Kau Kau Kitchen
Music - Food for the Soul
by Leilehua Yuen

     Music is as much a part of Hawaiian life as food. Music - from ancient chant to modern melody - informs all aspects of Hawaiian life. Growing up, I don't think I knew anyone who did not play at least one instrument, sing, or dance the hula. "I le`a ka hula i ka ho`opa`a"  - The hula is pleasing because of the drummer.*




Kau Kau Kitchen does not accept paid advertising. Leilehua just happens to particularly like these folks and their pages. This website is funded entirely by Leilehua through the Kau Kau Kitchen Gift Shop and her own time and pin-money.



Kau Kau Kitchen Talk Story

Kau Kau Kitchen Gift Shop

Music, Food for the Soul

Kau Kau Kitchen Around Town
(Oceanic Cable)

Recipe Index





Kitchen Clippings Archives

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Other 'Net "Appearances" by Leilehua

On Hawaiian Culture

On Motorcycles







Dec 25 - Kalikimaka (Christmas)
Holiday Cards and Gifts


Na Mea Hula
Hawaiian Music  Cards and Gifts


Hawaiian Heart
Aloha-Themed Cards and Gifts


Hula Noho
Hula-Themed Cards and Gifts











Under a Hula Moon



















Hula Kane - `Uli`uli











Hula Ipu 02









    I remember, when I was a little girl, my grandfather would play his `ukulele and sing. My grandmother would sing along with him and dance hula. My grandfather is on the far left, with my grandmother beside him. I still have that little Gibson `ukulele she is holding. If anyone recognizes the couple with them, e-mail me and I'll include their names.


     The Ilima Glee Club. My grandfather is on the far right.

     Studying at med school. Note the `ukulele on his books.
It's hard sometimes to find those nahenahe songs from those hanabata days. Fortunately, there are a few wonderful radio stations which specialize in this music. May I recommend the following:

Listen to Hawaiian Music

A wonderful selection of the old classics such as Pua Kukui, A `Oia, and `Aina o Lana`i. Music, music, and music. After getting frustrated trying to wade past innumerable pop-ups, and difficulty logging on to other stations, I have decided that this Hawaiian Rainbow is my favorite.


For other stations, visit:

 Stevo's Guide to Hawaiian Music Radio Shows



Leilehua's Music and Poetry

Hawaiian Music

Paniolo / Country

Other Stuff




More on Music

Songs about Food
Mahalo no to www.Huapala.org for doing so much hard work in compiling these songs and creating such a valuable Hawaiian music resource.

Aloha ka Manini - Lot Kauwe
`Ama`Ama - Sam Alama
E `A`ama - Ku`uipo & Eleanor Ahuna
Eating of the Poi - Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs
He Aloha na `Ono - Composer Unknown
He `Ono - Bina Mossman
I've Gone Native Now - Paul Page
Ka Ho`opa`i o ka Nalo `Eu`eu - Johnny Lum Ho
Ka `Opihi o Kanapo - Keali`i Reichel
Ka `Uluwehi o ke Kai - Edith Kanaka`ole
Liliko`i - Kealoha Aona & Vicki I`i Rodrigues
Lu`au Hula - Mary P. Robins & John Noble
The Lu`au Song - Jack Owens
Me ka Miki Poi - Matilda Kauwe Ichimura
Na `Ai `Ono - Clarence Kinney
Na `Ono o ka `Aina - Composer Unknown
Niu Haohao - Bina Mossman
`Okolehao - Leon Pober
Pipi Kaula - Author Unknown
Princess Pupule - Harry Owens
Tewe Tewe - Kalei Aona & Vicki I`i Rodrigues

Please Consider This:

Ukes for Troops
     My personal feelings about war and politics aside, my heart goes out to the youngsters who are trying to do a difficult and dehumanizing job as best they can. When I came across this website, I was so impressed that I wanted to find a way to help.
     Music therapy has long been known to help veterans recover from the trauma of war. Music helps us hold on to our humanity. Music can speak for us when we are in so much pain we cannot speak for ourselves.
     So, why not get our youngsters involved in music to help them through this difficult time? Ukes for Troops is a nationally recognized non-profit which gets `ukulele into the hands of our young people overseas. If you would like to make a contribution directly, please contact them at the links provided.
     If you will be in Hilo in July, please watch this space, as we will be holding a Ukes for Troops fundraiser and `ukulele drive. Details will be posted here. If you would like to kokua with the Hilo 4th of July fundraiser, contact Leilehua by e-mail, or phone her at 808-935-1722.

