Lahaina musician Keola Beamer called it "overwhelming" that his own album and "The Descendants" movie soundtrack - which also carries his music - have both been nominated for Grammy Awards...
Beamer's album "Malama Ko Aloha," or "Keep Your Love," is nominated in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category. It took the place of the Hawaiian Music category that was dissolved in 2011 along with 30 other categories because of a restructuring effort by the academy.
In the past, Beamer, a composer and slack key guitarist, had been nominated in the Hawaiian Music category.
Beamer said that his album's nomination carried much meaning because it was done in a creative partnership with PBS Hawaii and features the musical talents of his wife, Moanalani, who plays percussion (native Hawaiian instruments) and the voice of his hanai niece, Hawaiian songstress Raiatea Helm.
The album, simply put, tells people to cherish life or aloha in one's heart, Beamer said.
Willie K's Pursuit of Opera Entertains and Inspires, Honolulu Star Advertiser, Nov 16, 2012
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"The remarkable musical career of Willie Kahaiali’i — known as Willie K — spans a range so broad it seems to reach from the deepest bass to the sweetest soprano. From traditional and contemporary Hawaiian to blues and rock, he’s done it all and done it well.
“ 'With Willie, he’s just so in tune with his instrument. There’s not really a whole lot of thought that goes into it. He just does it. It’s very natural. He’s just talented and gifted that way.'
"Kahaiali’i had performed with the Hawaii Youth Symphony many times by then, including one concert where he hit a high C while singing “O Holy Night.”
“ 'That ignited the crowd,' said symphony conductor Henry Miyamura."Miyamura later told Kahaiali’i, 'Some opera tenors would give their right arm for your high C.'"
Willie K's Northern California Tour featured in SF Chronicle/SF Gate, Fri Nov 16, 2012
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An irrepressible stage presence, the Maui-based singer and guitarist Willie K has two oft-played Christmas albums to his credit, 1999's "Willie Kalikimaka" and 2010's "Willie Wonderland...showcases his operatic talents on "O Holy Night," similar to his bravura "Ave Maria" on the later album. In concert he moves deftly between genres — rock, pop, jazz, classical and Hawaiian slack key, to name a few — and his holiday performances are no different ("Reggae Christmas" anyone?)
"This Hawaiian music legend has made so many amazing albums over the years and now he has delivered one of his most accomplished works to date. It's just sublime, each track an exquisite work of art. Taken as a whole, it defines a masterful artist with no equal in Hawai'i."
Notes Keola of his collaboration with pianist Geoffrey Keezer:
"It's a special thing, he brings a beautiful starlight to the picture. The guitar is more earthy and so it's like this beautiful duet of earth and starlight"
Jazz Times also weighed in on this collaboration: "'Falling Up" [Keezer's CD with 3 tracks with Keola] explores a cornacopia of genres, but the album's emotional core is the three Hawaiian songs that Keezer explores with Keola Beamer, a master of Hawaiian slack-key guitar....beautiful melodies with eloquent simplicity, intertwining their instrumental lines with an intimacy that shows the depth of their partnership."
WILLIE K, August 23, 2012: Willie K plays Dream On with Steve Tyler, accompanied by Mick Fleetwood on drums and Jerry Byers on bass, at the Opening of Fleetwood's restaurant & club on Maui.
KEOLA BEAMER - August 25, 2012: Posted on Acoutic Guitar Forum blog:
"Worked on the sound crew last night for a Keola Beamer concert and was very impressed with everything I saw and heard. For those who aren't familiar with him, Beamer is a notable Hawaiian slack-key guitarist and singer, who's music was featured in George Clooney's film "The Descendants".
...lovely experience. The man has a beautifully light touch, impeccably clean playing style, fabulous tone, wonderfully resonant singing voice, enchanting wife, and a gracious manner. Highly recommended for anyone who's interested in fingerstyle playing."
On February 23, 2012, PBS Hawaii premiered its new special "Keola Beamer: Malama Ko Aloha (Keep Your Love)", which features Keola and several long-time collaborators including his wife Moanalani Beamer, Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, Hawaiian falsetto singer Raiatea Helm, and jazz pianist Geoffrey Keezer. For PBS Press Release, click here. The show will be broadcast in PBS markets across the U.S. later this year.
Makana appears at The NAMM Show 2011 in All-Star Guitar Night
Southern California Slack Key Festival features Pasifika Artists George Kahumoku Jr., Makana, Keola Beamer & Raiatea, and Jeff Peterson
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