckles” Kupahu. Her ike and aloha have become the foundations for his life’s work. He continues to return to Old Style music for inspiration and to remember her, her parents and grandparents. She is honored on Lono’s Old Style II CD.
At 5, Lono began learning to be a paniolo with his family on the far eastern side of Molokai. During his father’s management of the Ranch he spent his days riding, roping and learned ways of raising cattle in the tropics. He also attended Kilohana School in Kaunakakai.
May 2016, he will once again return home to Pu`u O Hoku Ranch, where he grew up, and true to his intention, he does so as one of Hawaii’s most beloved Old Style folk musicians spreading happiness through nurturing and beautiful songs, na Mele, and hula.
Melany Berry of Full Heart Productions co-created Ukulele Ohana Molokai with Lono and the Molokai community after having a ukulele hand built for her years ago by an island artisan.
What has inspired her to produce this event year after year has been the stories of the beautiful landscapes and people of Molokai, experienced through Lono’s music, combined with the generous hospitality of Pu`u O Hoku Ranch. This year will create a memorable immersion into traditional and contemporary Old Style Hawaiian folk music while enabling everyone to deepen the way they play and compose with their ukulele.
Believing that we all have original stories, Ukulele Ohana Molokai will help participants fall in love with their ukulele all over again (or for the first time, as novices are encouraged to come) and to work intimately with the teachers to create their very own Mele O`o, powerful songs and melodies.