Mamo under the moon
Combining talents as the duo Mamo, virtuoso musicians Nathan Aweau and Jeff Peterson will present a moonlight concert Saturday at Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Yokouchi Pavilion & Courtyard.
The acclaimed duo just returned from a West Coast tour, where the two dazzled audiences with marvelous musicianship.
“It’s exciting to explore collaborative ideas,” says Peterson. “There are more things possible with Nathan than playing with a group or other musicians. We have different interests in different types of music and so we try and bring as many influences as we can fit together.”
Both are highly accomplished artists. Aweau’s career has been distinguished by time as a bassist/vocalist and with Don Ho, Hapa and the release of solo Hawaiian and jazz Na Hoku award-winning albums. His most recent solo work, the remarkable, “Io,” earned him Na Hokus for Album of the Year and Song of the Year. A wizard in the studio, he not only composed all the songs but also played all the instruments, sung all the vocal parts, and arranged and produced the disc.
Peterson has similarly established a stellar career as a solo artist with a number of exceptional, award-winning albums and as a guitarist/producer with Amy Hanaiali’i. Fluent in a variety of guitar styles from Hawaiian slack key to jazz and classical, the Maui-born artist’s recordings include the Hoku-winning “Maui on My Mind,” and he contributed music to the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning movie, “The Descendants.” His latest CD, “Slack Key Travels,” features a collection of serene, mostly original instrumentals shaped by his love for our islands.
On the duo’s impressive debut album, “Mamo,” the musicians included traditional standards, interpreting some hula standards with a subtle jazz embellishment, mixed in with some of Peterson’s original compositions. Some of the creatively reimagined traditional songs they covered included “Noho Paipai, “Ulupalakua” and “Makee Ailana.”
“In the concert, we will be playing a lot of traditional Hawaiian classic songs and some jazz,” Peterson says. “We also play songs from Nathan’s latest solo CD, which I have arranged, and we have a bunch of songs that we haven’t recorded yet.”
Later in the year, the duo will head to Asia for concerts in Japan, China and Singapore.
“We’re having a great time playing together,” Peterson continues. “We just got booked into a brand-new concert hall in Shanghai.”
The Maui guitarist will also embark this year on two State Department sponsored tours with Keola and Moana Beamer to Venezuela and New Zealand. And in March, he will join Indian slide guitar master Debashish Bhattacharya at the MACC.
In this 50th anniversary year of the Beatles arriving on America’s shores, fans on Maui can get into the spirit of the celebration with a singalong to many of the Beatles’ best-loved songs from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Mulligan’s On the Blue in Wailea.
Hosted by Louise Lambert, the evening will include such favorites as “All My Lovin’,” “I Feel Fine,” “Love Me Do,” “All You Need is Love,” “Come Together,” “Let It Be” and “A Little Help from My Friends.”
Musicians participating include The Houseshakers (Kenny Geiser, Lenny Castellanos and Paul Marchetti), Eric Dotterer, Jamie Gallo, Paul Janes-Brown, Marcus Johnson, Dan Solberg, Jason Schwartz and special guest Steve Craig, who has played the part of John Lennon in Beatles’ tribute shows in Las Vegas.
Entertaining on Maui for around 17 years, Lambert says she was inspired to present the event after participating in a family reunion. “We sang Beatles’ songs for hours and hours and got so high doing it,” she explains. “We did the second half of the ‘Abbey Road’ album all together, with 16-part harmonies. That was the inspiration.”
Well-known locally as a jazz and R&B artist, Lambert has recently expanded her repertoire to include slack key guitar, studying at the Institute for Hawaiian Music, co-founded by George Kahumoku Jr. “A lot of people ask me: ‘Can I do any Hawaiian?’ And now I can say yes,” she notes.
As to Saturday’s show where the House Shakers will serve as the core band, she’s excited about the addition of Craig, who recently moved here after spending time playing a famous Beatle. “He’s going to be one of the kingpins of the show,” she enthuses. “He can do all the John Lennon parts.”
Tickets are available in advance for $15, from Awakening in Paradise, Bounty Music, Lahaina Music, Mandala Ethnic Arts or online at www.louiselambert.com. Tickets at the door are $20. Prizes will be awarded for best Beatles and ’60s costumes.
Known for their lovers rock, reggae-influenced music, Maui’s Ekolu are both multi-Na Hoku Hanohano and multi-Hawaii Music award winners. Typically touring as an eight-member band, they will unveil a different sound on March 8 at Stella Blues Cafe in Kihei, performing as the Ekolu Trio.
Featuring band founders Lukela Keala on lead vocals and guitar, Makapu Hoopii on bass and vocals, and Kalehua Kahele on ukulele and vocals, the Trio’s repertoire ranges from traditional Hawaiian to oldies and original favorites.
The supper club kicks off with a four-course dinner starting at 6 p.m.; music begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $60 for dinner and show and $30 for show only. For more information or for reservations, call 874-3779.
Originally trained as a classical pianist, Tina Malia has emerged as a major talent in the hybrid world of mantra influenced pop/electronica. She not only composes all her own material, but also engineers and produces her albums and plays many instruments.
Malia’s travels around the world eventually led her to Sanskrit mantra chanting, which she describes as “simple yet extraordinary.” Her own catalog (“Shores of Avalon,” “Jaya Bhagavan,” “Silent Awakening,” “The Lost Frontier”) is complimented by studio and live work with artists such as India.Aire, Kenny Loggins and Jai Uttal.
A Yogi Times review of her album, “Silent Awakening,” praised: “Tina Malia is a stunning performer whose lead and backup vocals are the audio equivalent of pure sunshine.” And Collected Sounds noted, “Malia has a beautiful voice and such a skill for melding it with her gorgeous melodies.”
Her most recent CD, “The Lost Frontier,” melds lush vocals and devotional themes with flavors of dreamy pop, world and electronic music.
Malia will present a concert with Jared May and a workshop on March 8 at the Makawao Union Church. The workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. will cover such topics as creating harmonies, the importance of listening, breathing and rhythmic techniques, and the dynamics of performing in an ensemble. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23 for the concert, $35 for the workshop or $50 for both. Tickets are available at Mandala Ethnic Arts or online through Bright Star Live Events.