"MAUI CELTIC BLOG" & MAUI CELTIC NEWS ARCHIVE
Sunday December 28th - Hamish of Maui Celtic had a Scottish New Year, or Hogmanay Special on his Celtic radio show, with music for the biggest Scottish party of the year. His guest was the Mad Wandering Bagpiper Mike Reidel, who came in to help kick out the old year with some great music. Michael was a founding member of the Maui Celtic Pipes and Drums, and was responsible for bringing Champion Bagpiper Jack Lee to Maui to teach local pipers, and recently another top Champion Bruce Gandy. Mike is a regular listener of the show and calls in from all over the world. In the summer of 2000, Hamish and Mike shared a great experience when they traveled to Scotland to represent Maui and the Hawaiian Islands in "The Millennium Pipe March", where 10,000 pipers and drummers marched through Edinburgh. This was the biggest gathering of pipers ever, and raised money for the Marie Curie Cancer Research charity.
Sunday December 21st - Hamish of Maui Celtic had a Winter Solstice/Yuletide/Christmas Special on his Celtic radio show, with music for the Holiday season, and old folklore and traditions from the Celtic homelands. He also featured a live phone interview with comedian Seamus Kennedy, a great Irish singer from Belfast, with a good old seasonal chat, and a listen to songs from his CD "Goodwill to All Men". He now lives in Maryland, and performs regularly at festivals and pubs all over America, with a dozen or so Cds under his belt. Check out Seamus' website at www.mcnote.com/seamus/
Sunday December 7th - Hamish of Maui Celtic had a Pearl Harbor Day special on his Celtic radio show, with music dedicated to those that lost their lives in the attack, 67 years ago on December 7th 1941. He also paid tribute to Irish Champion Accordion player Joe Madden, who passed away recently. He played Joe's music as well as interview clips and tunes from his daughter Joanie, founder of the great band Cherish The Ladies.
The second half featured a live phone interview with Keith Harkin, one of the Irish stars of Celtic Thunder, an amazing show by Sharon Browne and Phil Coulter, which is touring the mainland U.S. The epic show features 4 Irishmen, Paul Byrom, Ryan Kelly, Keith Harkin and Damian McGinty, and one Scotsman, George Donaldson, all backed by Celtic musicians and a full orchestra. Many of Irish composer Phil Coulter's original songs are in the show, now on two CDs and a PBS Special. Hamish had a great chat with Keith about his career, life on the road, Harkin-mania, and his own compositions. Keith is also an avid surfer, hailing from Derry, with easy access to the good surfing areas in the north west of Ireland.
Friday December 5th - One of the world's most respected and revered pipers, World Champion Bagpiper BRUCE GANDY played a great recital at the historic Makawao Union Church, complete with chilly upcountry weather to make everyone feel like they were in Scotland. Bruce was here teaching a 2 day class to Maui's bagpipers. The evening started with the Isle of Maui Pipe Band performing a fine set of tunes, and showcased the drum section led by Drum Sgt. Peter Della Croce with a brilliant drum salute. Then Bruce took the stage with his Highland Bagpipes, playing everything from slow airs to wild jigs and reels, finishing the first half with a lovely Piobaireachd (classical bagpipe music), clearly showing us how he has become one of the world's top bagpipers. The second half saw Bruce on the Scottish Small Pipes, playing a ripping set accompanied by drummer Cary Ritt on the djembe, showing the folk side of Scottish music. Following more great tunes on the Highland Pipes and some stories behind them, there was a great set by the trio of Mike Riedel, Alan Davidson and Bruce Gandy, followed by the grand finale which saw Bruce leading the Isle of Maui Pipe Band in a rousing end to the evening.
Piper Michael Riedel, former Maui resident and responsible for arranging Bruce’s visit, says “As one of the founding members of the Isle of Maui Pipe Band, I have always wanted to promote expanding the knowledge, exposure, and education of Scottish Music on Maui. Therefore, bringing the world's best to Maui is my gift back to my friends and patrons of Highland Music on the island, kind of like getting Tiger Woods to play golf with you for the week”.
Piper and Drummer Magazine has referred to Bruce Gandy as “one of the world's best all-round players.” His awards include top awards and Gold Medals from both Oban and Inverness, the Bratach Gorm, and on five occasions New York's Metro Cup. Bruce Gandy is also a noted composer, and released his fourth book of pipe music in 2006. Bruce was raised in Victoria, British Columbia, and resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he teaches piping at the Citadel. He is Pipe Sergeant of the 78th Highlanders (Citadel), and was a long time member of 78th Fraser Highlanders who won the World Championships in 1987 and were, thirteen times, the North American champions.
Monday December 1st - The Ka'iulani Project was Celebrating the Life and Untold Story of Hawaiian Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn at the Kahului Rotary Club at their ‘Dunes at Maui Lani’ Luncheon, Kahului.
Hamish Burgess fired up the bagpipes, accompanied by Rotary Club member Peter Della Croce on the bodhran (frame drum), both wearing Hawaii tartan kilts. The lads played some great sets of Scottish tunes on the smallpipes and bodhran. Jennifer Fahrni, researcher and playwright, then recounted Ka'iulani's untold heroism and read sections from the script “Ka'iulani - The Island Rose", with Kathy Collins, actress and Mana’o Radio founder, bringing Princess Ka'iulani to life. Wilmont Kahaialii, Hawaiian singer read the role of King David Kalakaua, with Hamish as the Princess' father.
Sunday November 30th - Hamish of Maui Celtic had a St.Andrews Day special on his Celtic radio show, with guest World Champion Bagpiper Bruce Gandy. They took a look at Bruce's CD "My Father's Son", ane he played the Scottish smallpipes live in the studio.
The 2nd half saw a live hook up with Celtic Music Radio, a community radio station in Glasgow Scotland which focuses on Celtic and Scottish-influenced music, both traditional and contemporary. They broadcast 24/7 on 1530 AM around central Scotland, and on www.celticmusicradio.net.
Hamish’s show is on Mana'o Radio 91.5 fm 8-10am Sundays. For those of you not living on the island of Maui, the radio show is available live online at www.manaoradio.com
Sunday November 16th - The Ka'iulani Project and Maui Celtic presented a Celebration of the life of Princess Ka'iulani at St. John's Episcopal Church in Keokea.
Princess Victoria Kawekui Luanlilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Ka`iulani Cleghorn was born in 1875 to Hawaiian Princess Miriam Likelike, and Scottish entrepreneur Archibald Scott Cleghorn, and was heir-apparent to the Hawaiian Throne during the reign of Queen Lili`uokalani.
It was a great afternoon of music, theater and history with a special photo presentation and scenes from the new play "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose", a new play written and researched over the past six years by Jennifer Fahrni and Carol Harvie-Yamaguchi. It celebrates the life of a brave young girl who overcame great sorrow to become Hawaii's 'Hope of the Nation'. The script is a period piece (years 1885-1893) surrounding the life of the Princess, and covers a controversial period in Hawaiian history where several members of the musical Kalakaua Royal Family are depicted, as well as other well-known politicians and ladies of the day. It is not widely known that Princess Ka'iulani was a child of dual heritage, Hawaiian and Scottish. This remarkable child of two races was educated in Hawai'i and the British Isles and was heir to the Hawaiian throne at the time of annexation. At the young age of seventeen, the young princess fought courageously for her country in its hour of need. Ka'iulani was also instrumental in changing the world's prejudiced view of the Hawaiian people.
The Highland Bagpipes of Hamish Burgess & Roger McKinley kicked it all off outside first, moving in for a performance by Hamish & Roger on Scottish smallpipes, accompanied by Peter Della Croce on the bodhran (frame drum). Then fiddler Mark John was joined by Peter - this time on guitar.
Jennifer Fahrni, award nominated actress, researcher, playwright and Ka'iulani advocate, recounted the Princess' untold story and read from her script “Ka'iulani - The Island Rose. Camille Romero brought Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn to life, supported by Debra Lynne, and Roger McKinley - wonderful performances all !
Questions were welcome afterwards, while others went for afternoon tea and shortbread. This all leads to the large scale production that will premier on Maui. THE KA'IULANI PROJECT has a new website at thekaiulaniproject.com
Saturday November 15th - The Ka'iulani Project and Maui Celtic presented a Celebration of Life with the help of Pastor Paul Tangonan at the Lahaina United Methodist Church on Front St. & Baker in Lahaina Town. The Evening of Scottish and Hawaiian Music, History and Theater with a special photo presentation and scenes from the new play "Ka'iulani - The Island Rose", celebrated the life of Princess Ka'iulani, the Hawaiian/Scottish Princess.
