It is with great sadness that we create this page in tribute of Keo, beloved member of our ʻohana, teacher, and friend. His Hawaiian name Keomailani means “The calling or the answer from above” and was given to him by his teacher, kumu hula Robert Cazimero.
We hope that you will share your personal stories and memories of Keo. Please stay tuned for a New York gathering to celebrate his life.
Mahalo all for all your compassion and aloha. Our dear Keo passed this afternoon. I know this has shaken us all and that we are deeply grieving his loss. Please take care of yourselves during this fragile time. Mahalo Veronique for setting up the photo link https://goo.gl/photos/qPhgSw8TJ4SdVZRY8 I remember Keo teaching us the "Water is Wide." It is heart breaking, but it reminds me of the kindness, the grace, the humor, the rigor, the joy, and tenderness he shared and embodied. My tears seem to have no end…
RE: OFFICIAL STATEMENT: THE PASSING OF WRITER/DIRECTOR/ACTOR/KUMU HULA, KEO WOOLFORD
What a great night! Amazing food, fantastic drinks, and wonderful company. We were so excited to see you all come together to support the Hokule'a's voyage and to celebrate the Polynesian community here in New York City.
Kalepa Baybayan even sent us a special message from the Hokule'a's stop in Cuba:
By Andy Wang
Last night's pau hana was fantastic! Whether you shared a hula, song, drink or laugh, thank you for being there. It reminded me of what makes Halawai so special to me -- our community, which is so full of boundless energy, varied talents, and unconditional aloha. In a city as diverse as New York, it is truly unique.
It was also a night of healing. We gathered to wala'au and have fun for sure, but the strength of one's community is also about supporting and helping one another. I personally felt this in a big way. Thank you for joining me in sending a prayer and song to Uncle Cyril Pahinui who just underwent lung surgery. We hear the surgery went well but a long road to recovery lies ahead. Pua Ali'i 'Ilima O Nuioka performed a heartfelt rendition of the love song Waika dedicated to their kumu hula, Vicky Holt Takamine whose husband Ed passed away unexpectedly last month. Halau Na Pua Mai Ka Lani Nuioka, a relatively new halau branch in New York City, is mourning the untimely passing of their Kumu Kale Pawai. Their graceful movements and smiling faces throughout Aloha Aku, Aloha Mai were an homage to their kumu and a true celebration of life.
Playing music, and particularly playing music for hula, is an experience that I cannot always put into words. There is a relationship and interplay there that binds us. Always a privilege to perform with fellow musicians Claudia Goddard and Chris Davis, but even better when complemented by impromptu hula by Halawai board members Nersa Miller and Kim Davidson. 'Ukulele whiz Kris Kato joined me for kanikapila. (Sorry, we don't practice!) We had a blast dusting the cobwebs off of Po La'i La'i for dancers from Halau Hula O Na Mele Aina O Hawaii.
By the way, you may have noticed Jacqueline Hazen, with her video equipment, who is producing a short documentary featuring Kris and Halawai board member Keoni DeFranco on what it means to practice and teach oli (Hawaiian chant) in New York. A highlight for me was when Kainoa Ebernate got up with 'ukulele in hand to sing Pua Ahihi. His voice was sublime. And I finally got to eat some sushi while enjoying his music. And of course, we wrapped up with everyone singing Hawaii Aloha.
The night was full of special moments. For those of you who missed it, I hope you can make the next one. For those who were there, you nourished my soul and made the pau hana great. Mahalo nui.
What did you think of the new venue? Let us know what you thought about the event in the comments!
UPDATE: The contest has been called off :( http://www.staradvertiser.com/sports/sports-breaking/eddie-is-a-no-go/
The Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau is a big wave surf tournament named after one of Hawaii's most legendary figures. The contest is only held when the conditions are absolutely perfect - consistent waves topping 40ft in Waimea Bay - which means that it hasn't been called in six years.
Organizers have decided today's the day!
Check out the Waterfront Alliance's lovely write up on the Hokule'a and its visit to NYC.