Music Links

www.Huapala.org. Great resource for lyrics, translations, and supporting information. The webmaster works very hard to be as accurate as possible.

Hiring Musicians

Years ago, when I first started performing, if someone was hiring Hawaiian musicians, they probably were Hawaiian themselves, or at least had an understanding of Hawaiian culture and etiquette. That has changed quite a bit with the huge influx of new residents. So, I have been asked to offer some guidelines on hiring Hawaiian musicians and dancers.

Some Artist Friends

Aunty Nona Beamer - Aunty Nona and I were introduced to each other by a mutual friend, "Crazy Eddie," a sometime musician, hula student, and always avid windsurfer. When I went to her hale for that first supper together, I was very ashamed, because I was so broke, I had nothing to take as a makana. Then I remembered that I had a most precious makana right in my kitchen! I had a jar of pa`a kai `alaea from Kaua`i, where my grandfather was born! I carefully wrapped it up and took it along. Be sure to visit Aunty Nona's web page and get a copy of The Golden Lehua Tree. Not only will you be supporting the Beamer Hawai`iana scholarships, but I am sure you will be just as enchanted by Aunty's storytelling and sweet voice as I am.

Keola Beamer - Keola and his Mom believed in me. When they started the Aloha Music Camp, I was hired and taught at all of the Moku Hawai`i camps, and the first Moloka`i camp. Unfortunately, my energy became low due to some health issues which made it difficult for me to continue with the camp. But I highly recommend it. Moloka`i is a wonderful place, and the camp staff remains full of aloha. And while you are there, take a hula class from Keola's lovely lady, Moanalani. An incredible dancer, she also has a megawatt smile that lights up the world.

Keoki Kahumoku - I met Keoki through his dad, George, in the 90s when I was teaching at Kona Pacific School. I just love this guy! Which is good, since he lives right down the street. It's nice to get along with the folks in your neighborhood! Keoki's talents are wide-ranging. He not only played the music for Manu's and my wedding, but he caught, fattened, and slaughtered the pig and cooked it in the imu for us.

George Kahumoku - Dad to Keoki, they are a lot alike. I met George through Jesse Colin Young when we were putting together a fundraiser for Kona Pacific School. Jesse's kids were students there, and took Hawai`iana and hula from me. George founded the Hawai`iana program at the school, so I felt incredibly honored to be entrusted with it. George is the Hawaiian master of multi-tasking. A farmer, teacher, musician, artist, writer . . . I wanna be like George when I grow up.

John Keawe - Having met John a few times when he was performing and teaching at various places, I didn't really start getting to know him and his wife, Hope, until we worked together at the Aloha Music Camps. John and Hope exemplify the aloha spirit. Hope's hula has a rare delicacy that reminds me of my aunties in their younger days.

Dennis Lake - Another Aloha Music Camp `Ohana member, Dennis is a fine luthier in addition to being an accomplished musician. Dennis is the only person I trust to work on my vintage instruments. His wife Nancy is a fine artist, and a really nice person, too. Oh, and they have this really funny dog.

Mark Nelson - Yet another of the Aloha Music Camp `ohana, Mark's musical versatility is astonishing. He is also a teacher and has authored several books on music, and one on computer music publishing. Amazing.

Brittni Paiva - I first met this young lady during a gig of my own. Someone asked me if she could play during my break. I said, "Sure!" When I heard here, I asked my band if we could just sit back and listen to HER play! It turned out that she is the daughter of a schoolmate of mine. Brittni's mom and I attended Hilo High School together, so you know this is definately a local girl. If you want to hear how Hawaiian music is percieved by the next generation, listen to Brittni. She's also a good teacher - I just took her Beginning `Ukulele class at Keoki Kahumoku's Pahala music camp where I was one of the instructors.