The event was a fundraiser for Julie Wood - Maui Police Department's Senior Criminalist, who is battling cancer - Julie already has defied the odds, surviving past the two-year mark since she was diagnosed with a rare cancer. Jennifer Fahrni said "It's very appropriate to be helping a member of our Maui community with The Ka'iulani Project. I hope to see any event that bears her name do the same, as Ka'iulani herself was committed to raising funds for those in need." To read Julie's story, or to donate please visit http://www.mauigateway.com/~jgwood/Hope.htm.
The evening started with Hamish Burgess on the Highland Bagpipes playing his way into the church, followed by Wilmont Kahaialii blowing the conch shell and performing an Oli (Hawaiian Chant). Brado from Kauai played guitar and sang, Hamish played Scottish smallpipes and talked about Scots in Hawaii, and Pastor Paul Tangonan sang some great songs. The Tava Nui Tahitian Drummers were awesome, the Tongan choir were fabulous, followed by a moving performance of beautiful Hawaiian songs by Wilmont to conclude the musical hour.
Hamish Burgess with Scottish smallpipes - Wilmont Kahaialii with Hawaiian song
Jennifer Fahrni, award nominated actress, researcher, and playwright, then recounted Ka'iulani's untold story and read from her script, while Manao Radio's Kathy Collins brought the Princess to life, with John Crowe playing her father Archibald Cleghorn, and Wilmont playing King Kalakaua. A memorable night with an appreciative audience. THE KA'IULANI PROJECT has a new website at thekaiulaniproject.com.
Saturday, October 18th - The Isle of Maui Pipe Band presented the Princess Ka`iulani Festival
at the fabulous St. John’s Episcopal Church Grounds in Keokea, Kula, Upcountry Maui.
The event commemorated the life of Princess Ka`iulani, celebrating the Princess’ Hawaiian and Scottish heritage, and featured entertainment including: the Richard Ho`opi`i Family, Tropical Harps, Wehiwehi O Lei Lehua Hula Halau, Fiddler Lisa Gomes (of Oahu) and Drummer Peter Della Croce, the Isle of Maui Pipe Band, a fashion show by Princess Ka`iulani Fashions among many others with MC’s Kathy Collins & Hamish Douglas Burgess of MANA`O Radio.
Jennifer Fahrni, award nominated actress, researcher, playwright and Ka'iulani advocate, recounted the Princess' untold story and read from her script KA'IULANI, THE ISLAND ROSE, a new play which is a period piece about the Princess, celebrating the life of a brave young girl who overcame great sorrow to become Hawaii's 'Hope of the Nation.' This proved popular enough that Jennifer repeated it for a second time for those that missed it. She answered any questions about the Princess, and showed a powerpoint presentation with great photos.
More details on our HOME PAGE, or email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Included in the day's events were historical exhibits & presentations, cooking contests (best lau lau & best shortbread), athletic events and games, and exhibition tug-of-war by the Maui Fire Department and the Isle of Maui Pipeband - the pipers won ! There were vendors and food, all representing the two cultures.
There was a Maui Celtic booth with jewelry, logowear, Hawaii Tartan apparel, and much more. For some interview footage of Hamish Burgess, talking about the Hawaii Tartan and Maui Celtic at the Princess Ka'iulani Festival in Kula, Maui, in October 2008, please go to our Hawaii Tartan page. Great work from Frank W. Pulaski III, Senior Video Editor & Cinematographer at MauiToday.TV . Mahalo Frank !
For more info on the event visit the band’s website at www.isleofmauipipeband.com
Thursday, October 2nd - The Isle of Maui Pipe Band marched in the 86th Annual Maui County Fair Parade - new this year was a band float. For the next four days folks could go and visit their fundraising food booth for Irish beef stew, and their legendary shortbread cookies. Mana'o Radio, home of Hamish's Sunday morning Celtic Music Show also had a fundraising food booth - thanks for coming meet your local volunteer DJs and supporting Maui's non-profit eclectic radio station.
September 28th - the place to be was our local Irish pub for the big Half-Way to St Patrick’s Day Party at 'Mulligan's on the Blue' in Wailea, the home of Irish music on Maui, with several bands, mad hat contests, and Best Leprechaun contest - Michael not being allowed to enter ! Kicking it off were The Maui Celtic Pipers, as pub owner Michael O'Dwyer called the boys Hamish Burgess and Roger McKinley, and ace drummer Peter Della Croce, who played several fun sets of Irish and Scottish pipe tunes, before local Maui Irish band the Celtic Tigers.
Down to a trio of Kevin O'Kennedy, Murray Thorne and Kris Thomas, after the departure of great Maui fiddler Willie Wainright recently, the boys were joined tonight by special guest fiddler Patric Petrie, from the cool Celtic band Skelpin (San Diego CA) for a killer session. We're all hoping she'll move here and be a regular with the Tigers.
The whole evening was a fundaiser for our local non-profit radio station Mana'o Radio 91.5fm (Wailuku, Maui). Kathy Collins and several of the Mana'o DJs were there, including our Sunday morning Celtic show host Hamish Burgess.
Next was a memorable show from the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, who had the house up and dancing ! The following day they were heading off on a European tour. Mick is a Maui resident, orginally from the town of Redruth in the Celtic area of Cornwall, UK, and of course a founding member of famous rock band Fleetwood Mac (formed in 1967), who had a string of worldwide hits.
The night finished off in style with Byron Brown and the Derelicts.
September 20th - The Saint Andrew Society of Hawaii presented Dressed To The Kilt 2008 at the Hawaii Prince Hotel in Waikiki - a formal dinner, fashion show and "Scottish Sailor" play !
The evening started with the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii playing some great sets in the hall, then the popular Complimentary Scotch Tasting, conveniently next to the Maui Celtic booth, where folks were checking out the new Hawaii tartan apparel. The pipers called in the guests, well turned out in a wide variety of styles and tartans, for a fabulous Formal Dinner. SASH President Cesci Perez de Wang made an introduction, then presented the Distinguished Celt of the Year Award to Father Richard Rubie. Next came the Celtic Fashion Show, hosted by Ming Constable, featuring bonnie lads and lassies in kilts outfits, ranging from full formal Highland Dress to casual sport kilts and Maui Celtic logowear. 'The Scottish Sailor' play followed, for those who had not seen the Scottish Sailor Trilogy, the society presented a revival of The Scottish Sailor Pt. I, a comedy with audience participation ranging from Scotland to Spain featuring society members, the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, and The Grupo Alegria Spanish Dancers, and Highland dancing from Julie Bliss-Tyau.
Hamish had a Maui Celtic booth with Highland Dress accessories, Hawaii Tartan items, Celtic jewelry, and Maui Celtic logowear - thanks to the Oahu customers for your continued support.
September 17th-20th - saw the Half-Way to St Patrick’s Day Week in Honolulu Irish Pubs !
Participants involved were the Friends of St Patrick of Hawaii, Guinness, Bushmills Irish Whiskey, Bailey's Irish Cream, Killians Irish Red Lager, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey. Open to anyone who enjoys Celtic Music to wear green and have some fun, with photo taking and posting by The Bushmills Girls. Wednesday local band the Doolin Rakes performed at Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki, and Friday saw the Piranha Brothers at The Irish Rose Saloon. Saturday saw a meeting of the Friends of St Patrick at O’Toole’s Celtic Room - "If you're Irish come into the parlor" . James McCarthy played Irish tunes at O’Toole’s downtown, followed by a Guinness Irish Toast Contest, then Hawaii’s Own Doolin Rakes. Sunday - Bill said "sleep in, say your prayers or go to mass", before NFL football with Irish coffees and Bloody Marys at the Irish Rose. In the afternoon Kaimana Ceili did an Irish session at Kelley O’Neil’s and James Jamie and Jayder played O'Toole's.
Saturday September 6th - Hamish of Maui Celtic hit the island roads with his newly finished epic piece of large Celtic art - the second 'Celtic Chariot'.
After 2 weeks of drawing, redrawing, painting endlessly into the wee hours the almost finished vehicle needed a run. Release the Red Celtic Dragons !! The fiery beasts emerged from a cave in Kahana to fly around Maui, strangely hovering around some good surf spots ! Hand painted in enamels on metal, the original Celtic Dragons mix several styles of Celtic art, the zoomorphic creature emanating from a tradtional knot (originally found on carved stones in Scotland). The wings are decorated after the early Celtic La Tène style, featuring curvilinear shapes on a background of cross-hatching. The body has scales.
Saturday August 16th - VERY SAD NEWS.........
