Keali‘i Reichel closes Symphony Pops season with aloha
It's hard to believe that the Honolulu Symphony Pops season finale is this weekend. We'll welcome the return of one of our most popular guest artists and kumu hula, Keali'i Reichel. It's no secret that Keali'i can be counted among the best-selling Hawaiian recording artists of all time: He has shared the majesty of Hawaiian language, culture and music with the world.
Keali'i Reichel and the Symphony Pops
» In concert: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday
» Place: Blaisdell Concert Hall
» Tickets: $14 to $79; 20 percent discount for seniors, military and students. Available at Ticketmaster outlets.
» Call: (877) 750-4400 or visit www.ticketmaster.com; or call the symphony box office, 792-2000
» Online: www.honolulusymphony.com
Not only will our concerts feature many of Keali'i's most popular songs, we'll also enjoy hula while Keali'i's band members play alongside the orchestra. We'll create an experience you'll remember for years to come. This year, we've added a Sunday matinee for all those who would like to share this unique cultural experience with their families.
Of course, Keali'i is also known for contemporary recordings, so we'll blend both traditional and contemporary songs with hula, chants and the music of our Pops orchestra. Concertgoers can expect touching symphonic arrangements of songs such as "Kauanoeanuhea," "Mele Ohana," "Maunaleo," "Patchwork Quilt" and "Kananaka." Keali'i, the founder of his own hula school, Halau Ke'alaokamaile, has planned new choreography that marries Hawaiian and Western music traditions.
The Pops season finale also marks another exciting event: the announcement of next season's guest artists. While I can't let the cat out of the bag, I'll tell you about some Grammy Award winners who'll join us for the first time: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.
Bluegrass fans will instantly recognize Fleck's name. You might even have heard him called the best banjo player in the world. His music is often called "blu-bop" -- a mix of jazz and bluegrass. It's earned Bela and the Flecktones eight Grammys.
Recently, the band performed with major symphony orchestras, including those in Chicago and Seattle. If the reviews are any indication, we have an amazing concert to look forward to in Honolulu.
The rest of the season? That's under wraps. The only hints I can offer are that you might get the chance to catch shows with a darling of the jazz world, a Hawaiian star and a pop icon.
You've probably heard that the past season has had its ups and downs on the financial front for the musicians of our orchestra. I'm sure that you will join me in applauding their dedication and loyalty as well as the deep commitment that every one of them has to our aloha state.
By sharing the music of our Symphony Pops, you'll show your support for all the great things that the musicians give to our community -- from teaching kids in schools, to helping us explore the music of home and abroad, to inspiring us to strive for our goals.
Buy a ticket, support the symphony, keep the music alive.
Matt Catingub conducts the Honolulu Symphony Pops.