The Ukulele is best known for it’s part in the musical culture of Hawaii. And the great Hawaiian Ukulele player, IZ, brings the heart of Hawaii out in the hearts of people as we listen to his music.
In our cultural excursions Kindermusik Camps for the big kids this summer, and in the second year of the Kindermusik for the Young Child program, we study music from the Pacific Islands, from Japan, the Philippines, Malaysia and Hawaii, along with all the instruments that are traditionally used. Fortunately, I have a box full of Ukeleles so each child can enjoy hands-on explorations, and we get delightful pictures.
It has been a great deal of fun, donning leis and playing nonsense on our Ukeleles (we aren’t here for Ukelele lessons). But, Ms. Debbie is not the best Ukelele player. So I wanted to share the music of a legendary Ukelele player, through these videos that include images of Hawaii and the Hawaiian people which help us feel the strength of the connection that these people have with each other and with their land.
Iz offers us a new insight into the classic song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.
His real name is Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole, and he sings this as a true song of HOPE. He stands for, sings about, and encourages hope for the Hawaiian people.
To hear a truly traditional Hawaiian song, and see how much the people of Hawaii love his music, check out the following video. The people stand, hold hands, and sing together. Music truly has the power to connect !
Enjoy the moment, and maybe dance with your child to the gentle swaying of the music.
A quick look at Amazon.com revealed at least 10 CDs that were recorded by this man. I wish I had all of them and could tell you which is the best. But the fact is, HE is one of the best, so I’ll bet every single CD is well worth the asking price. Put a little swing in your hips, and some lovely soothing music on your stereo, listen to the Ukelele, and escape to Hawaii.
Please share if you are familiar with traditional music that shares the spirit of the Hawaiian people.
Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings is the portrait of an musician whose virtuoso skills on the ukulele have transformed all previous notions of the instrument’s potential. Through intimate conversations with Shimabukuro, the film reveals the cultural and personal influences that have shaped the man and the musician. On the road from Los Angeles to New York to Japan, the film captures the solitary life on tour: the exhilaration of performance, the wonder of newfound fame, the loneliness of separation from home and family.