A huge loss to the Irish music world was the passing of Ronnie Drew, founding singer of the Dubliners, aged 73. He founded the Ronnie Drew Group in 1962 which later became known as The Dubliners, and included fellow Irish music legends Luke Kelly, Ciarán Bourke and Barney McKenna. He was known for singing rousing folk songs with many hits in Ireland, and had a UK top 10 hit in 1967 with 'Seven Drunken Nights', banned on Irish RTE . They hit again with an old song of theirs in 1987, 'The Irish Rover' with Shane McGowan and The Pogues.
In a statement on U2's official website, Bono said 'Ronnie has left his earthly tour for one of the heavens... they need him up there... it's a little too quiet and pious. God is lonely for a voice louder than His own.'
Irish President Mary McAleese said “Ronnie re-energised and refreshened our unique musical heritage. He brought great pleasure to the people of Ireland and yet more around the world.”
In February 2008, a single called "The Ballad of Ronnie Drew" was released by a group of famous Irish musicians, and entered the Irish Single Charts at #2. The song was originally written to include Ronnie himself, but as his health declined, was changed to be a tribute. At Ronnie's request, proceeds from sale of the single went to the The Irish Cancer Society. The group included members of U2, The Dubliners and The Chieftains, Sinéad O'Connor, Christy Moore, Mary Black, Paul Brady, Shane McGowan, Bob Geldof, Kila, Andrea Corr, Moya Brennan, Damien Dempsey, Christy Dignam of Aslan, Robert Hunter of the Grateful Dead, Gavin Friday, Iona Green, Jerry Fish, Paddy Casey, Mick Pyro, Mundy, Chris de Burgh, Ronan Keating, Jack L, Eleanor Shanley, Declan O'Rourke, Mary Coughlan, and Joe Elliott of Def Leppard.
Hamish and all the Maui fans of Irish music send our deepest sympathy to his family and friends. A great loss to Ireland and the traditional music world, he will be missed by many.
Mahalo Ronnie for the great songs and music.
ALOHA NUI LOA, RONNIE DREW, DUBLINER.
Saturday July 26th - the Isle Of Maui Pipeband played at the County of Maui Volunteer Fair at Queen Ka'ahumanu Shopping Center. The band sounded great with their latest set of Scottish tunes. The fair was open 10am - 2pm.
July 25-26th - Local pipeband drummer Alice Riddle represented Maui in fine style competing at the Enumclaw Highland Games in Washington State. The Isle of Maui Pipeband drummer played well with 'borrowed' pipers, one Hal Synck, the lead piper for top band Triumph Street. Well done Alice !! Also there visiting were Maui piper David MacDonald Asher and son Innes.
July mid - local Maui pipers and drummers attended the 'Piping Hot Summer Drummer' music school near Vernon, British Columbia. Isle of Maui Pipeband members drummer Cary Ritt and Piper David MacDonald Asher and son Innes improved their skills with top instructors. Out of class young Innes and David won the top prize at the evening Ceilidh Competition singing the Gaelic version of the song "The Mist Covered Mountains", followed by the English version. BRILLIANT ! Well done lads !
July 3rd-21st - Hamish of Maui Celtic was up in British Columbia, Canada checking out several Celtic music festivals. Hanging out in Vancouver with Tim Readman, after his recent Maui tour, he met talented multi-instrumentalist and Irish piper Steafan Hannigan.
After some R & R biking and whitewater rafting with Jennifer in Whistler, the Maui Celtic team headed for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, for CeltFest 2008. With 2 brilliant concerts the finale was the Sunset & Stars Gala, featuring great dancers, and songwriter Paul O'Brien, whistle player Sandy Jasper, piper René Cusson, stepdancing Cape Breton fiddlers Mairi Rankin & Wendy MacIssac, singer Eileen McGann, and killer band Scantily Plaid. These guys rock ! - Bob Worral on pipes and whistle, Ruth Sutherland on harp and vocals, and Doug Feaver on guitar, vocals, and percussion. We are working on them coming to Maui for concerts.
Partying with them was a blast - thanks for the hilarious late night recordings of radio intros (to be heard on Hamish's Maui Celtic show Sunday mornings on Mana'o Radio) Scantily Plaid
Celt Fest is a weeklong summer school for traditional Celtic music, song, art and dancing run by René & Carolyn Cusson of the Pacific Institute of Piping & Celtic Performing Arts. This great school had lessons in Scottish and Irish pipes, whistle, bodhran and drumming, fiddle, harp, guitar, song (Gaelic and English), cello, Cetic art, Highland and Ceilidh dancing, Irish and Cape Breton stepdancing !! Not to mention ceilidhs every night with the faculty and students, a highlight being instructors piper Alan Walters, wild drummer John Fisher and Doug Feaver ripping it up ! Another legendary night was the costume party Wacky Jig and Hornpipe night with pipe instructor Alan Walters as Leatherman !
Back in Vancouver they checked out a good play with Celtic music, The Back Kitchen Release Party about a Newfoundland band that gigs its way across Canada in honour of a founding member. The original music won Trevor Devall's play a Jessie Award.
Hamish caught up with two other artist friends, first Rudi Diesvelt, a fine jeweller and leatherworker, Celtic renaissance man, and great guy ! Hamish sells some of Rudi's work - see Maui Celtic at locations on our Contact Us page. Rudy crafts one-off custom items of museum quality.
Then a visit with renowned Celtic artist Aidan Meehan, Irish author of many books on the construction of Celtic knotwork, and inspiration to Hamish for many years. Aidan is a master artist of the traditional Celtic style, using ancient techniques to produce works that have to be seen to be believed. He does custom original work (The Craftsman seen here) and also has fine art prints.
The Rogue Folk Club produce many good concerts in Vancouver, and one this trip was by Pacific Curls, a female trio with Maori, Pacific and Celtic influences - Kim and Ora play ukelele, guitar, cajon and Maori instruments, and Sarah plays Scottish fiddle - what a cool sound.
Jennifer took Hamish to see the legacy of a late family friend, renowned Haida artist Bill Reid, a Canadian national treasure. The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in downtown Vancouver is home to many of his amazing works, ranging from intricate gold and silver items to large paintings and carvings. Born to an American father of Scottish-German ancestry, and a Haida mother, he is credited with bringing the great art traditions of the indigenous people of the Northwest Coast of North America back from near extinction. Unaware of his Haida heritage until his teens, he became heavliy influenced by the culture of his maternal grandparents, and became involved with totem pole salvage and restoration - some of his carvings are now outdoor exhibits at the UBC Museum of Anthropology as well as gold treasures inside, the subject of recent theft and recovery !
Next up was the huge Vancouver Folk Music Festival in it's 30th year, where Hamish met hot Scottish band Lau for a fun interview, fabulous Gaelic singer Meave MacKinnon, and Ottowa Valley stepdancing fiddler April Verch - all great shows.
The surprise of the trip was reading in the papers that in the suburbs was the Surrey Fusion Festival, a multicultural celebration with 40 international pavilions celebrating music, food and culture. Their Celtic night featured cool young Cape Breton band The Cottars opening for legendary traditional Irish band The Chieftains !
Hamish snagged interviews for his radio show with both bands, starting with the fun Cottars, Fiona, Ciaran and Claire. He had a great 50 minute informative chat with Chieftain's founder, the inimitable Paddy Moloney, about his long career, 6 Grammys, and over 43 albums ! A nice man and a great musician.
A fantastic show followed, starting with The Step Crew, a dance troupe mixing Irish, Ottawa Valley and Modern Tap dancing, who guested back onstage with The Chieftains, as did The Cottars and The Delta Police Pipe Band. Recent Maui visitor, fiddler Shona Le Mottee, joined Hamish & Jennifer, Maui Celtic crew, to watch this spectacular concert - an amazing end to an epic musical journey.
Saturday July 5th - the Isle of Maui Pipeband marched in the Makawao 4th of July Parade in Makawao, Upcountry Maui, part of the 42nd Annual Rodeo Festival. The parade started at the lower end of Baldwin Avenue, going up to Makawao Avenue and ended at Eddie Tam Center. The band marched in matching Hawaii tartan kilts, played well, and won Best Musical Entry ! As Piper Alan Davidson said 'Not bad for a pipe band in a horse parade!'
June 29th - Hamish of Maui Celtic was at an invitation only filming of a Liam Clancy concert at The Bitter End folk club in Greenwich Village, New York City, where a lot of musicians started their careers in the 1960s.
Liam Clancy & Friends, Live at the Bitter End was filmed by Irish production company Crossing The Line Films as part of a documentary on Liam's life, "The Legend of Liam Clancy". Liam arrived in New York in 1956 with Tommy Makem and joined his brothers Tom and Paddy Clancy pursuing acting careers, supporting themselves playing Irish music in the folk clubs of Greenwich Village. An extended 16 minute appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show launched the group into stardom, first in America, then back in Ireland and worldwide.
