Eddie Kamae’s legendary music, part of the fabric of Hawaiian culture and life, will live anew with the publication of “The Eddie Kamae Songbook: A Musical Journey.” An online compilation of 34 of Kamae’s beloved tunes will debut May 1 and will be free to the public utilizing a QR code.

Myrna Kamae, Eddie’s widow, through their Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, will unveil the songbook in a May Day (May 1) event from noon to 6 p.m. at the Royal Grove of the Royal Hawaiian Center. The publication will surely emerge as a valuable document of Kamae’s artistry. A career keiki o ka aina, Kamae led the Sounds of Hawaii group and was consistently a luminous but low-key pioneer in the renaissance of Hawaiian music. He was a prolific composer, musician and a rare film-maker. preserving the voice and the traditions of numerous integral and talented Hawaiians, till his death at age 89 on Jan. 7, 2017.

Years in the making, the songbook will evolve into a significant resource for current and future musicians of Hawaii and the world and provide lucid and enlightenment for the casual music fan.

“Eddie realized the importance of documenting the wealth of traditional knowledge shared by his many kumu,” said Myrna Kamae, who continues to be executive director of the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation. “His life work was committed to building an archive of the stories and music of Hawai‘i. This songbook ensures that songs shared with Eddie, and those he composed, can be played and sung by families, children, students, musicians, and lovers of Hawaiian music. We are so excited to share this gift!”

Myrna Kamae

Partners in the songbook launch include the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu and ʻUluʻulu: The Henry Kuʻualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive .

Assembled and written with children and families in mind, each tune is presented as a pū‘olo (bundle) that contains sheet music, lyrics and translations, audio and video recordings of Kamae and fellow musicians, with enlightening details of the story behind the song, a bibliography, and archival print resources from the Kamae archives. It looms as s a resourceful curriculum across disciplines in schools and at homes and a valuable foundation for the music, stories and aloha to live on.

Besides a catalog of musical compositions, Kamae has a portfolio of 10 documentary films focusing on savvy elders he respected and wanted to perpetuate their legacies on video.

Attendees must abide by the Royal Hawaiian Center’s parking promotion, which includes three hours of free parking after spending $10.  The launch of the book is a highlight of the RHC’s May Day celebration and will feature music –kanikapila style — by Paul Kim, Analu Aina, Mike Kaawa, Ocean Kaowili and the Grandsons of Hawai‘i, Waipuna, Waimānalo Sunset Band, among others.

Panelists will include Chancellor Maenette Benham, University of Hawaii West O‘ahu; the Hui Hana songbook team of Myrna Kamae, Kapena Shim and Lilinoe Andrews, and a few special guests.

The launch will be livestreamed – a link will be forthcoming – and family, friends and guests will assemble to witness or participate in a program featuring the music of Kamae and the Sons of Hawaii, complete with hula and a panel presentation.


And that’s Show Biz. …

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