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  • HB
  • Sep. 11, 2005
  • Top Hawaiian Recording Artists Keali'i Reichel and Na Leo Make First-Ever Joint Mainland Appearance


    Media sponsor: KCRW 89.9 FM

    Destination Hawaii celebrates the spirit of aloha at the Hollywood Bowl as Keali'i Reichel and Nao Leo-two of Hawaii's top musical stars-make their first-ever joint Mainland appearance to conclude KCRW's World Festival series on Sunday, September 11, at 7 p.m. The evening also features the vibrant colors and expressive movements of Los Angeles-based Hula dancing ensembles Halau Keali'i O Nalani and Hula Halau O Kamuela 'Elua hula dancers. KCRW's Raul Campos hosts.

    Reichel, returning for his third appearance at the legendary venue, was among the artists nominated this year for the first-ever Grammy Award for Best Hawaiian Music Album. With 20 Hawaiian music awards, consistent ranking on Billboard's World and Heatseeker charts, and more than one million albums sold in Hawaii alone, Reichel is also the best-selling Hawaiian singer/songwriter/musician in history. With 15 CDs and 22 Hawaiian music awards to its credit, Na Leo is the best-selling female Hawaiian group of all time; this landmark concert marks their Hollywood Bowl debut.

    KEALI'I REICHEL, the most popular Hawaiian singer/songwriter/musician in history, has played for huge crowds all over America, including New York's Carnegie Hall. He has performed to packed houses in Tokyo and Osaka for the past ten years and consistently sells out concerts. Keali'i has sold well over a million records just in Hawaii, a state with a population of 1.3 million people. In addition, Keali'i has become a Hawaiian cultural icon, promoting Hawaiian language and culture to a new generation of Islanders. Keali'i was born and raised on Maui, growing up in Lahaina and attending Lahainaluna High School, but spending weekends and summers at his grandmother's house in Pa'ia, on the windward side of the island. He was one of the founding directors for Punana Leo O Maui, Maui's first Hawaiian language school, and has taught Hawaiian culture and language at Maui Community College. Keali'i also served as the director and cultural resource specialist for the Bailey House Museum and the Maui Historical Society. In 1994 Keali'i independently produced and released a collection of Hawaiian traditional and contemporary songs and chants titled Kawaipunahele. His subsequent music releases, Lei Hali'a (1995), E O Mai (1997), Melelana (1999), and Ke'alaokamaile (2003), have cemented his place in the Hawaiian music industry. All told, he has been awarded more than 20 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Hawaiian Grammy), and his consistent placement on Billboard's World Music and Heat Seeker charts has garnered him international attention. In 2005 Keali'i was nominated for the first-ever Best Hawaiian Music Album Grammy for Ke'alaokamaile.

    NA LEO PILIMEHANA, which in Hawaiian means the voices blending together in warmth, is the most successful female Hawaiian group in the world. Formed by three childhood friends, Nalani Choy, Lehua Kalima Heine, and Angela Morales, the group had its first hit as seniors in high school, when they entered Hawaii's youth talent contest with their original song, "Local Boys." The tune stayed at the top of the Hawaiian charts for months. Stoked by the response, they released their first album, which included three other original compositions. "Local Boys" won the prestigious Hoku Music Award and became the best-selling single in Hawaii's history, a record that still stands. Despite the success of their first album, the trio didn't make a dime. Discouraged about music as a way to make a living, they decided to get on with other things, like college, jobs and marriage. About eight years later, they missed working together, and a producer dangled the idea of another album. In 1993, they released "Friends," another Hoku Award-winner and a huge hit - so much of a hit that then-Attorney General Janet Reno weighed in when the Hawaii Department of Education tried to ban students from playing the tune at their proms and graduations because it made reference to "God." Since 1982, they've released 15 CDs, won 22 Hoku Awards, and have been in the top 20 on adult contemporary charts nationally. Na Leo celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2004 with their first DVD release, I Miss You My Hawaii, and a new studio album, Find Harmony, released in the fall of 2004.

    HALAU KEALI'I O NALANI HULA DANCERS, under the direction of Kumu Hula Keali'i Ceballos, was founded in the spring of 1991. Keali'i draws his love for hula from his mother, Cissylani Ceballos. An avid hula performer and instructor in her own right, "Aunty Cissy" introduced hula to her son. A hula journeyman, Keali'i has studied under such renowned kumu hula as Robert Cazimero, O'Brien Eselu, Leina'ala Kalama, George Naope, and Kawaikapuokalani Hewitt. As a Kumu Hula, Keali'i emphasizes the importance of awareness. He strives in perpetuating the Hawaiian culture-its art, its identity, its language, its sense of 'ohana. The halau serves as the vessel in which these legacies are taught and shared through our hula.

    HULA HALAU O KAMUELA ELUA, under the direction and tutelage of Kumu Hula Kunewa Mook, is a school dedicated to the perpetuation and preservation of Hawaiian culture through teaching the beautiful hula, a dance indigenous to the peoples of Hawaii, the language both written and spoken, and the music both old (in the form of the oli) and new. The making and playing of authentic hula implements and instruments, the artistry of lei making, the creation of tradition Hawaiian arts and crafts are also very much apart of the halau's teaching. Based in Burbank, Hula Halau 'O Kamuela Elua has won many prestigious awards and competitions for hula excellence such as the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival in Hilo, Hawaii; the King Kamehameha Day Oli and Hula Competition in Honolulu, Hawaii; the Lili'uokalani Keiki Hula Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii; Ia 'Oe E Ka La Hula Festival in Pleasanton, California; and other hula competitions throughout the rest of the United States as well as in Japan. Hula Halau 'O Kamuela Elua has given numerous performances and educational workshops throughout the United States, Hawaii, Mexico, Europe and the Far East and tries to help, through education, many organizations and other halau throughout these regions in hopes that they too will continue to hold fast to our dedication and purpose: the preservation and perpetuation of a dying culture.

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 37th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2005, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue at the 16th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.


    SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2005 at 7 PM

    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood

    Destination Hawaii


    NA LEO



    RAUL CAMPOS, host

    Media sponsor: KCRW 89.9 FM

    Tickets ($6 - $34) are on sale now at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, at all Ticketmaster outlets (Robinsons May, Tower Records, and Ritmo Latino locations), or online at Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Adam Crane, 213.972.3422; Libby Huebner, 562.799.6055; photos, 213.972.3034