Thanks to Debbie Casey of Irish Music Cruises for the invitation, Hamish was among folks from all over the world who travelled to be at this special event. Filmed in 3 sets, Liam was accompanied on stage by his son Donal Clancy (guitar), Daire Bracken (fiddle) and Tom Doorley (flute) from Irish trad band Danu, and of course his regulars the fabulous Kevin Evans and Paul Grant. The first set saw Liam joined by the extraordinary folk singer Odetta, and young Irish singer Fionn Regan. Liam & Odetta finished with a great duet of 'Blowin' in the Wind'. The second set saw Liam get the folkies going with rebel songs and sea shanties, and great performances from Eric Bibb and folk legend Tom Paxton. Liam and his Irish boys finished up with a ripping version of 'Jack Dolan'. In the final set Liam was joined again by Odetta, and young Irish singer Gemma Hayes . He then sang 'Broad Majestic Shannon' to introduce Shane McGowan (of The Pogues) who wrote the song for the Clancys. Liam and Shane (who'd had a wee drink, by the look of it) sang several duets, before a rousing finale of all the musicians coming back onstage for the classic 'Will Ye Go, Lassie Go' and a wild 'Irish Rover'. Hamish got backstage for a quick chat with Liam, Kevin and Shane - it was a legendary night ! Good fun hanging out with the Caseys, the Savitts (thanks for the seat!), the McCaffertys, the Murphys, Gabriel Donohue, and Joanie Madden - Aloha to all.
A late night was followed next morning by a train into the city and a late brunch with Liam Clancy and some of the gang at the swanky Waldorf Astoria, where Hamish interviewed Tom Doorley of Danu and Daire Bracken of Slide about their music.
June 25th-July 3rd - Hamish of Maui Celtic was in New York City visiting friends and checking out the fantastic Irish music scene there. Kicking off the musical journey was great Kerry singer Mary Courtney at a weekly Bronx pub night with fiddler Benadette Fee. Mary plays lots of gigs around the area, and also with her band Morningstar.
The following day Hamish and friend, musician Gabriel Donohue, headed out on a ferry to Ellis Island, past the Statue of Liberty, the symbol of hope for a new life to the twenty million folks who entered America there from 1892-1924. Over 40% of all Americans today can trace their family history to at least one person who passed through the Port of New York at Ellis Island, sung about as "Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears". The first immigrant to pass through the facility was 15 year old Annie Moore from County Cork, Ireland. The old US immigration building now houses the excellent Ellis Island Immigration Museum with amazing photographs and a research center.
Friday saw a fun late night session with Celtic rock band The Prodigals at Paddy Reilly's on the East Side, with raucous sets from Gregory Grene and the boys, and some fine dancing from the visiting ladies from Limerick !
Saturday night is multi-instrumental, singer-songwriter Gabriel Donohue's regular gig at Rosie O'Grady's in Manhattan. After a fine dinner upstairs, Gabriel had an intimate and hilarious show into the wee hours in the pub downstairs, focusing on traditional Irish songs, but the Galway man is so verstile we got flamenco, Scottish, and even Russian music ! A great night ! Gabriel is also a producer and Hamish was lucky enough to sit in on a recording session by traditional band Girsa ('girls' in Irish) - watch out for these talented young ladies in the future !
Sunday night was the reason for the whole trip, an invitation only filming of a Liam Clancy concert at The Bitter End folk club in Greenwich Village - see above for the whole story. It was a special night with some great guest performers, and catching up with friends.
Wednesday was a busy one on the metro for Hamish with a visit to Queens to interview great Uileann piper Cillian Vallely about his music with brother Niall, and with top traditional Irish band Lunasa.
Later he was off to the very Irish suburb of Yonkers for a fun afternoon and great interview with amazing whistle player Joanie Madden about her popular solo work and her brilliant band Cherish The Ladies, the all women Irish American supergroup. She has performed on over a hundred albums, three of them Grammy award-winning, and was also a featured soloist on the final 'Lord of the Rings' soundtrack. Joanie is the top selling whistle player in history.
What better way than to end a memorable day and trip, than at a good traditional Irish session - Dunne's Pub in White Plains, was the place ! On the way in Hamish was adopted by some great folks for the evening. Gabriel Donohue joined top Sligo style New York fiddler Brian Conway for his regular night with some of this fiddle students, and there were some fine songs from Mary Courtney, who came by for an interview with Hamish.
What a great time - the Irish music scene in New York is second to none - on a par with Ireland herself ! A huge Mahalo from Hamish to Gabriel for his hospitality - you're a star !
Tuesday, July 1st - a special lecture concerning Northern Ireland took place in the Architecture Auditorium, University of Hawai’i, Honolulu.
Sakamaki Extraordinary Lecture: Documenting Personal and Community History: the Case of the Linen Hall Library, Belfast
by Yvonne Murphy, Librarian of the Northern Ireland Political Collection.
A presentation of images from the rare and fascinating archive of over 250,000 items documenting all aspects of the Northern ireland conflict, from posters to video recordings and smuggled hand-written notes. Co-sponsored by UHM Center for Biographical Research and Hamilton Library.
June 19th-20th - one of Ireland’s finest traditional storytellers, Niall de Búrca, was on Maui performing at Public Libraries, and Hamish caught up with him for a yarn after seeing his show at the Lahaina Library. Niall is a true seanchaí (pronounced 'shan-a-hee' - a traditional Irish storyteller), a master of his craft, and kept little kids and adults totally enthralled with ancient tales from Ireland, including the Gaelic language. An amazing feat, he held the wee ones attention for 45 minutes with his animated stories, voices and faces, and had them joining in the stories about warriors and giants, princesses and magic cauldrons ! After the keiki left, he closed a memorable show with a more adult humourous tale about the English language - brilliant !
Niall also performed at libraries on Oahu, Hawaii, and Kauai.
Raised in Galway on the west coast of Ireland, now living in the capital of Dublin, Niall shares his stories with kids of all ages in many countries, and is recognised for the diversity of his stories and an ability to reach all ages.
Displaying a talent for narrative from a young age, at home he has featured in theatre, radio and at many festivals including Féile Earraai, the CS Lewis Festival, and The National Children's Book Festival. Abroad he has performed and held workshops in countries as diverse as Poland, Argentina, Italy and The Netherlands.
In October 2001 he produced the first storytelling series for the Museum of Country Life at Castlebar, County Mayo. In January 2004 he produced Blackwater Storystream, a peace and reconciliation initiative using storytelling to link together fifty schools in the border counties of Armagh, Monaghan and Tyrone. In November 2004 he directed Scéalta Shamhna, Dublin’s annual celebration of the oral tradition. For more info, visit www.storyteller.ie.
"Níor bhris focal maith fiacal riamh".....A good word never broke a tooth.
June 17-18th Lobo Del Mar Pipe & Drum Band from Big Island, Hawai’i, made appearances on Oahu, at O’Toole’s Irish Pub, Downtown Honolulu, and at Kelly O’Neil’s, Waikiki.
The Lobo Del Mar Pipe & Drum band was formed in 2000 with only two band members; Brady Buntin on the Highland Bagpipes and Benton Little on the Scottish snare. While outfitted in Black Watch attire, they would pipe and drum old Scots-Irish tunes to entertain guests aboard Lobo Del Mar's sunset cruise on the Sea of Cortez, in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. Next to join the band was Grady Buntin. At only nine years old and truly a child prodigy of the Highland Bagpipes, Grady, alongside his uncles did his share in transfixing the huge crowds with his riveting tunes. Lobo Del Mar is now based out of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii and progressively the band has grown to form a unique Celtic ensemble of eleven members consisting of uncles, brothers and cousins. Visit the Lobo Del Mar musical band at www.the-dogwatch.com
Saturday June 14th -- there was a special Saturday Night Celtic Rock Show presented by Hamish of Maui Celtic on Mana'o Radio 91.5 fm, standing in for Daryl Scott on "Rock the Rock". Joined by guest Roger McKinley, he played Maui Celtic Rock, 2 hours of great Celtic rock music from 8-10pm. NOT FOR THE FAINT-HEARTED, the music was wilder than he usually plays on his Sunday morning show. From 10pm-12 he played British Rock from the 70s and 80s, including Glam Rock and Ska-Punk - a blast from his youth back in the UK - what a great time !
Wednesday June 11th - saw the start of a new weekly Celtic music session at the Ale House in Kahului, featuring local Maui musicians including players from Tropical Harps and An Ril. 'Seisun' is an Irish word meaning a gathering for music and dance, and has crossed into the English language. Come down to listen, or if you can play a Celtic instrument or sing a Celtic song, feel free to join in the fun ! More info call the Kahului Ale House (808) 877-9001.
