The Makaha Sons Concerts and Fundraiser
This is the second time that we are bringing a top Hawaiian Band all the way from Hawaii to Toronto. The Band is the Makaha Sons and they have been on top of the Hawaiian Music scene for over 35 years. They have performed at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City on 3 occasions, in front of the President of the United States and for audiences throughout Hawaii, the U.S. Mainland, Japan and more recently did shows in Mexico and for the first time in Canada in 2009. This event is also a fundraiser for the Children's Ukulele Program, under the directorship of Juno Award Winner, Melanie Doane. This program helps kids have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, in this case the Ukulele. The Ukulele is at the heart of Hawaiian Music so it is an excellent fit. It is light weight for the kids to hold and transport and relatively inexpensive and easy to learn. There are two key communities involved in addition to the general public. One is the network of Hula Dance Schools in Toronto (Halaus) which has hundreds of members, and the other is Ukulele enthusiasts. The Ukulele is on a re-birth around the world with people of all ages joining clubs to learning and socialize and just enjoy music and song. One of the largest Uke clubs is in Toronto, TorontoUkes.com and they have over 1,000 members. The event is at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre that has its own Hula program and many Japanese folks love Hawaiian music and culture. I do this for no financial gain whatsoever ---- rather, for the love of Hawaiian Music, Dance and Culture and to give a little something back to the community in terms of that culture and also raising funds for a worthy case, the Children's Ukulele Program at certain schools within The Toronto School Board. The Board supports the concept of the Children's Ukulele Program and approves the fact that it takes place in their schools, but is not able to support it financially or in other, more direct, fashions.
Thoughts about art and community:
We believe that in a city as diverse as Toronto it is important to bring the culture, music and dance of various ethnic groups to our local communities. In this case, there are many Asians and Phillipino people involved in the Hula programs, etc., but almost all nationalities are represented, especially when you include the Ukulele. Diversity enriches our lives and one of the best ways to appreciate one another is through the beauty of the art from the various groups because art transends boundaries.