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.
"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."
Posted on ACOUSTIC GUITAR FORUM, August 25, 2012
"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.
"Keola Beamer walked out on the stage and spoke directly to me and every other person in the room simultaneously—seemingly one-on-one—and everybody fell in love with him. He not only played beautifully and brilliantly, he had grace, charm, and incredible mojo. He transformed that giant arena into his living room—I kid you not. He created an atmosphere of total intimacy for several thousand souls that night and it was truly magical." --Gayla Drake Paul
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