Sunday June 8th - Hamish's Celtic music show on Mana'o Radio 91.5fm featured an interview with Del Eckles, renowned Bodhran (Irish drum) maker and player from California, and a listen to great music featuring players of his drums - check out his beatiful work at www.delsdrums.com. Del has been playing drums for nearly 50 years, teaches bodhran lessons and has recorded on a dozen CD’s or more. Bud and Kieran Clarke, his hosts on Maui, were also in on the fun.
Thursday June 5th - there was a special Celtic music session at the Ale House in Kahului, coincidentally starting right after the Boston Celtics beat the Lakers in a big basketball game. Hamish Burgess kicked the evening off walking into the bar playing the Highland Bagpipes, with much appreciation from the Celtics fans. The evening featured guest Del Eckles, renowned Bodhran maker and player from California. He has played with bands Molly's Revenge and Men of Worth - check him out at www.delsdrums.com. Local Maui musicians included players from Tropical Harps and An Ril, pipers and bodhran players. Thanks to Ale House owner Scott, who has opened the doors his pub to Celtic music.
Thursday-Sunday May 22nd-25th - Maui Celtic was proud to present for the first time on Maui, four concerts from the talented Celtic music duo Tim Readman & Shona Le Mottée, witty songsmith/guitarist and smoking hot fiddler from 'Lord of the Dance'.
Mahalo for supporting live Celtic music to all those that came to see Tim & Shona on their recent tour of Maui ! Slainte from Maui Celtic, and from Tim........'Way Ay, Man!'
Anglo-Canadian guitarist and singer Tim Readman is a ‘Geordie lad’ from Newcastle (UK), and has an infectious sense of humor and a real ability to engage an audience. He has an extensive repertoire ranging from traditional Celtic and folk songs to his own originals, and even the odd surprise pop song ! Tim is artistic director of the Celtic Fest Vancouver, and a well-known performer and producer. More on himself at www.timreadman.com/index_music.html
Originally from the Island of Jersey (UK), talented fiddler Shona Le Mottée started playing at the age of seven, and after moving to Canada studied under fiddling greats such as Alasdair Fraser, Buddy MacMaster, and Martin Hayes. She was in the internationally known Canadian Celtic-pop group, The Paperboys, touring extensively throughout North America, and performed with 'Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance'. More on Shona at www.shona.ca or http://www.myspace.com/shonatude
The gigs started on Thursday May 22nd, when Maui Celtic was proud to present their very first Celtic concert on West Maui, An Evening of Celtic Music with Tim Readman & Shona Le Mottée at the Lahaina United Methodist Church in Lahaina, at the corner of Front Street and Baker. Hamish Burgess drew a wee crowd outside the church before the concert, playing the Highland Bagpipes. Tim and Shona put on a great intimate show to the West Maui crowd, who loved the music, ranging from beautiful slow airs to ripping fiddle tunes, and a few sea shanties seemed appropriate while playing in the historic whaling town (Hamish had taken Tim & Shona to the Whalers Village Museum a couple of days earlier). Thanks to Pastor Paul and the Church for hosting the concert - hopefully the first of many !
Hamish took Tim and Shona to Wailuku for a morning radio show on Friday May 23rd. Joel Agnew’s ‘Aloha Friday’ Show at 11.10am on 1101 AM KAOI, featured a fun interview and great live music from Tim Readman & Shona Le Mottée. The music got so wild that at one point Tim's glasses flew off his head, and at the exact same moment Shona's magically appeared in place while she was playing the fiddle. What a hoot ! Cheers, Joel and Gary !
In the afternoon the duo played an assembly at the Haleakala Waldorf School in Kula. They treated the kids to some fun sing-along songs and some pretty wild fiddle tunes, ending with a riotous dance session ! The applause from the kids was nothing short of rock star treatment !
The Celtic crew then headed south to Wailea for the evening, when Maui Celtic proudly presented An Evening of Celtic Music with Tim Readman & Shona Le Mottée at 'Mulligan's on the Blue'. A memorable night started with a fabulous Irish 3 course dinner, while Tim and Shona warmed up the audience with great tunes and songs, and a bit of Tim's Geordie wit thrown in. The second half blew the roof off the packed house at Mulligans, and the dynamic duo were joined by Maui drummer Peter Della Croce ('The Man Known Only as Pete') on the bodhran for the last quarter.
This was another legendary night at Mulligan's, with the crowd clapping along and cheering through the stunning and wild final sets - Celtic music rocks Maui !! Mahalo to all the Mulligans waitstaff for doing a great job.
Thanks to all for coming out and making it a great evening and having a wee drinkie with us. Slainte !!
Tonight's program was made possible by help from Guinness and the odd Lava Flow.......'Way Ay, Man!'
Heading for hitherto uncharted traditional Celtic music territory, Maui Celtic presented their first Celtic concert in Haiku on Saturday May 24th. Thanks to Roger and Leili for their hospitality, and the Celtic crew for all their help.
An Evening of Celtic music with Tim Readman & Shona Le Mottée at The Studio Maui was an absolute blast, with an intimate area in front of the stage with cushions, back-rests and seating, and dance areas on both sides. Local musicians Roger McKinley and Peter Della Croce opened the show in fine style on the smallpipes and the bodhran (Roger had been playing Highland Pipes outside before the concert, until a grumpy neighbor phoned in). Then the visiting duo ripped up the yoga studio with rollicking songs and ripping fiddle tunes - the like of which has never been heard there before ! There was some amazing dancing, ranging from somewhat traditional Celtic style, to very interpretive, and even yoga ! Thanks to all the dancers who were having a great time. Maui Celtic had a booth of cool logowear, Celtic goodies, and new Hawaii Tartan (plaid).
After a late night with certainly too little sleep, Hamish and Tim were back in Wailuku early on Sunday, May 25th. Hamish's Celtic music show, 8-10am on Mana'o Radio 91.5fm featured a chat and live music with Tim Readman, and a listen to some great music he brought in, as well as a taste of his own live music ready for the afternoon concert.
The final concert of the Maui tour featured An Afternoon of Celtic Music with Tim Readman & Shona Le Mottée at The Haleakala Waldorf School in Kula. The show started with some beautiful traditional songs from Pamela and daughter Lily from the school. Then the small but enthusiastic audience heard Celtic songs and music from the dynamic duo with guitar and fiddle – from lovely slow airs to foot-stomping jigs and reels ! They were joined by Maui drummer Peter Della Croce ('The Man Known Only as Pete') on percussion. With wild dancing at the back of the hall, Christopher Hall was rocking ! Thanks to the Celtic crew for all your help.
Sunday May 18th - talented Celtic musicians arrived on Maui - the lovely Shona Le Mottée, and the almost as lovely Tim Readman - here to vacation, and to play some concerts for Maui Celtic. Hamish's Celtic music show on Mana'o Radio 91.5fm featured an interview and live music with Tim Readman and Shona Le Mottée, and a listen to their great music and songs, a warm up for their tour of Maui the following week. After a late breakfast and a visit to Iao Valley, the duo were back to the radio station that afternoon. Club Mana'o on Mana'o Radio featured a live studio session with Hamish chatting with them about their careers and music. The duo had the studio rocking with some amazing live Celtic music ! Thanks to Don Lopez for engineering the session.
Saturday May 17th - Top level pipers Neil Dickie, Alex McIntyre and Dan Diesner were in town for Alex's daughter's wedding. All 3 were in the great Alberta Caledonia Pipeband, of which Alec was long-time Pipe Major. Neil is concert MC of the Simon Fraser University Pipeband and an amazing composer (his most well-known piece is 'Clumsy Lover'). They stopped by a morning practise of The Isle of Maui Pipeband, helped the band improve their sound, and showed them how to march into a competition setting - not to mention being a great laugh at the same time !! Mahalo, gents.
Saturday May 10th - The Isle of Maui Pipeband opened The Seabury Hall Craft Fair, at Seabury Hall School above Makawao. The Upcountry Maui tradition on the slopes of Haleakala is in the 35th year ! The Fair featured over 100 of Hawaii's finest artists and crafters - woodworkers, traditional Hawaiian artists, jewelers, ceramists and weavers.
Sundays April 27th and May 4th - Red-hot Cape Breton Island (Nova Scotia) piper-fiddler Kenneth MacKenzie played at Mulligan's on the Blue, Wailea, at the break between the Celtic Tigers usual performance. Kenneth played an amazing set of strathspeys, jigs and reels on the fiddle and Highland pipes - the first time our Irish pub here on Maui had been rocked by wild Cape Breton music.
