Kent Parks, Recreation & Community Services
ARTIST CONTACT (INTERVIEWS / ADDITIONAL PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL)
Kent, Wash. – Kent Arts Commission is proud to present The Living Legacy of Keola Beamer, an evening of Hawaiian slack key guitar music and hula dance. Slack key is a guitar style that is unique to the Hawaiian Islands and it comes to Kent as part of Spotlight Series. Keola Beamer, a modern day master of the art form, and several guests will perform at Kent-Meridian High School Performing Arts Center (10020 SE 256th Street, Kent) on Saturday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Keola Beamer is one of today’s most innovative and respected Hawaiian musicians. Born in 1951 and raised in Kamuela on the Big Island, Keola was surrounded by members of one of Hawaii’s most illustrious and honored musical families. The Beamers trace their roots to 15th century Hawaiian royalty. Keola is known for blending traditional music with more modern influences. He was one of Hawaii’s first recording artists to integrate Hawaiian chants and instruments, like the tiny gourd whistle and the nose flute, with contemporary forms of music. “A lot of musicians in the past treated the nose flute as a frame,” he says. “They played it at the beginning and the end of a piece. Through experimentation, I managed to integrate it into the piece. It has a gorgeous sound, a gorgeous texture.”
A child of the rock and roll era, Keola has always been on the forefront of the contemporary Hawaiian sound. He also helped drive what has come to be known as the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance by recording many of the traditional songs written by his ancestors. Keola has recorded and produced more than a dozen albums, winning numerous Hoku Awards (Hawaii’s equivalent to the Grammy Awards). He has appeared on Sesame Street and on NBC’s “Today Show.”
Slack key guitarists John Keawe and Chris Yeaton will join Keola Beamer for this special evening of music. Hula dance from Keola’s wife, master dancer Moanalani Beamer will complete the Island experience. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased at the Kent Commons, 525 4th Avenue North, Kent, or by phone with a Visa or Mastercard during business hours at (253) 856-5050. Spotlight Series is presented by the Kent Arts Commission and Kent Parks, Recreation and Community Services. The Living Legacy of Keola Beamer is partially funded by WESTAF with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. For information call (253) 856-5050 or visit www.ci.kent.wa.us/arts.