Social Encore: Festival raises funds for ‘protectors’
BY JERMEL-LYNN QUILLOPO / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Protecting the beautiful natural resources and landscapes of Hawaii is not always an easy thing. When you have a group of like-minded people working together, however, it makes for much more powerful, meaningful and personal impact.
2015 ALOHA AINA MUSIC FESTIVAL
Featuring Amy Hanaialii (pictured), Mark Kealii Hoomalu, The Rough Riders, Fiji, Maoli, Mana’o Company and Weldon Kekauoha
» Where: Waikiki Shell
On Saturday, an all-star local line up of musicians will come together at the Waikiki Shell to help spread conservation awareness through music at the Aloha Aina Music Festival.
Sponsored by Hawaii Finest Clothing, promoters Paulele Alcon and Davis Price said they wanted to create an event that would give people an opportunity to get involved in community matters.
“We pulled this together because we feel it is critical that people keep coming together to learn about the issues surrounding Mauna Kea as well as issues involving irresponsible management and exploitation to land, resources and culture throughout Hawaii,” said Davis.
“We need to protect and preserve our land and natural resources from further desecration…what better way to bring people together than a beautiful festival with amazing music,” added Alcon.
The all-star lineup includes artists such as The Rough Riders (Henry Kapono, Brother Noland and John Cruz), Fiji, Maoli, Mana’o Company, Weldon Kekauoha and more. Many of the artists participating in the concert want to both educate others about Hawaii’s sacred lands and why it is so important to make it a collaborative effort to preserve them.
Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning musician Amy Hanaialii said Mauna Kea is seen in traditional Hawaiian history as the center of the Big Island and that it holds a lot of significance in birthing chants of Hawaiian royalty, like King Kamehameha III.
HAPA’s Kapono Nā‘ili‘ili said that since “a very good portion of Hawaii’s information that has been passed on has been filled with many misleading and falsified facts and information,” often times the truth about Hawaiian history is misconstrued.
“Issues such as Mauna Kea often times are seen as minuscule,” said Nā‘ili‘ili, “but it is the minuscule issues that if over looked will add up years upon years until they become a very big issue or problem.”
The peaceful protest atop Mauna Kea by self-described “protectors” of the land has lead to more than 30 arrests since April. In response to reports that construction of the $1.4 billion dollar Thirty Meter Telescope project was scheduled to resume this week, Aloha Aina advocates indicated they will continue to be present atop the mountain. Proceeds from Saturday’s concert will go towards their mission to protect Hawaii’s land.
Kumu hula Mark Kealii Hoomalu will travel to Hawaii from California this week to share his talents and show his support. He believes even though issues of Hawaii’s natural land and resources may not directly affect a lot of residents on a daily basis, the costs of maintaining and creating new development eventually affect everyone.
“One issue for many Hawaiians is Mauna Kea, or Mauna a Wakea, is a sacred mountain, the genesis of Hawaiian people,” said Hoomalu. “For others that cannot relate or identify with that belief, they should be able to understand that exploitation of land and resources has an impact on everyone.”
Many involved with the concert believe music and dance is a universal language that can help create some common ground. Kumu hula Hinaleimoana Kalu-Wong will lead those in attendance in singing her composition, “Kū Haʻaheo.” Many Aloha Aina advocates have used the song as an anthem; a live video shoot is also scheduled to take place during the concert.
“Music is the one thing that can heal this world we live in,” said musician Shawn Pimental. “It’s the most powerful tool that helps to spread love and affect change,”
“Music can bring people together and can inspire people like no other means of communication,” added Price. “Our hope is that the music allows everyone to gather, feel the aloha amongst each other, and that it will be another catalyst in the larger movement for people to rise up and stand for what they believe in.”
Jermel-Lynn Quillopo is a multi-faceted, energetic individual with experience in both print and broadcast journalism. “Social Encore” aims to tell diverse stories about Hawaii’s food, events and people; share your tips with Jermel via email or follow her on Twitter.