Kenneth is a native Scots Gaelic speaker, and a great musician. Everyone in his family is a musician, most professionally, and his numerous relatives in Cape Breton are among the many talented musicians, dancers and storytellers on that island of strong traditional Scots Gaelic culture. Music historians have been researching Cape Breton's culture for years now due to it's primarily Scots Gaelic population that started emigrating there en masse in the years immediately following the crushing defeat at Culloden and subsequent ethnic cleansing initiated by the English victors and ensuing "economic factors" after the Highlanders failed Jacobite uprising of 1745 ("the 45"). Cape Breton Island is very remote, so those early Gaelic traditions have been passed down and maintained with far less outside influence than almost anywhere else in the world, including most of the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
Sundays April 27th and May 4th - Native Scots Gaelic speaker Kenneth MacKenzie (of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia) gave beginning Scots Gaelic Classes to a small group on Maui excited to learn their ancestral tongue. A really fun class over 2 weekends gave us the basics of greetings, useful phrases, and pronunciation. Thanks to David and Marianne MacDonald Asher for hosting Kenneth and bringing a great young piper/fiddler and teacher to Maui.
Friday, April 18th/22nd - fantastic CELTIC TALES with Patrick Ball could be heard at several Public Library concerts around Maui (Kahului, Makawao, Hana and Kihei). Patrick captivated adults and wee kids alike when he played beautiful music on an Irish brass-strung harp, between telling stories and legends of Old Ireland, and some great anecdotes from his own interesting life. He toured the Islands also playing on Oahu and the Big Islnd of Hawaii. Patrick Ball is considered one of the premier Celtic harp players and storytellers in the world, and has a degree in Irish history. He tours extensively throughout the United States and Canada, entertaining audiences of all ages. He has recorded nine instrumental and three spoken word albums which have sold well over one-half million copies collectively and earned national awards in both the music and spoken word categories. More info http://www.patrickball.com
Monday, April 16th - Celtic singer Judith Weikle finished her first tour to Maui with a great concert at the McCoy Theatre at the MauiArts and Cultural Center, Kahului. Judith was touring in support of her debut CD 'Pirates, Poets and Patriots', and sang hauntingly beautiful music from Ireland and Scotland. She was supported by Kate MacLeod (harmony vocals & fiddle), Dylan Schorer (acoustic Guitar) and Diane Rubio (cello), who played some ripping Celtic intrumentals joined by guest Lawson Cannon (bouzouki) from Oahu. Kate MacLeod also sang her original songs. The group also played in Kihei, dates on the Big Island, and on Oahu, including the Scottish Highland Games in Waikiki. More Judith at www.judithweikle.com
Saturday, April 12th - The Performance Reading of KA'IULANI, THE ISLAND ROSE took place at the The Steppingstone Playhouse, Kahului (second floor of the Queen Kaahumanu Center), produced and narrated by Jennifer Fahrni, and directed by David Johnston, the executive and artistic director of the Maui Academy of Performing arts (MAPA). All members of the community were invited to attend this free event, and encouraged to give feedback at this developmental stage. With a cast of 17, the piece was well received with a standing ovation from the audience.
NOTE : This work is in no way connected with the recent film under Hawaiian protest while shooting on Oahu.
A new play written and researched over the past six years by Jennifer Fahrni and Carol Harvie-Yamaguchi. It celebrates the life of a brave young girl who overcame great sorrow to become Hawaii's 'Hope of the Nation.' The script is a period piece (years 1885-1893) surrounding the life of Princess Victoria Ka'iulani Cleghorn The play covers a controversial period in Hawaiian history where several members of the musical Kalakaua Royal Family are depicted, as well as other well-known politicians and ladies of the day. It is not widely known that Princess Ka'iulani was a child of dual heritage, her mother being the willful and tempestuous Hawaiian Princess, Miriam Likelike, and her father, the Scottish entrepreneur, Archibald Cleghorn. This remarkable child of two races was educated in Hawai'i and the British Isles and was heir to the Hawaiian throne at the time of annexation.
At the young age of seventeen, the young princess fought courageously for her country in its hour of need. Ka'iulani was also instrumental in changing the world's prejudiced view of the Hawaiian people.
This public reading will ultimately lead to a large stage production (with music) for Hawaii, which will first be performed here in Maui. To be considered for casting: email and submit resume and headshot if available. If you have no headshot and resume, please email your interest to Jennifer at email@example.com. Hawaiian and non-Hawaiian actors are required. Anyone wanting to take part in or sponsor the stage production is encouraged to contact David Johnston, Executive and Artistic Director of the Maui Academy of Performing Arts at 808-244-8760, or email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org. For a local newspaper article on the play please go to Maui Weekly 'Ka‘iulani, The Island Rose' article.
Saturday, April 12th - The Isle of Maui Pipeband played at the Culture & the Arts Day at the Maui Mall, Kahului. The non-profit band sounded great and had a fund-raiser booth with band logo T-shirts, caps and mugs.
Sat & Sun, April 5th/6th - with great weather, 'The Hawaiian Scottish Association' held it's 27th annual 'Scottish Festival & Highland Games' in Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, Oahu. The fun started before the daily opening ceremony with march on Parade of the Color Guard, Pipe Bands and the Scottish Clans. There was great traditional Celtic music with singer Judith Wiekle and friends Kate MacLeod (harmony vocals & fiddle), Dylan Schorer (acoustic Guitar) and Diane Rubio (cello), The Muses from Colorado, and Switchback from Chicago. Local Celtic music was well represented by fiddler Lisa Gomes, Tam O'Shanter, Doolin' Rakes, James McCarthy, Celtic Waves, Whiskey Starship, and the Saloon Pilots. Irish dancing was showcased by Jig This and the Celtic Keiki, and bagpiping came from solo piper Jacob Kaio, and from the bands Lobo Del Mar (Big Island) and the The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii (Oahu). Not to mention fantastic piping from visiting Canadian pipers for the Highland Dancers of the First Annual Hawaiian Scottish Highland Dance Competition, with visiting competitors from Scotland, Canada and Australia. Dancers from The Margaret Rose School of Dance traveled from Helensborough, Scotland for the event. There was the yearly fun Highland Games athletics (tossing the caber, throwing the hammer, putting the stone, throwing the weight, and running the kilted mile - not to mention the popular ladies' throwing the frying pan), and swordplay displays came from the Musketeer Fencers and the Society for Creative Anachronism. Sunday saw a Celtic Mass, and the "Kirkin' o’ the Tartans", and a visit from Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, piped onstage by Hamish Burgess of Maui Celtic, to present a check to the 'The Hawaiian Scottish Association' in support of the Games, followed by a performance from The Royal Hawaiian Band. There were great food booths - fish & chips and Haggis !
Also vendors, including great Celtic CDs from Rampant Lion Celtic Traders, and locals Maui Celtic with a booth of fine Scottish imports, classic MauiCeltic logo wear (new cool Kelley green HAWAII CELTIC T-shirts), brand new plaid items - Hawaii Tartan sashes, shawls, and head wraps (do-rags) !! They also represented Sportkilt, who couldn't be there as they were on the defunct airline ATA ! Thanks for visiting Maui Celtic in the trade tent all weekend, nearby the Clan tent, where you could find out more about your family history. More info on the event www.scotshawaii.org.
THURSDAY APRIL 6th WAS TARTAN DAY !!! ..........It is a nationally recognized day to honor Scottish Heritage in America, where the contribution of immigrant Scots is massive. Tartan is often known in the US as 'plaid'. Senate Resolution 155, was passed unanimously on March 20th 1998, designating April 6th of each year as "National Tartan Day."
Friday, April 4th - There was a pre-games Ceilidh at The Willows Restaurant in Honolulu, a good time for residents, members of the Scottish community, and visitors to the Games to socialise. With great Celtic music by Switchback of Chicago, joined by locals fiddler Lisa Gomes, members of Celtic Waves, and the young dancers of the Celtic Keiki. There was impromptu Highland dancing in the courtyard, accompanied by great piping. Not forgetting the sampling bar with several whiskys and a myriad of unusual beers, with a fine array of real ales and porters. More info on this yearly event at www.scotshawaii.org
Friday, April 4th- Hamish and Jennifer of Maui Celtic set up a booth at 5am (!!) in Kapiolani Park, Waikiki, for a television interview with Ramsay Wharton on KGMB 9.
