A Hawaiian Christmas with Slack Key Master Kapono Beamer

Slack Key Master Kapono Beamer | Photo© Dayna Marie Beamer

Hawaiian slack key master, singer and songwriter, Kapono Beamer | Photo© Dayna Marie Beamer

A Hawaiian Christmas with Slack Key Master Kapono Beamer

Enjoy a half-hour of beautiful music featuring Slack Key Master Kapono Beamer and stories of his family’s holiday traditions and musical legacy, hosted by Heidi Chang.

Listen to the half-hour long music special here:

      Kapono Beamer

 

Several years ago, I had the joy of hosting a music special called “A Hawaiian Christmas with Slack Key Master Kapono Beamer,” which remains one of my most memorable holiday musical experiences. You don’t want to miss hearing him singing “Silent Night” in Hawaiian.

Kapono recalls memories of growing up in the Beamer family, one of Hawaii’s most respected musical families, and their holiday traditions.

He also shares music from his CD, “Great Grandmother, Great Grandson,” inspired by his great grandmother, Helen Desha Beamer. She was a prominent Hawaiian songwriter in the first half of the 20th century, known for her exquisite melodies.

Kapono Beamer Great Grandmother Great Grandson

Kapono Beamer Great Grandmother Great Grandson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hawaiian culture is based on the oral tradition. So Kapono is passing on his family’s rich cultural heritage, through his stories and music. His island roots goes back to the 15th Century.

Kapono also talks story about music and life, and explains how his pop hit, “Only Good Times,” ended up on the soundtrack of Hollywood’s first big budget surf film, “Big Wednesday,” directed by John Milius.

Kapono Beamer is a very talented guitarist, singer and songwriter in his own right. As a member of the Beamer Brothers, one of Hawaii’s most popular duos, he helped spark the Hawaiian cultural renaissance in the 70’s, creating a new contemporary Hawaiian sound.

The Beamer Brothers “Honolulu City Lights” album remains one of the best selling records in the history of Hawaiian music.

In 2006, Kapono’s recording, “Slack Key Dreams of the Ponomoe,” was nominated for a Grammy for Hawaiian Album of the Year. He is a multiple winner of Hawaii’s version of the Grammy Awards, known as the “Na Hoku Hanohano” Awards.

Hawaiian musician Kapono Beamer | Photo © Dayna Marie Beamer

Hawaiian musician Kapono Beamer | Photo © Dayna Marie Beamer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since this music special first aired on Hawaii Public Radio on Christmas Day 1998, Kapono’s mother, Nona Beamer, a gifted composer and hula master, and grandmother have passed away. But their spirit lives on through Kapono’s storytelling, and the depth and beauty of his music.

Thank you Kapono Beamer for the gift of music!

To learn more about him, visit his website.

A Hawaiian Christmas with Slack Key Master Kapono Beamer is available for broadcast via PRX, the Public Radio Exchange.

Related Topics:

Nona Beamer: Hawaiian Elder (NPR profile)
Keola Beamer (NPR profile)

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