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Caption: Kapono Beamer, Credit: Dayna Marie Beamer
Image by: Dayna Marie Beamer 
Kapono Beamer 

A Hawaiian Christmas with Slack Key Master Kapono Beamer

From: Heidi Chang
Length: 29:51

Enjoy the magic of a Hawaiian Christmas with slack key master Kapono Beamer, sharing tales of his family's holiday traditions and rich musical legacy. Heidi Chang hosts this half-hour music special.

Kaponobeamer4_small A Hawaiian Christmas with slack key master Kapono Beamer will fill your heart and soul with the Aloha spirit on Christmas Day.  He shares memories of what it was like growing up in the Beamer family, one of Hawaii's most respected musical families, and how they celebrated the holidays.  On his CD, "Great Grandmother, Great Grandson," Kapono plays music inspired by his great grandmother, Helen Desha Beamer.  She was a prominent Hawaiian songwriter in the first half of the 20th century, who was known for her exquisite melodies.

D
uring this half-hour long music special hosted by Heidi Chang, Kapono also performs live, singing "Silent Night" in Hawaiian.  Hawaiian culture is based on the oral tradition.  So Kapono is passing on his family's rich cultural heritage, through his stories and music.  His island roots goes back to the 15th Century.  Kapono also talks story about music and life, and explains how his pop hit, "Only Good Times," ended up on the soundtrack of Hollywood's first big budget surf film, "Big Wednesday," directed by John Milius.

Kapono Beamer is a talented guitarist, singer and songwriter in his own right.  As a member of the Beamer Brothers, one of Hawaii's most popular duos, he helped spark the Hawaiian renaissance in the 70's, creating a new contemporary Hawaiian sound.  The Beamer Brothers “Honolulu City Lights" album remains one of the most successful selling records in the history of Hawaiian music.  In 2006, Kapono’s recording, "Slack Key Dreams of the Ponomoe,” was nominated for a Grammy for Hawaiian Album of the Year.  He is a multiple winner of Hawaii's version of the Grammy Awards, known as the "Na Hoku Hanohano" Awards.

Note:  Since this music special initially aired, Kapono's grandmother, and also his mother, Nona Beamer, a gifted composer and hula master, have passed away.  But their spirit lives on through Kapono's storytelling, and the depth and beauty of his music.

To learn more about Kapono Beamer, visit his website. 

To hear the full audio, sign up for a free PRX account or log in.

Piece Description

A Hawaiian Christmas with slack key master Kapono Beamer will fill your heart and soul with the Aloha spirit on Christmas Day.  He shares memories of what it was like growing up in the Beamer family, one of Hawaii's most respected musical families, and how they celebrated the holidays.  On his CD, "Great Grandmother, Great Grandson," Kapono plays music inspired by his great grandmother, Helen Desha Beamer.  She was a prominent Hawaiian songwriter in the first half of the 20th century, who was known for her exquisite melodies.

D
uring this half-hour long music special hosted by Heidi Chang, Kapono also performs live, singing "Silent Night" in Hawaiian.  Hawaiian culture is based on the oral tradition.  So Kapono is passing on his family's rich cultural heritage, through his stories and music.  His island roots goes back to the 15th Century.  Kapono also talks story about music and life, and explains how his pop hit, "Only Good Times," ended up on the soundtrack of Hollywood's first big budget surf film, "Big Wednesday," directed by John Milius.

Kapono Beamer is a talented guitarist, singer and songwriter in his own right.  As a member of the Beamer Brothers, one of Hawaii's most popular duos, he helped spark the Hawaiian renaissance in the 70's, creating a new contemporary Hawaiian sound.  The Beamer Brothers “Honolulu City Lights" album remains one of the most successful selling records in the history of Hawaiian music.  In 2006, Kapono’s recording, "Slack Key Dreams of the Ponomoe,” was nominated for a Grammy for Hawaiian Album of the Year.  He is a multiple winner of Hawaii's version of the Grammy Awards, known as the "Na Hoku Hanohano" Awards.

Note:  Since this music special initially aired, Kapono's grandmother, and also his mother, Nona Beamer, a gifted composer and hula master, have passed away.  But their spirit lives on through Kapono's storytelling, and the depth and beauty of his music.

