Friday, November 19, 2004

Storytellers weave
their yarns at
Waipio festival

The Hawaii United Okinawa Association celebrates Hawaii's rich multicultural heritage and the oral tradition of storytelling with the debut of the Red Dirt Storytelling Festival, a two-day event at the Hawaii Okinawa Center in Waipio Gentry.

Red Dirt Storytelling Festival

Where: Hawaii Okinawa Center, 94-587 Ukee St.

When: 6:30 to 10 p.m. today; 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $5 per performance for adults; $3 for ages 12 and under

Call: 676-5400 or visit www.huoa.org

Headlining the event will be renowned storyteller and internationally acclaimed Celtic harpist Patrick Ball, whose gift for weaving the Irish lore of his ancestral homeland with Celtic harp pieces won him the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Storytelling Association.

Ball has recorded seven instrumental and three spoken-word albums, and tours extensively in the United States and Canada.

The festival will also bring together some of Hawaii's best storytellers, sharing tales in four public performances.

The first performance, "Tales Under a Tent," featuring local backyard tales, takes place 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. today. Sharing stories will be Janice Terukina, Eric Mita and Walter Carvalho on slack-key guitar. Admission to this event will be free.

At 8 p.m., Ball will join Hawaii storytellers Karen Yamamoto Hackler, Woody Fern, Dann Seki, Nyla Ching Fujii and James McCarthy, sharing "Obake Tales" from Hawaii, the Pacific and around the world.

On Saturday, enjoy "Tales for the Entire Family" from Fujii, McCarthy, Yamamoto Hackler and Jeff Babb from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. And then, at 7 p.m., Ball will open "Tales from Island Cultures," a collection of funny, serious and heartwarming stories that reflect the spirit of island people and places. He will be joined by the other storytellers throughout the evening before returning for a solo finale.

Also sharing stories of growing up in a sugar-plantation community will be longtime Waipahu resident and Nishihara Chojin Kai member Goro Arakawa.

Tickets, available at the Hawaii Okinawa Center at 94-587 Ukee St., are $5 per performance for adults and $3 per performance for ages 12 and under.

For more information about the festival, visit the HUOA web site at http://www.huoa.org/RedDirt.htm.

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