The Ho'okipa Project
Hawaiian and Western Canadian hospitality personified in which guests and strangers alike are welcomed with your Aloha spirit!
The Ho'okipa Project
Hawaiian and Western Canadian hospitality personified in which guests and strangers alike are welcomed with your Aloha spirit!
The Project :
HO‘OKIPA This is the value of Hawaiian-style hospitality, in which guests and strangers alike are welcomed with your spirit of Aloha. There is complete generosity in Ho‘okipa: We call it lokomaika‘i, “the generosity of good heart.” Those who aspire to the best practice of this value are highly empathetic, and very perceptive in anticipating the needs of others: We call them Mea Ho‘okipa (host, or hostess) and it is one of the highest compliments a person of Aloha can receive from another.
Calgary's Western Hospitality - Like Hawaii, Calgary is a melting pot of people of all colours, languages and backgrounds. Many of our local traditions are rooted in cultural customs from around the world. Like Hawaii we are also big on ranching, rodeos and cowboys, however the one thing that can only be found in Calgary is our Western Hospitality. Although we don't have a flower lei to give you when you step down off the airplane, there may be pancakes, sausages, coffee and a white cowboy hat waiting for you.
Our project objective is to bring these two values together from across the sea to create something bold and beautiful. To accomplish this we will bring 21 ukulele players and hula dancers from Calgary to Kaua'i to record two songs about these values of Ho'okipa and Western Hospitality, a music video and behind the scenes documentary about the making of the project. We will film and record the songs in the town of Kapa'a on the island of Kaua'i from February 3-12, 2018. The ho'okipa scenes we create in these videos and songs will incorporate not only our group of 21 performers from Calgary, but other music lovers and performers from around the world that will be attending the 2018 Aloha Music Camp (maybe a few of the world famous teachers at camp too if we are lucky).
Not only are we travelling to Kaua'i to do the recording for this project, but all 21 of us will be attending the Aloha Music Camp (See the Aloha Music Camp promo video below for more information on the camp). The Aloha Music Camp is a week-long immersion into the music, dance, language and culture of Hawai‘i. Hosted by the Beamer family — famed slack-key pioneer Keola, kumu hula Moanalani Beamer and Hawaiian language specialist Kaliko Beamer-Trapp — along with some of the most respected musicians, performers, and instructors in the islands to learn how to play Hawaiian music and experience Hawaiian culture. Having our ukulele, hula and oli (Hawaiian chant) club members attend this camp while creating this artistic project is an opportunity of a life time. It will reward them in ways they may never discover for years to come.
The two songs we will be recording are called "E Komo Mai" and "Ho'okipa".
"E Komo mai" was actually written at the 2012 Summer Aloha Music Camp by myself and my fellow classmates. I was grieving over the loss of my father just a week before camp and this song included some of my thoughts and feelings at the time. I look forward to recording it with my ukulele posse.
Listen to my rough demo of the song (not the full song):
"Ho'okipa" will be written by my Hawaiian language class and oli club. Every Sunday at 10:30 am we meet to practice oli (Hawaiian chant), and then learn more about Hawaiian language and songs for an hour. The class has now been given the task to write a song! Aue!
We have not decided yet which one of these songs we will create the music video for, however a hula will have to be coreographed for the song we choose. This task will be completed my our hula group leader Taraya Nahlani Middleton. In the long term she will create a hula for both songs for when we perform them live. This is very exciting!
- On February 3, 2018 all 21 members of the Pirate Jim Ukulele Posse will board a plane in Calgary and fly to Kaua'i.
- Pirate Jim's Ukulele Posse will stay in two houses and one hotel room during the duration of the trip.
- They will be registered for the week long 2018 Aloha Music Camp and attend the many events, classes and concerts focused on ukulele, slack key guitar, hula, oli, craft making, lei making and more. They will also gain a deep understanding of the spirit of aloha and Hawaiian value of ho'okipa. Who better to learn this from then the master of the Nahenahe Slack-Key Guitar styles then Keloa Beamer?
- On Saturday February 10, 2018 and Sunday February 11, 2018 we will record two songs and film the music video. Sunday morning we will have a good old fashioned Calgary Stampede Pancake breakfast as well as some Hawaiian style Lu'au favourites for lunch and dinner. Dress like a paniolo just like we would at the Stampede.
- On Monday February 12, 2018 we will board a plane back to Calgary where the white hat "Howdy Folks" will be waiting for our return.
Most of the music video filming and audio recording will be done at the two locations in Kapa'a that we will rent, but some may also be done here in Calgary. The behind the scenes video may include shots from outside of these filming locations. Below are some pictures of the houses we will film and record in.
