Santa Cruz, CA
Venue Address (Get Directions)Santa Clara University Recital Hall
Date and Time
Friday, May 3rd, 2013 at 6:30pm
Ben Kaili is coming back to the Bay Area May 3 . This time Ben is bringing the band he plays in “Kanakapila”.
With Victor Chock on ‘ukulele, JJ Ahuna on bass, and Dwight Tokumoto on steel guitar. Special Guests:
Kapalakiko Hawaiian Band, Hula Dancers Meleana Manuel of volcano,Hi. and Cristina Wong of San Jose
Meet Ben Kaili, from Keaukaha in Hilo.
He appears at most of the major Hawaiian music events on the island of Hawai‘i and neighboring islands, playing slack key guitar and singing in his sweet, nahenahe style. He shares traditional Hawaiian music at music festivals on the mainland and in the state of Hawai‘i, and plays at Hawaiian-style restaurants and other live-performance venues in California and Las Vegas. He’s played on two CDs that were nominated for Hawai‘i’s prestigious Nā Hōkū Hanohano award.
Ben plays in the band, “Kanakapila,” with Victor Chock on ‘ukulele, JJ Ahuna on bass, and Dwight Tokumoto on steel guitar. They have been together since 2005, when Victor called them all to play with him at a baby lū‘au. The group’s Tuesday night jam sessions at Hilo Town Tavern have a large following of both locals and visitors.
“The band is well-known in Portland, Australia, London, and Canada, among other places,” Ben tells me, “because of the ‘snowbirds’ who return to Hilo every year. They come to see us at the tavern and pass the word along to their friends.”
Ben and the band also appear annually in Hilo at the Big Island Hawaiian Music Festival and the KWXX Ho‘olaule‘a, the Hawaiian Slack key Guitar Festival at the Sheraton Kona, Kailua Kona’s Kupuna Hula Festival, Moku O Keawe Hula Festival at Waikoloa Beach Resort, and the Gabby Pahinui Waimānalo Kanikapila on O‘ahu. (Ben has a close relationship with Gabby’s son and slack key master, Cyril Pahinui, affectionately calling him “Uncle C.”) You will also see them backing up well-known local musicians like Darlene Ahuna and Aunty Diana Aki on Hawai‘i Island.