Take five bluegrass musicians from across America, add one Grammy Award-winning Hawaiian slack key artist and you’ve got Bluegrass Meets Pili Grass. The Olowalu Outfit brings a mix of original and traditional bluegrass songs to the Big Island, where they’ll join Keoki Kahumoku in a week-long event featuring concerts and music workshops with all of theartists.
Enjoy the driving rhythm, soaring fiddling, hot picking, and sweet, tight harmonies of bluegrass music with musicians hailing from Appalachia, the West Coast, and Alaska. Music from Olowalu Outfit’s members Tyson Alteri, Chase Christie, Kate Hamre, Katy Rexford, and Rion Schmidt honors the first generation masters while bringing a fresh new energy to bluegrass and folk music.
Fifth generation slack-key guitarist Keoki Kahumoku began performing with his father, George Kahumoku, Jr., and his uncle, Moses Kahumoku, in 1990 at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii. Today, he’s a five-time Grammy winner with a passion for sharing the music of the islands.
Together on the Big Island for the first time, the Olowalu Outfit and Keoki Kahumoku present Bluegrass Meets Pili Grass, inviting music lovers and amateur musicians to enjoy concerts atvarious venues around the Big Island or to participate in several workshops. For more information, artist bios, and photos, please visit http://KeokiKahumoku.com or call 960-8385.
Complete schedule of events:
Complete schedule of events:
- Friday, March 11 at Hana Hou Restaurant in Naalehu, 5:30-8pm. Special menu featuring BBQ style ribs, chicken, and chili. For more information call 929-9717.
- Saturday, March 12 at Pahala Plantation House in Pahala, 7-9pm. For more information call 928-9811.
- Sunday, March 13 at St. Jude’s Episcopal Church in Ocean View for a morning service with Robert Domingos, 9am. Potluck lunch and music following service. For more information call 960-8385.
- Sunday, March 13 at Laupahoehoe State Park for the annual Tsunami Memorial, 5-6pm. For moreinformation call 960-8385.
- Tuesday, March 15 at Pakini Grill in Waimea, 8-10pm. For more information call 885-3333.
- Thursday, March 17 at Blue Dragon Coastal Cuisine and Musiquarium in Kawaihae, 6-9:30pm. For more information call 882-7771.
- Friday, March 18 at Queen Emma Community Center at Christ Church in Kealakekua, 7-9pm. Formore information call 323-8204 or 323-3429.
- Saturday, March 19 at Malama Honaunau Event at Pu’u Honua O Honaunau (City of Refuge),11am-12pm. Event is from 10-4. For more information call 960-8385.
- Saturday, March 19 at Imiloa Astronomy Center with Brittni Paiva, 7-9pm. For more information call 969-9700 or 960-8385.
WORKSHOPS AND CLASSES
- Saturday March 12: Classes at Pahala Plantation House featuring bluegrass fiddle, mandolin, bass,and guitar as well as Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukulele. Morning session, 9-11am and afternoon session, 1-3pm/$15.00 per session. For more information call 960-8385.
- Tuesday March 15 through Friday March 18: Aloha Bluegrass Academy for keiki, Queen EmmaCommunity Center at Christ Church in Kealakekua featuring bluegrass fiddle, mandolin, bass, and guitar as well as Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukulele. Sessions held daily from 10am-3pm. Early-bird registration $175; after March 4, $200. For more information call 323-8204 or 323-3429 or bluegrasscampsforkids.com.
- Wednesday, March 16: Adult Bluegrass Workshop, Queen Emma Community Center at ChristChurch in Kealakekua featuring bluegrass fiddle, mandolin, bass, and guitar as well as Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukulele. 7-9pm followed by a jam session. $30 includes two classes. For more information call 323-8204 or 323-3429 or bluegrasscampsforkids.com.
The Olowalu Outfit
Hailing from both Appalachia and the West Coast, the Olowalu Outfit plays a mix of original and traditional songs that honor the first generation masters while bringing afresh new energy to bluegrass and folk music. All the basic ingredients of great bluegrass are there – driving rhythm, soaring fiddling, hot picking, and sweet, tight harmonies. But what really grabs you is the passion and excitement they express through their music. All members of the Olowalu Outfit have been teaching bluegrass and folk music on Maui for the past five years, and are excited to share some of the musical traditions of the mainland with Hawaiian audiences.
Tyson Alteri -Mandolin, lead and harmony vocals
Tyson Alteri, originally from upstate New York, grew up surrounded by many kinds of music. Tyson’s extended family listened to, and played everything from delta blues to bigband swing; his Grandma Bea was an opera singer at Julliard who presented the national anthem at many a ball game (including for the Yankees.) Tyson has been playing music, specifically on the guitar since he was 12. He first fell in love with bluegrass in Alaska when he met climbers that liked to play bluegrass. His keen musical interests have led him to Spain to study Flamenco and to Cuba to learn Son Cubanos. Tyson co-founded the2009 Rockygrass band competition winners 49 Special and played the festival in 2010. Tyson now resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
Chase Christie – Guitar, lead and harmony vocals
Chase was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He grew up listening mostly to classical music and playing piano, but by time high school rolled around, he was more interested in playing rock n’ roll with his friends. For reasons still not fully understood, this developed into a love for acoustic music, and bluegrass in particular. Because his grandmother lived in Kihei all of his life, Chase developed an early love for Hawaiian culture and music and few things compare to the joy he feels playing his tenor ukulele. He now lives in the Bay Area and plays with his country band, The Whisky Richards, and enjoys traveling around the country and beyond, teaching camps and playing music.
Kate Hamre – Bass, lead and harmony vocals
Kate grew up in Anchorage, Alaska listening to her parents and friends play bluegrass, old tyme, and folk music. At the age of 14, she joined Bearfoot, a nationally touring band, and played festival such as Merlefest, Greyfox, Wintergrass, Rockygrass,and Telluride to name a few. As a Compass recording artist, Bearfoot cut their 4th album, called “Doors and Windows” in April 2009, which quickly rose to #1 in the Billboard Bluegrass Charts. Kate is also the director of the renowned bluegrass music education program, “Bluegrass Camps for Kids”, which has taught thousands of children internationally in the last decade. Kate has a B.S. in Elementary Education through the University of Idaho and is now teaching in San Francisco after leaving Bearfoot last April.
Katy Rexford – Fiddle, lead and harmony vocals
Katy grew up in North Carolina and began her musical career playing violin in her public school orchestra at age 8. She played her first fiddle tune that year and won first prize in the school talent show, setting her on a path to explore as many styles of traditional fiddle music as possible, including old time, country blues, Irish, Cajun, western swing,and many more. Now residing in San Francisco, Katy plays and sings with the honky-tonk band the Whisky Richards and Misisipi Rider. She has played and toured with Boz Scaggs, Michelle Shocked, Del Williams, Jesse Jay Harris, and more.
Rion Schmidt – Banjo, lead and harmony vocals
Rion Schmidt was born in Cordova, Alaska, and has traveled to the Hawaiian Islands five times to teach bluegrass music camps for kids. He likes long walks on the beach, and tiki torch dinners. Rion is a 15 year veteran of the banjo and has been teaching for 10years. His style of driving bluegrass banjo, was honed in the rugged mountains of Alaska among the glaciers and grizzlies, and although he now resides in Northern California, he dreams of someday building a lonely cabin among the towering spruce trees of his home.