Liko Puha - Another of the Aloha Music Camp `ohana, Liko has a way of teaching oli that makes you want to learn, and to learn well. He has a beautiful chanting voice, and his use of the Hawaiian language is lyrical. If you have an opportunity to study with him, it will deepen your understanding of all things Hawaiian.

Konabob Stoffer - I've known Konabob and his lovely wife Shirley for several years. Bob designed my first web page. Not only does he design web pages and play music, but he builds a pretty nifty 3-string stand-up bass.

Jesse Colin Young - I got to know Jesse and his `ohana while teaching at Kona Pacific School. Another of our versatile Hawai`i musicians, he also is a coffee farmer.


New Friends

In November 2006 I had the privilege of teaching at the George Na`ope and Kahumoku `Ohana Travel to Learn Slack Key and `Ukulele Workshop. Mahalo to the Na`alehu Theater and Ka`u Concert Society, State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Pahala Plantation House, Ka`u Calendar, UncleGeorge Na`ope, and the Kahumoku `Ohana

Keoki Kahumoku  ran the workshop at the Pahala Plantation House. What a grand time! The other instructors I had the opportunity to meet are such gracious, knowledgeable people, I learned so much from just watching them interact with the students, and I took a class from Brittni Paiva - sweet young woman and an excellent teacher. I also had the opportunity to teach a week-long section on lei-making, getting into the philosophy and culture of the lei, in addition to the craftsmanship. And Ledward Ka`apana and Dennis Kamakahi each played a bit on my banjo and signed the head! Whoooo Hoooo!

Here are links to these new and wonderful friends:

Daniel Ho - Versatile on instruments ranging from piano to guitar, `ukulele, bass, organ, and computer, he has a high-voltage energy that is infectious. I had to teach my own classes, so I missed his, but other students reported that they can hardly wait to study with him again.

Ledward Ka`apana - A native of ka Moku o Keawe, Ledward is originally from Kalapana, only three miles from my own family's makai home. I remember those days down there - no tv, not much radio - but we all had our voices and instruments! Ledward has certainly put his to good use!

David Kamakahi - An impressive young man, he carries on the legacy with his own unique talent. Watch this one!

Dennis Kamakahi - I sat in for almost all of Dennis' song-writing sessions, which helped me immensely in understanding just what it was that makes some of my own songs "work" while others don't. He also is a master storyteller. My mother-in-law kept asking, "Is today the day Dennis comes?" That's ok. We're both fans.

Sonny Lim - As a teenager, he performed with the Makaha Sons of Ni`ihau. Certainly a voice of the renowned Lim `ohana, he maintains a unique creative voice of his own.

Herb Ohta, Jr. - Herb has played `ukulele since age three, and it shows. What can I say? Just listen to his music. Another fine teacher.

Cyril Pahinui - Master storyteller, musician, and gracious gentleman, he is the embodiment of the Hawai`i which still lives on in my dreams. Not to mention, I had the honor of dancing hula as he sang Hi`ilawe and Kamakani ka `Ili Aloha for the concert the instructors gave at Ka`u School. It just doesn't get any better.


Book Reviews

Getting Started in Computer Music, by Mark Nelson. Great book which will give you a strong foundation in this field. Click the title to read my review of Mark's book.


More Books

Hawaiian Dictionary - Puku`i and Elbert, University of Hawai`i Press

The Queen's Songbook - Her Royal Majesty Queen Lili`uokalani, Hui Hanai / Lili`uokalani Trust

Na Mele o Hawai`i nei - 101 Hawaiian Songs, Samuel Elbert and Noelani Mahoe, University of Hawai`i Press

`Olelo No`eau - Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings - Mary Kawena Puku`i, Bishop Museum Press


Other Resources

Hula Mai - Delphi on-line forum devoted to hula and Hawaiian music. Membership is free but you must register. Scroll to bottom of intro page to find link that gets you past the ads.

Petroglyph Press / Basically Books / The Map Shop - My favorite bookstore. They have been publishing Hawai`iana since long before it was "in." Many local authors, including myself, got their start when the Reed `ohana took a chance and published them.

www.KaaheleHawaii.com - My website on Hawaiian culture and arts.


*This quote was preserved by Mary Kawena Puku`i in her extensive collection of Hawaiian sayings, `Olelo No`eau. It is an invaluable resource for the student of Hawaiian culture.