The Aloha Music Camp:
Attending the Aloha Music Camp is an essential component of this project. It is the place where all the cultural and musical sharing will happen. Without the camp we could create these songs and videos anywhere, but it would not be the same. We need to learn more about the Hawaiian value of ho'okipa in Hawaii and then share our Western Hospitality at the same time. Staying in Calgary would just be paying lip service to the true meaning behind the songs. Watch this video about the Aloha Music Camp to get the idea:
Meet the cast and crew of "The Ho'okipa Project":
My name is Tim Hamilton and have been playing ukulele for 3 years. I am 73 years old and am still working full time as an Employee Relations Specialist. Like my golf game, I am not the best player, but I enjoy playing the ukulele and presently play with three different groups. During the past 5 years I have played with the Alberta Firefighters and the Calgary International Airport Pipe Band as a bass drummer and in 2013 as a member of a Western Canadian mass band, we were invited to be guests of the Chinese Gov’t and play for the week at a cultural celebration in Beijing. My crowning achievement so far in life was getting my wife to join me in learning how to play the ukulele.
Adam was a Chimp raised on the streets of NYC. Music was his only outlet for his troubled life. He learned to play piano by sneaking into Julliard after hours and mimicking the students practicing. With his new skills, he took to the streets of NYC to perform for the street crowds to make a living. Life was still hard though, and due to crossing the Parakeet Named Charlie, Adam found himself tossed into the Eat River by some colourful characters. Mostly Parrots. Adam was rescued from the river by Pirate Jim and his crew, whom he joined. And then he woke up, and realized he was a human after all. It was all a dream. He was merely just another working stiff with an enjoyment for the ukulele, and a craving for bananas. Mmmmmm Bananas!
Marlene is a hula dancer, marathon runner, body builder, poker player and full-time bank courier driver. She has run in the Edmonton Marathon, Red Deer Marathon, Athens Marathon, Honolulu Marathon and more... Ask her and she will show you all her medals!!! Oh yeah, we forgot to mention she is turning 75 on April 11, 2018!
Aloha! Cherie (Kelela) and John (Keoni) Musselwhite have been playing ukulele for four years after picking it up so they could play music together. John is a former professional musician and has been a Registered Piano Technician for over 30 years. Cherie is a talented textile fabricator and works with interior designers making everything from custom cushions and pillows to clothing, costumes and upholstery. They have three beautiful grandchildren who also love the ukulele.
Ena Rose loves to sing, dance and have fun with her little brother Aaron. She is looking forward to learning to dance hula and play her ukulele better. Aloha!
My name is Brad Tomlinson and my Hawaiian name is Kamaka which was given to me by my Kumu Ukulele. I live part time on Maui and play with 808 Ukejams when on island. I play a 6 string tenor with a lot of beautiful inlay including a dragon motif. I love music, Ukulele, surfing and Hawaii. Mahalo!
Avery Samuelson is a Cowboy at heart. He is #25 on his Pee Wee Football team "The Cowboy's" and he lead his team to the City Championship game last season after going undefeated all year. He is also one heck of an ukulele player if you can catch him playing.
Taraya Nahlani Middleton is the owner and creative director of NahlaniDance Productions. She has been studying Hula since 2006, but has experience with Ballet, Jazz, Irish, Belly Dance, Bollywood, and Burlesque styles as well. She travels frequently to Hawai'i to study with master instructors known as Kumu. Taraya's Kumu are world renowned and some are cultural ambassadors for the state of Hawai'i. Taraya was blessed with the Hawaiian name, Nahlani, by Uncle Richard Ho'opi'i, a slack key guitarist and falsetto singer, who visited Calgary in 2012. Taraya had the honour to perform alongside him during the evening's concert. Taraya will be the choreographer for the hula in our music video.
‘A’a i ka hula, waiho ka hilahila i ka hale. – When one wants to dance the hula, shyness should be left at home. This saying resides on a magnet posted on my fridge – an integral mantra which forms the basis of my quest to integrate the essence of Aloha in all that I am and to which I aspire. Over the years, I have been blessed with many opportunities to experience the Hawaiian mana (spirit) first-hand and, as the connection to the islands deepened, my desire for greater immersion flourished. I am but a humble haumana (student) of ola (life), forever grateful for the blessings of many generous kumu (teacher) willing to share their ike (knowledge ) in oli (chant), mele (music), language, and especially hula and ukulele.
A singer and life-long dancer, Marrieta was blessed to have spent her entire life surrounded by artists and their crafts. As a youngster in Manila, she took Hula and Tahitian Dance classes shortly before her family moved to Canada. She is currently studying Hula with Nahlani. Marrieta is also a flamenco dancer and is a Karuna Reiki® Master Practitioner.
We say a couple that sings together stays together. Well music has defined so much of my relationship to my husband Jim. I've always had a love of singing and playing saxaphone throughout school but didn't begin playing ukulele until after Jim had began going to the Aloha Music camp. 7 years later our ukulele group has become another family unit and a place to leave the stresses of life. We are so happy to share our Tuesday night's with the amazing people of our Ukulele group.