To learn more about Kapono Beamer, visit his website. 

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Review of Hawaiian Christmas with Slack Key Master Kapono Beamer

Hopefully the title won't make you wonder about the timeliness of the piece. It's not just about Hawaiian Christmas. Kapono Beamer is a storyteller who uses music as time pieces, if I may. Beamer is part of a famiy with a long list of achievements in music and Hawaiian culture. His playing is rich in style yet simple in its statement.

PDs should recognize this piece not just as a Christmas ornament, but as a jewel in their programming line-up anytime of the year.

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Review of Hawaiian Christmas with Slack Key Master Kapono Beamer

If you're still looking for Christmas Day programming, Heidi Chang's intimate half hour with Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Master Kapono Beamer is just the ticket. Christmas stories and memories are told throughout the program, lovingly seasoned with music from Kapono Beamer, and near perfect , natural, and pleasently voiced hosting by Chang. It's a slice of Christmas culture everyone will enjoy on Christmas Day.

Broadcast History

Originally broadcast on Christmas Day 1998 on Hawaii Public Radio.

Transcript

Heidi Chang hosts this half-hour holiday special featuring the music of Hawaiian slack key master Kapono Beamer.

Script for 30 second promo:

Hi, I'm Heidi Chang... inviting you to join us for A Special Hawaiian Christmas with Slack Key Master, Kapono Beamer, on Christmas Day. Melekalikimaka! Merry Christmas!
(Kapono Beamer plays Silent Night in his own slack key tuning.)

Script for 60 second promo:

Aloha, I'm Heidi Chang inviting you to join us for a special Hawaiian Christmas for the whole family with Slack Key Master Kapono Beamer. He'll be featuring music from his CD Great "Grandmother, Great Grandson" and talking story about growing up in the Beamer family, one of Hawaii's most respected musical families. He'll also share a few holiday traditions, like singing Silent Night in Hawaiian. All that and more, coming up right here on Christmas Day.
Read the full transcript

Timing and Cues

HOST INTRO: As people around the world celebrate the spirit of the holiday season, it's also a great time to share some unique cultural traditions. Coming up, Heidi Chang hosts A Hawaiian Christmas with Slack Key Master Kapono Beamer. The musician shares stories of his family's holiday traditions, and also his special gift of music.

(The soothing sound of slack key is a Hawaiian tradition of guitar playing that began in the 1800's, when Spanish and Mexican cowboys introduced the guitar to the Islands. Hawaiians created their own way of playing the instrument, known as "kihoalu," which means "loosen the key.")

INTRO to half-hour (29:51) music special and rundown of songs:

A Hawaiian Christmas with Slack Key Master Kapono Beamer begins with music from "Great Grandmother, Great Grandson."

Kawohikukapulani (1:04)

Host, Heidi Chang, introduces slack key master Kapono Beamer, who was inspired by the music of his Great Grandmother, Helen Desha Beamer. Kapono describes the depth of her music and how she'd often compose a special song for her friends. "Instead of taking flowers or pastries or cake, she would take the gift of a brand new song," when she visited them.

Kimo Hula (3:50)

Kapono sings Silent Night in Hawaiian. (2:30)

Mahaiula (3:40)
Kapono plays Hawaiian nose flute and guitar.

Only Good Times (2:24)
Kapono recorded this song with his brother, Keola, on the album Honolulu City Lights. (For years, it was the best selling album in the history of Hawaiian music, and only recently topped by "Iz.")

To You (3:51)

OUTCUE: ends with music. (You can fade out anytime.)

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Kawohikukapulani Kapono Beamer Great Grandmother, Great Grandson. Onopak 1998 04:03
Kimo Hula Kapono Beamer Great Grandmother, Great Grandson. Onopak 1998 03:50
Mahaiula Kapono Beamer Great Grandmother, Great Grandson. Onopak 1998 03:40
Only Good Times Keola and Kapono Beamer Honolulu City Lights. Paradise 1978 02:23
To You Kapono Beamer Great Grandmother, Great Grandson. Onopak 1998 03:51

Additional Files

Related Website

http://www.kapono.com, http://heidichang.com