There were Highland Dancers from The Margaret Rose School of Dance from Helensborough, Scotland, dancing to traditional music from Switchback joined by Oahu fiddler Lisa Gomes, and piping from Pipe Major Dan Quinn & Pipe Sgt. Tina Yap of the Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii. Roving Reporter Ramsay, dressed in a kilt outfit, was covering that weekend's "Scottish Festival and Highland Games". She spoke to Steve Craven about the Games, and Hamish about the Hawaii Tartan. That morning even the KGMB weather guys were wearing Kilts at the TV station !! For television footage of Hamish and the Maui Celtic booth that morning with Ramsay Wharton, please click this KGMB 9 link
Thursday, April 3rd - saw the yearly Tribute to Princess Victoria Kawekiu Lunalilo Kalaninuiahilapalapa Ka'iulani Cleghorn at the Royal Mausoleum in Nuuanu Valley, Oahu. The Princess, heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Hawaii at the time of the illegal overthrow of the monarchy. The Princess Ka'iulani (October 16, 1875 – March 6, 1899) was half Hawaiian (her mother being Princess, Miriam Likelike) and half Scottish (her father was entrepreneur, Archibald Cleghorn, last Royal Governor of O?ahu). Bruce McEwan, Chieftain of the Caledonian Society of Hawaii, gave a nice reading. Hawaiian piper Jacob Kaio played the bagpipes, and visiting Highland dancers from The Margaret Rose School of Dance of Helensborough, Scotland, put on a fine display. Well wishers were allowed to pay their respects to the Princess and the Hawaiian Royal Family down in the crypt itself, a very moving moment. Maui was represented by Hamish Burgess and Jennifer MacKay Fahrni of Maui Celtic, and newlyweds Peter and Jemma Della Croce.
March 29th-April 9th - Celtic musical group The Muses from Colorado played at many of the Public Libraries on Maui, Oahu, and Hawaii, and also at the Scottish Festival & Games in Waikiki, when they were joined by the young dancers of the Celtic Keiki. The Muses consist of Tanya Brody, Matthew Gurnsey and new band member Annie Mariner. Each plays a plethora of exotic instruments ranging from bohdran & concertina to harp & hammered dulcimer; psaltery, pennywhistles, flute and zils, to name just a few. They play traditional songs as well as adding original material to the Celtic repertoire. http://www.themusesmusic.com
Saturday March 29th - saw the Kilted wedding of two of our favorite people, Isle of Maui Pipeband Drum Sergeant Peter Della Croce and Waldorf School teacher Jemma Haskins. The ceremony was held in the grounds of St.Johns Episcopal Church in Keokea, Kula, with amazing views and great weather. The Isle of Maui Pipeband played the wedding party in, and there was a beautiful sunset ceremony. The reception was a fabulous affair in a marquee on the grounds, with great music from the Celtic Tigers. To see footage of the band shot by Frank Pulaski click Celtic Tigers at Pete & Jemma's wedding and scroll to 3rd row. Good luck Pete and Jemma - Slainte !!
Pete and Jemma have been friends of Maui Celtic for years, helping at booths on Maui and at the Scottish Games on Oahu.
Friday, March 28th - Honolulu had a great Irish Concert at the Aloha Tower, a night of fun with 3 great music acts, The Muses from Colorado, Switchback from Chicago, and Doolin Rakes from right here on Oahu. Organised by the Friends of St Patrick, this was a fundraiser for their society that puts on the Waikiki St.Patrick's Day Parade. As well as good music, there were Hawaii Celtic T-shirts from Maui Celtic, some of the proceeds going to the Friends of St Patrick, and food from Da Smokehouse, not to mention of course Guinness, Harp, and Smithwick's on tap and Bushmills and Jameson Irish Whiskey available, thanks to sponsor Better Brands.
For more information, visit http://www.irishclubhawaii.com
The Muses from Colorado - http://www.themusesmusic.com
Switchback from Chicago - http://www.waygoodmusic.com/switchback
Doolin Rakes from right here on Oahu - http://www.myspace.com/808doolinrakeshawaii
Saturday March 22nd - a showcase for wedding professionals was The Maui Bridal Fair at the Maui Tropical Plantation. There was a fine wedding fashion show, great Hawaiian music and Maui Celtic's Hamish Burgess piped on stage, a set that he would typically play at a wedding here.
Thursday March 20th - legendary Maui Welshman Trevor Jones and Kevin Jones from Wales played traditional Irish and folk music at 'Mulligan's at the Wharf', the home of Irish music on West Maui, in the Wharf Cinema Center, opposite the Banyan Tree in Lahaina.
March 17th - over on Oahu was the yearly Waikiki Saint Patrick's Day Parade, sponsored by the Society of the Friends of St. Patrick of Hawaii - www.irishclubhawaii.com.
The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii marched from Ala Moana along Kalakaua Avenue to Kapiolani Park. There was an after parade party at Kelley O’Neils in Waikiki, and then the craic moved downtown to the Honolulu Saint Patrick's Day Block Party.
Every year Murphy's Bar and Grill sponsors a FREE all afternoon/evening block party in downtown Honolulu at Nuuanu Avenue and Merchant Street. There was great food - tasty fresh oysters, corned beef and cabbage, fish & chips, and of course plenty of Guinness and Irish whisky at the outdoor booths, not to mention in Murphy's and O'Tooles ! Hamish and Jennifer were there with a Maui Celtic booth of Irish goodies and new kool kelly green HAWAII CELTIC T-shirts, All Ireland tartan (plaid) clothing and noggin wraps (do-rags), and Hawaii Tartan items too !! The streets were mobbed by sunset, with folks in crazy green costumes - the crowd went wild when Hamish Burgess played the bagpipes - a 6 foot pint of Guinness was dancing jigs !!
There was great traditional Irish music in O'Toole's Pub (www.irishpubhawaii.com), with the local Kaimana Ceili Band then visiting singer/guitarist Kieran Murphy, and local band Doolin Rakes. Outside on the block the Piranha Brothers played, The Celtic Pipes and Drums of Hawaii joined by Hamish ripped it up by the Maui Celtic booth, and a memorable night finished with Hawaiian music from Henry Kapono. For more information on the yearly event visit gomurphys.com
Monday March 17th -- of course back in Maui was St.Patrick's Day at 'Mulligan's on the Blue', the home of Irish music on Maui, in Wailea. The party started at noon with legendary local singer Welshman Trevor Jones, then Kevin Jones from Wales, and then great local acts Sisters Grimm, The Crunch Pups, and Lawa. Guinness and great Irish food all day !
On the West Side there was St.Patrick's Day at 'Mulligan's at the Wharf', with this year's party at the home of Irish music in Lahaina. With traditional Irish music from An Ril, The Celtic Tigers, bagpiping from Roger McKinley, and great songs from Murray Thorne, then Paddy Juniors All Star Band.
Sunday March 16th - Maui folks celebrated St. Pat's a day early at 'Mulligan's at the Wharf', on West Maui. Bagpiping from Roger McKinley, and we witnessed the triumphant return of local legendary Welshman Trevor Jones. Down in Wailea they celebrated a day early with St.Pat's at 'Mulligan's on the Blue'. The biggest Irish party of the year started at noon with legendary local singer Welshman Trevor Jones (click for video of Trevor and scroll to 4th row right), then Off Tomorrow, the great local Isle of Maui Pipeband (click for video of the band and scroll to 5th row left) with special guest champion bagpiper Jack Lee (click for video of Jack Lee and scroll to 5th row left) - for an pipeband video interview by Frank Pulaski please click Isle of Maui Pipeband interview and scroll to 5th row 2nd from right). Then followed by A Kettle Prime, and local Irish band The Celtic Tigers. There were contests for Best Leprechaun Outfit, Best Hat, and Best Green Item of Clothing, and we heard rumours of a poledancing contest !!.
Up on the slopes of Haleakala Volcano, Maui's own Tropical Harps presented a concert of Celtic music at St. John's Church, Keokea, Kula. Tropical Harps are a 5 member group featuring harps, fiddle, pennywhistle, mandolin, guitar, concertina, and banjo.
Friday, March 14th - THE BAGPIPING EVENT OF THE YEAR ! The Isle of Maui Pipeband presented World Champion Bagpiper JACK LEE in recital at the Makawao Union Church, joined by champion drummer Reid Maxwell. This fantastic yearly event was a fund-raiser for our local non-profit pipeband, The Isle of Maui Pipeband who opened the show. Jack is the Pipe Sergeant and co-founder of the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, 4 time winner of the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland - Reid is the lead drummer.
March 12th - 17th - saw The Return of Kieran Murphy !! to the Hawaiian Islands. The boundless energy of the young singer/songwriter spanned several days of gigs at O'Toole's Irish Pub, Kelley O'Neil's Pub in Waikiki, and of course the Saint Patrick's Day Party at O'Toole's. Kieran belted out great Irish and Scottish songs for days, his voice saved by a few drams every now and then. Great to see him back in Hawaii !
