Sunday, March 26, 2017

Vespers: Iesu Me Ke Kanaka Waiwai

Kuana Torres Kahele and his band perform "Iesu Me Ke Kanaka Waiwai" (Jesus and The Rich Man).

In 1980 "Kanaka WaiWai" -- the story of Jesus and the rich man -- was Hawaii’s number one favorite; and it remains a statement of Hawaii’s aloha in religion and life. The popularity of the song also reflects Hawaii’s expansion by Christian missionaries, with the strong touch of that faith part of its ongoing traditions. Yet Japanese tourists and people from all walks of life enjoy its refrain, for the beauty of harmonious rhythms and verse. It is part of the lifestyle of Hawaii, reflecting the island's hula, its history and its arms that stretch out to include everyone, regardless of race or belief.

Kuana Torres Kahele, at age 17, and fellow falsetto musician Kehau Tamure laid the foundation in 1995 for what emerged as of the most popular Hawaiian Music groups to date, NA PALAPALAI. They released “Makani ‘Olu’olu” in 2002 to meteoric success and raves from critics. Kuana currently maintains his own Hawaiian Music & Culture School in Japan. He teaches in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka with over 200 combined students. He offers courses in voice, haku mele, mele hula, fresh lei making, ukulele and guitar. He is one of the most popular entertainers performing in Hawaii and Japan. He performs and teaches cultural workshops all over the world.

Along the road, Jesus
With a distinguished young man
Who was known for his wealth
The young man said,
"My good lord,
What must I do
To gain eternal life?"

"Give, give away all
Of your possessions
Then come and follow me
In order to gain eternal life"

The young man grieved
Over his wealth
Unwilling to sell and give all
To the poor and destitute
Jesus then turned
And answered the man,
"Rich man, you will not enter
The Kingdom of Heaven

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