Celebration of the Arts

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 20th Annual Celebration of the Arts Festival celebrates Hawaii's most reputable artisans, educators, cultural practitioners, speakers and entertainers. Opening ceremonies include traditional oli (chants) from Hawaiian practitioners while music and hula will be continuous throughout the weekend, April 6 - 8, 2012. Hands-on art, demonstrations, cultural panels, music and dance will serve as the common thread to allow visitors and residents the opportunity to interact and enjoy this popular festival which has also been the recipient of the coveted "Keep it Hawaii Kahili Award," presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority. For more information, please visit the hotel's website or the event website. For tickets and reservations please call 808-669-6200.

KoAloha Ukulele's "My KoAloha Story," a documentary by Director/Producer, Gary San Angel, has been added to the event line-up at the 20th Annual Celebration of the Arts Festival to be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui, April 6 - 8, 2012. Part of the official selection at the 2011 Hawaii International Film Festival in Honolulu, "My KoAloha Story" will be shown on Friday, April 6, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. In addition, falsetto singer and ukulele player, Kamakakehau Fernandez, will debut his new album, "Wahi Mahalo," with a performance at 9:00 p.m. that same evening.

Made in Hawaii, "My KoAloha Story," is the second film in the KoAloha Story Film Series, which continues to tell the tale of KoAloha Ukulele after the miniature ukulele, was created (the first film, "The KoAloha Ukulele Story," is an award-winning animated short which garnered attention in 2010 as the first animated ukulele documentary). Alvin 'Pops' Okami and his wife Patricia, along with sons Alan and Paul, become the main storytellers in the documentary. The Okami ohana "talks story," sharing their own personal journey, and their shared love for each other as one family, to build KoAloha Ukulele, regarded throughout the world as one of the top ukulele builders with a reputation for their incredible sound, innovation and craftsmanship. Featured music in "My KoAloha Story" is provided by ukulele all stars including Jason Arimoto, Daniel Ho, Gordon Mark, and Herb Ohta, Jr., with original songs composed and performed by Alvin 'Pops' Okami.

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Ryan Kamakakehau Fernandez was a six-week old African American infant, adopted Robyn Nae'ole of Maui, Hawaii. It was in this new island home setting that Kamaka's education and appreciation for Hawaiian culture and music began to flourish. A graduate of The Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (Kulakaiapuni, King Kekaulike High School 2003), Kamaka is proud to be a speaker of the Native Hawaiian language. He soon also found himself enamored with the ukulele and the art of Leo Ki'ekie' (falsetto voice) singing and went on to win the Richard Ho'opi'i Leo Ki'eki'e singing contest later that same year. From that point on, Kamaka has been astonishing audiences in performances throughout Hawaii with the range of his voice and the strum of his ukulele. His long-awaited debut album, "Wahi Mahalo," is the culmination of his love for music and melody, and a way of expressing his appreciation and thanks for his ohana.

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