"Pirate" Jim Kimo Samuelson - "Pirate Jim" is a performer, entrepreneur, teacher, musician and mailman. His performance career started at the age of 7 performing with the Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede. Later in life, he co-founded the high energy musical comedy group The Backscratch Brothers that toured the Canadian Fringe Festival circuit in the early 90's and produced a local television sketch comedy show on Shaw Cable called "Scratch This!" After this Jim was extremely fortunate to tour Canada and the western United States (including Hawaii), with the "Rocky Mountain Roots" group The Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have released 4 cd's over the years that are still for sale on iTunes and CDBaby. In 2007 he began his artistic journey through Hawaiian music, culture, hula and oli (chanting). Although he is a proud born and raised Calgarian, Pirate Jim has a truly Hawaiian heart and respect for the Hawaiian culture and philosophy behind the aloha spirit. He can't wait to share it with you!
The art of hula dancing and the rich, captivating Hawaiian culture have been interests of Emily’s since she was merely ten years old. Growing up, she got her hands on anything that pertained to Hawaiian lifestyle and between the ages of 17 and 24 she was able to adventure to the island of Maui three times; it’s safe to say she is obsessed. In 2016, Emily was lucky enough to have NahlaniDance recommended to her, and for the last year she has been a student learning under the guidance of Nahlani. Emily recently had the opportunity to participate in her first performance and now she cannot wait to perform more; she loves being a part of the NahlaniDance family! It has been, and will continue to be, a fabulous way for Emily to express her passion for the Hawaiian islands and the elegant dance form that they have to offer the world. When Emily isn’t in a pa’u skirt and bare feet, dancing up a storm, she can be found happily working away as an interior designer, or running around with a camera, dappling in the art of digital photography.
Nathan is 13 year social media genius. His youtube videos have been seen by over 10,265 people worldwide and the number is still growing today. He is able to grab and keep your attention online by simply eating a Big Mac.
Check it out:
My name is Susan Roberts. I am an avid outdoors person who enjoys cross-country skiing, hiking, tennis and bicycle riding. Someday I hope to add surfing to my list. I began playing ukulele about a year ago. I am an elementary school teacher. I feel very fortunate to have discovered and joined Pirate Jim’s ukulele group eight months ago.
Norm Sparks has spent a lifetime in radio, TV, and video production with many awards including 'Best Documentary' in the international Big House Film Festival. Norm was producing and directing music videos for bands before there even was an MTV or MuchMusicTV and continues with untold successes today in his video production company. Playing guitar at an early age Norm has been an active Bass Guitar player for decades. A long-time love of Hawaiian music and a chance meeting with Pirate Jim and Stanis on a soccer pitch led to an amazing bonding, being a part of Jim's band for many years since. Picking up a U-Bass on a trip to Maui, Norm never looked back and has played bass with Jim on many gigs over the years. "It's such a blessing being a joyful part of the musical ohana led by Pirate Jim."
Aaron has been coming to Pirate Jim's Kanikapila since before he was born. He literally was strumming an ukulele in the womb and kicking his feet at the same time sitting on the couch at Bignote Music Tuesday nights (ask his mom, she will back this up) . Don't tell anyone, but he is also Captain America on his days off from kindergarten.
Denise has been playing the ukulele for four years, starting after her husband gave her one for Christmas. Although no one she knew, and none of her family played it, she persisted, and taught herself. After realizing that she needed to connect with other ukulele players in order to improve her playing and - let's face it- to find her people, she sought out and found Pirate Jim's Kanikapila and she hasn't looked back since.
The Project Budget
With all the good news comes the bad. Unfortunately it costs a lot of money for a band of 21 ukulele players an hula dancers to travel from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Kapa'a, Kaua'i, Hawaii. So here's how things break down.
Travel Expenses - $43,842.87
(21 Flights, 2 houses, 1 hotel room, 3 Airport shuttles)
Aloha Music Camp Registration - $42,800.41
(Registration for 17 adults and 4 children, all meals during camp)
Sound and Video Production - $8600.00
Kickstarter Fundraising and Stripe Transaction Fees - $9924.32
Backer Swag, CD's & DVD's - $1000
Shipping Costs of Backer Rewards - $3000 (based on 1000 backers)
Risks and challenges
As with every project, there are risks and challenges. Two of the biggest risks and challenges in this project are the audio and sound production. Luckily we have two highly skilled people in the Pirate Jim Posse that are video and audio technicians already. Norm Sparks owns his own video production company in Calgary and Rodger Leeder is a live and studio recording engineer. The next big challenge is the travel and Aloha Music Camp tuition costs. They are the biggest parts of the budget. With proper fundraising, these costs will be covered and our project will reach completion without any problems. With 21 people raising the money together I feel we are more than capable of overcoming all obstacles.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)