Hawaiian band swings into Kent

By Izzy Anderson - Staff Reporter

Swing into Hawaiian music on March 17 by seeing Kahulanaui at the Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center. 

Kahulanui is a band that mixes together Big Band Swing and Hawaiian music into one unique blend. The band includes a four-piece horn section, bass, guitar, ukulele, drums, lead vocals, and harmonies.

The concert will be at 7:30 p.m. at 10020 S.E. 256th St. 

The music was originally inspired by lead singer Lolena Naipo Jr.'s grandfather, Robert Kahulanui, who was a member of the Royal Hawaiian Band during a time when Hawaiian music was on the rise in the 1920s and 1930s. 

In Hawaiian, kahulanui means "the big dance," which fits this band's diverse style well. 

"They want to spread the gospel of Hawaiian Swing music here. They have taken traditional Hawaiian songs and have given them new life," said Herschel Freeman, the band manager. 

Kahulanui have been nominated three times for the Hoku Hano Hano Awards, and once for a Grammy nomination. 

The band is originally from Hawaii. Lolena Naipo Jr. helps bring those Hawaiian roots into the songs' lyrics as well. 

"Some of the things [Naipo Jr.] is singing is in Hawaiian, so even though you might not understand the words, you can feel it," said Freeman.

"It really draws people to a style they can feel emotionally. People really respond to it," he said. 

Tickets are $25 for general admission, $22 for seniors (60 and older), and $15 for youth (25 and younger).  

For tickets, visit kentwa.gov. For more information, visit kahulanui.com.

Hawaiian band swings into Kent

Swing into Hawaiian music on March 17 be seeing Kahulanaui at the Kent-Meridian Performing Arts Center

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