MARCH 7th/8th/14th/15th - Hamish Burgess of Maui Celtic was over on Oahu for two weekends bagpiping at pubs in Honolulu, Waikiki, University, and Hawaii Kai, as the official bagpiper for the Anheuser-Busch Bass Clan Black & Tan St.Patrick's Day promotion. He got a great reception at each venue when he accompanied two lovely mini-kilted ambassadors, and the local Anheuser-Busch managers, on a Bass product sampling tour leading up to St.Patrick's Day. The downtown crowds went nuts the first day at Murphy's and O'Tooles Irish Pubs, on a busy First Friday night. A surprise highlight was the Waikiki pub full of cowboys in boots and stetsons going wild after the piping !! The college crowd at University were a blast too.
MARCH 9th/12th/15th - The Canadian Celtic Choir played to a full house at St.John’s Episcopal Church in Keokea, Kula, and to fine crowds at Iao Concregational Church in Wailuku, and Makawao Union Church, all great settings for this wonderful group. They performed songs from the Celtic countries as well as Canada and America. They have a fabulous sound and amzing arrangements of traditional songs - and look good in black and tartan ! Mahalo to the local community who billeted all the singers and families at their homes.
Check them out at www.canadian-celtic-choir.org
Sunday February 24th - Hamish's Celtic music show on Mana'o Radio 91.5fm featured special guest Kevin Lennon from Cornwall, and a listen to great music from Celtic bands he has been listening to for years. Kevin and Hamish spent a lot of their youth together, surfing and travelling the world.
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 23rd - the great Irish band ALTAN performed in the Castle Theater at The Maui Arts & Cultural Center. A phenomenal concert by this band of virtuoso musicians from Donegal, Altan's traditional music ranged dynamically from the most touching of old Irish ballads, to a wall of sound on the foot-stomping jigs & reels ! Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh's voice was amazing in Gaelic and English, and her fiddle duels with Ciaran Tourish were spectacular. Brilliant accordion playing from Dermot Byrne, was matched by Daithi Sproule on guitar, and Ciaran Curran on mandolin. Their level of musicianship is second to none. Altan has been the preeminent name in traditional Irish music for over a decade, and are even on a postage stamp in Ireland ! For more information on Altan, visit www.altan.ie
Celtic music fan Kevin Lennon from Cornwall (U.K.), a long-time friend of Hamish of Maui Celtic since they were 16, arranged his visit to see his old friend to coincide with the Altan concert - here the lads are catching up while listening to local band An Ril.
The courtyard scene outside was buzzing, with Irish food by Mulligans on the Blue, and a great show by local traditional band An Ril, with singer Kevin O'Kennedy (whistle/vocals) and David Bryan (cittern) joined by new member Bud Clarke (bodhran), and guest piper Roger McKinley (smallpipes).
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 17th - Hamish's Celtic music show on Mana'o Radio featured an interview with Ciaran Tourish of top Irish band Altan, and a listen to their great music and songs, which you can check out at www.altan.ie
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 7th - Hamish was at a great show by Canadian band LEAHY who performed in in California at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. After recording an interview with Doug Leahy for his Maui Celtic radio show, Hamish saw an amazing concert by this band of 8 siblings from Ontario. Their dynamic music ranged from beautiful slow airs to literally foot-stomping jigs & reels, with the brothers and sisters all stepdancing ! Multiple fiddles, guitars, piano and drums - what a powerhouse of energy this family is ! Donnell Leahy is married to Natalie McMaster, who performed on Maui several years ago. For more information on Leahy, visit www.leahymusic.com
JANUARY 27th-FEBRUARY 4th - Hamish of Maui Celtic was away on the IRISH MUSIC CRUISES CONCERTS AT SEA, joining singer Liam Clancy for an 8 day cruise from California to the Mexican Riviera presented by Debbie Casey (www.irishmusiccruises.com) 1-888-56IRISH.
The next week’s adventure started with 2 days at sea with plenty of activity including a welcome cocktail party, great music sessions where anyone could join in, an informative and fun Celtic art lesson, music workshop, ceilidh dance band Emigrant Eyes and fantastic concerts in an intimate theater setting.
From solo sets by talented Gabriel Donohue, to full Celtic sound of Robbie O’Connell, Aoife Clancy, Matt & Shannon Heaton and George Keith on fiddle, guitars, bodhran, flutes and whistles, singing covered traditional folk to originals, with powerhouse vocal harmonies from the Makem & Spain Brothers.
Great songs and humor of Eugene Byrne, Kevin Evans & Brian Doherty were well received, as was amazing Irish tenor Ciaran Sheehan, lead in Broadway ‘Phantom of the Opera’. Singing star Danny Doyle gave a remarkable history concert, and Ceilidh band Emigrant Eyes were joined by 3 young Irish dancers for a fine show.
Irish comedienne Fiona Walsh had us in stitches with a hilarious life story of trying to get to America.
Liam Clancy, at the young age of 72, set the stage on fire with boundless energy and passion. With guitar and concertina, he performed heart-wrenching ballads to rousing traditional songs and raucous sea-shanties. A true master of his art.
The sound of “Minstrel Boy” on the pipes of Hamish Burgess opened a Tribute to Tommy Makem, who was a bagpiper as well as a famous singer. Tommy’s longtime singing partner Liam Clancy sang “The Bard of Armagh”, followed by all the musicians with their favorite Makem songs. Tommy’s sons Shane, Rory and Conor with Mickey and Liam Spain closed a great concert in fine style showing that a family tradition will undoubtedly continue.
Mexican ports of call were Acapulco, exploring the old fortress and city, watching incredible cliff divers, and visiting old haunts of John Wayne and Johnny Weissmuller. Zihuatanejo is a beautiful fishing village with craft markets, Mariachi musicians, palm-lined beaches, snorkeling, diving or kayaking, and the nearby resort of Ixtapa. In the resort of Puerto Vallarta, a walk down the esplanade with it’s cool quirky statues and incredible sand sculptures, took you past the bars and craft shops to the old town, where in the magnificent cathedral it was a surprise to see a crowded local Mass accompanied by a large Mariachi band ! Beautiful local sights included director John Huston’s island hideaway 'Las Caletas', the cove of Mismaloya with film set from ‘Night of the Iguana’, amongst rainforested foothills of the Sierra Madre. Iguanas still bask in the sun on the rocks there.
The Rock Arch at the tip of the Baha Peninsula near Cabo San Lucas is spectacular in clear blue waters with resident pelicans, and sea lions. Lover’s Beach there has the Pacific on one side and the Sea of Cortez on the other. Another trip to Todos Santos could take in big surf and a visit to the Hotel California !
The exclusive shows of the Irish Music Cruise were so much talked about that other cruising guests were desperate to get in ! More great concerts until midnight, were followed by unscheduled but legendary sessions at one of the ship’s pubs, with Gabriel leading the wild late night sing-alongs with anything from traditional Irish to show tunes !
An amazing week of fun and stellar Irish music !!
SATURDAY JANUARY 26th - a day after his birthday we celebrated Scotland's most famous poet with ROBERT BURNS NIGHT ON MAUI. His 200 year old verse has become part of Scottish heritage celebrated all over the world. He died at 37 (1759-1796), and is the most widely translated poet in the world.
Burn's Night at Mulligan's, was presented by MAUI CELTIC and Mulligan's on the Blue at Maui's Irish Pub, in Wailea. After the 3 course dinner, the night got going with Scottish MC John Crowe and Piper Roger McKinley and Drummer Peter Della Croce in full dress uniform, and all the Burns Night traditional ceremonies took place, including 'The Selkirk Grace', the piping in and the Address 'To A Haggis', many toasts with much fine Scotch whisky, and Robert Burns' poetry. The 'Celtic Tigers' were playing traditional Irish and Scottish music, and at the break more great pipes and drum from Roger and Pete, and of course, "Auld Lang Syne"......another legendary night on Maui, with much hilarity when the first haggis splatted on the floor - A HAGGIS DOWN ! - there was of course a back up.
SATURDAY JANUARY 25th - Hamish celebrated ROBERT BURNS NIGHT with fine Scottish singer and songwriter Jim Malcolm at a great house concert he did in Santa Monica, California. Jim sang many traditional songs of Robert Burns, about whom he is amazingly knowledgable, and Hamish recorded an interview for his radio show. Jim was on Maui a few years before with Scottish band The Old Blind Dogs. He now has a busy solo career. Check his music out at www.jimmalcolm.com
MONDAY JANUARY 21st -- the Isle of Maui Pipeband played at the Wailuku Cultural Diversity Day. With music all day, the band played by the Wailuku Banyan Tree.
SUNDAY JANUARY 20th -- Hamish had a surprise during his Celtic music show on Mana'o Radio. He was playing Celtic music featuring the words of Scottish poet Robert Burns, when fantastic Irish singer Frances Black called and they had an off-the-cuff interview and a chat about her great music, which you can check out at www.frances-black.net