Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Norman Kaneshiro plays sanshin, an Okinawan banjo.

Concert of strings
opens ‘Moonlight Mele’

Those headed for tomorrow's Moonlight Mele concert at the Bishop Museum, starring the Makaha Sons, will also get a pre-concert treat of an unusual gathering of strings during a "Multi-cultural Presentation of String Instruments in Hawaii."

The unique presentation will bring together violin and banjo artists from three Asian traditions.

Also, steel guitarist Greg Sardinha will perform and speak about the Hawaiian steel guitar, said to be the only string instrument invented by Hawaiians. Credit for inventing the instrument in the 1800s goes to Joseph Kekuku.

Also scheduled to perform are Harry C.Y. Wong on Chinese erhu (two-string bowed instrument), Yan-qin Zhong on qin-qin (Chinese banjo), Allison Yanagi on kucho (Okinawan violin), Norman Kaneshiro on sanshin (Okinawan banjo) and shamisen (Japanese banjo) artists Kineya Wahatsu and Howard Asao.

Asao, president of the Onoe Kikunobu Dance Company, will speak about the shamisen.

The collaborative event presented by Aiwana Artists and Education Coordination will offer a sampling of traditional Asian instruments that rarely receive attention outside their respective cultures.

In comparing the links between the instruments, Aiwana's aim is to promote the links between people and cultures, spreading a message of tolerance and peace.

The string session begins at 6 p.m., followed by Moonlight Mele at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $15 general, $10 for members and $5 for children. Call 847-3511. Bank of Hawaii is sponsoring the event.

Aiwana A&E, led by Sonia Fabrigas, is an advocate for ethnic and folk artists, making artists available for educational events. Call 524-8416.

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