The journey of sharing my music continues to expand. This is the inaugural email dedicated to listeners and supporters of my music, as well as friends around the world
I wanted to reach out to you coinciding with the launch of my newly redesigned website:
On the new website, you can peruse news articles and interviews about my music, view photos and videos, enjoy my multi-faceted blog, stay up-to-date on concerts and appearances, and purchase my music as both downloads and physical CDs.
TOUR ANNOUNCEMENT: I’ll be performing 4 shows in Seattle & a show in Portland (please click on dates to link to event and ticket info):
June 6 at Town Hall (special guest performance)
Please spread the word! For the full schedule of show dates click HERE.
Over the past year some truly amazing opportunities to share my art have arisen and I’d like to share some highlights with you, as well as give you some news of what is to come.
-Following the 3/11/11 tsunami that hit Japan and consequential disaster at Fukushima, I teamed up with renowned Japanese chef Morimoto, Hawaiian music star Raiatea Helm and other concerned Honolulu residents to raise money to aid our friends in Japan. We launched the first benefit for Japan relief in Hawai’i, raising over $100,000 that went directly to the cause.
-In June 2011 I was invited into the recording studio with Japan pop stars Def Tech to contribute guitar to their new album “Up”. We ended up composing a new song together as a tribute to the people of Japan in the wake of 3/11. The song, entitled “The Day Dream“, has since sold 100,000 copies in Japan. You can hear the song on YouTube.
-Also in June 2011 I was invited to perform on the hit TV show “Deadliest Catch”. The cast was hilarious!
-In October, after a trip to NYC, I visited Zuccotti Park, the American birthplace of the Occupy Wall Street movement. I came home and one afternoon I was inspired to compose a song, “We Are The Many” (WATM), voicing my views of the current socio-economic climate and how it is disenfranchising people. A few days later I was coincidentally called by the White House and invited on behalf of the Obamas to perform at the World Leaders Dinner as part of the APEC economic conference. I decided, with strong encouragement from fans, to sing my new song at the dinner (in a non-disruptive manner). Consequently the story of my poetic protest was picked up by the media worldwide and inspired millions of people. Rolling Stone magazine has referred to “We Are The Many” as the “Occupy Anthem”. I was also really excited to learn that Democracy Now! featured the story, my interview and song. The music video for WATM has reached over 300,000 views, and the song is now available for download on my website.
-A few years ago I was invited by a friend to perform at the wrap party for a George Clooney film. The film turned out to be “The Descendants”, released late last year, and has garnered multiple awards and rave reviews. It uniquely features a soundtrack comprised solely of Hawaiian artists, and includes my song “Deep in an Ancient Hawaiian Forest“; the DVD also features a few of my other slack key pieces. We’ve created a 3-song download of my music from the film available on the website. The soundtrack went to #1 on Billboard’s World Music chart for seven consecutive weeks- great exposure for Hawaiian slack key guitar!
-Earlier this year I was invited to perform at the ceremonial induction of Santana into the California Hall of Fame. I got to meet and sing for a wonderful gathering of California folks, including Clint Eastwood, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, author Amy Tan and Governor Jerry Brown.
-In April the State of Hawai’i asked me to represent them at the National ASCAP music writers conference, at which I debuted some of my new unreleased songs on piano to great reception. Yes, I’ve been writing a lot of new (lyrical) songs on piano- stay tuned for more on that.
-In recent months I’ve opened for legendary classic rock icons YES and REO Speedwagon, and I’m happy to report: they still ROCK I also had the great joy of opening for author and speaker Marianne Williamson, whom I’ve admired for her inspirational quotes and perspectives on human spirituality.
-After years of self-managing my career, I am happy to share that I have finally engaged a manager, Tom Bunch, who formerly managed the hugely popular punk bands Butthole Surfers and The Toadies. Together we have been sending demos of my newest (unreleased) songs to top notch producers and the response has been across the board positive, with a strong interest from some of the biggest names in music production. I’m very excited for the opportunity to work with some of these masters of the recording process, and in an upcoming email I’ll let you know more about our plans and how you can be a part of this exciting development in my independent music career!
Looking back, it has been such a joy and honor to serve society through my music as a truly independent artist. I am always thankful for your continuous support, which has given me the opportunity to maintain the integrity of my art.
Mahalo (thank you) for your support and I look forward to seeing you at a future performance and sharing this blessed journey with you.
“My goal was never to be “a good guitar player”… I don’t care about the guitar; the guitar is just wood and steel. What I care about is the potential of it to become something that happens inside of your body… that’s music.” ~Makana