“Summer Unplugged” Concert Series Heats Up at Volcano Art Center

This summer is all about music at the Volcano Art Center on Hawaii’s Big Island, and there is no better way to appreciate this ancient art than with a contemporary acoustic concert series. Starting in June, Summer Unplugged kicks off an unforgettable lineup of four intimate evenings generously seasoned with heartfelt “talk story” time from its remarkably personable stars.

“This music series is overflowing with talent,” stated Volcano Art Center’s Concerts and Performances Coordinator David Wallerstein. “With only 100 tickets available per show, each night is guaranteed to be an intimate and powerful event.”

Jeff Peterson

The opening night of Summer Unplugged features the multiple Grammy and Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner Jeff Peterson. Born on the slopes of Haleakala on the Island of Maui, Peterson was reared on the vanishing traditions of the paniolo, or Hawaiian cowboy, and the enduring heritage of Hawaiian music beloved by his paniolo father.

Peterson boasts a stunning discography, including five solo recordings showcasing his slack key guitar artistry: Kahealani (2003), Slack Key Jazz (2005), The Artistry of Jeff Peterson (2006), Pure Slack Key (2007) and Maui On My Mind (2009). He has worked with an overabundance of noteworthy musicians, including Eric Clapton, James Galway, Aaron Neville, Boz Scaggs, shakuhachi master Riley Lee and the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra.

Barry Flanagan of HAPA at the Royal Kona Resort

Barry Flanagan of HAPA at the Royal Kona Resort

Summer Unplugged featuring Jeff Peterson will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus in Volcano Village. The remainder of the series will feature headlining performances from HAPA’s Barry Flanagan (July 7), John Cruz (August 25) and Peter Moon, Jr. (September 22).

Tickets are on sale now at www.volcanoartcenter.org or VAC Niaulani for $25 ($22.50 for VAC members). For more information, contact VAC’s Concerts and Performances Coordinator David Wallerstein at (808) 967-8222 or concerts@volcanoartcenter.com.

Volcano Art Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created in 1974 whose mission is to promote, develop and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii through the arts and education.

A Celebration of Lo`ea Hula Charles Kauhi Ka`upu with HAPA

Volcano Art Center’s Spring Concert Series continues on Saturday May 12 with HAPA“A Celebration of Lo`ea Hula Charles Kauhi Ka`upu ” in a concert to celebrate the life of one of Hawaii’s great Chanters. Surrounded by the lush forest and Halemaumau, Kilauea Military Camp’s Kilauea Theater will be the place to be with unforgettable performances by Barry and Ron as they celebrate their “music brother”.


Guests are invited to come at 6:30 pm to join in chant and dance before the performance according to Volcano Art Center CEO Tanya Aynessazian. “Sharing the arts and celebrating Hawaii’s musicians is our mission. We believe in keeping art accessible and affordable for all, but as I have said in the past it’s the generous donations from our community that bring these great concerts to Volcano.”

“We are so excited to have Barry and Ron of HAPA performing and honoring the great art of Ol`i,” stated Concerts Coordinator David Wallerstein. “Charle’s expertise in `oli, the ancient art of Polynesian chant, is something that we want to celebrate with our elders and pass on to our keiki at Volcano Art Center. I promise a special and moving evening for all that join us.”

Wallerstein stated that he expects HAPA to sell out again, adding “we hope this wonderful evening will ignite a passion for music in all who attend and maybe inspire a few donations for this beautiful Polynesian art and Volcano Art Center.”

From HAPA’s humble beginnings when their self titled critically acclaimed album HAPA which captured all six Na Hoku Hanohano (Hawai’i’s grammys) awards for which it was nominated. To today with the incredible line-up of Barry Flanagan and Ron Kuala`au, HAPA’s brilliant artistry, musicianship and creativity affirms HAPA’s place among the greatest musicians of Hawaiian Music.

HAPA’s music evokes a place that many people at different times have referred to as heavenly. The overriding quality of their music is one of beauty and serenity, found in the majestic tones of oli (chant), mele (song), the elegant moments of the sacred dance known as Hula, and the exhilarating sounds of virtuoso slack key guitar.

The groups ground breaking music has established them as one of the most internationally recognized names in Hawaiian music since their debut release, with sold out shows from Honolulu, to Tokyo to New York…and again Volcano.

The concert with HAPA will begin at 7:00 p.m. with $35.00 tickets available for advance purchase at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani Campus, at VAC Art Gallery or online at www.volcanoartcenter.org. For more information, contact David at (808) 967-8222 or concerts@volcanoartcenter.com.

Volcano Art Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization created in 1974 whose mission is to promote, develop and perpetuate the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawaii through the arts and education.

Barry Flanagan of HAPA, Opens for Five for Fighting at the Royal Kona Resort

Last night was the Five for Fighting concert at the Royal Kona Resort and I just thought I’d write a quick post on Barry Flanagan, the guy that opened the concert for Five for Fighting.

Barry Flanagan of HAPA at the Royal Kona Resort

Barry Flanagan of HAPA at the Royal Kona Resort

Local boy Barry Flanagan of the group HAPA put on acoustic show that was awesome!  The weather was beautiful and the sun was just setting making for a great concert vibe.

Barry Flanagan opens for Five for Fighting at the Royal Kona Resort

A gorgesou Kona sunset

The Royal Kona Resort was the host of this great concert with Barry Flanagan and Five for Fighting and the amphitheater area of the resort was packed with folks.

Barry Flanagan of HAPA at the Royal Kona Resort

The crowd settles in for the concert

He talked to the crowd in between the songs and one thing he mentioned, was that when his group HAPA was touring recently… Sendai, Japan was the last stop of their tour so the Japan Tsunami has really affected him.


I spy a Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort worker in the crowd!

I caught him backstage after he opened and he was very emotional about doing his first solo performance in front of such a large crowd as he normally performs with the entire band.  He had the following to say about the Japan Tsunami disaster and is obviously still emotional about it:


Here is more information from his biography:

Barry Flanagan is an American singer-songwriter and musician and founder of the internationally acclaimed and award winning World Music group HAPA. Flanagan is known for his guitar-playing skills, vocal performances and ocean awareness projects. Born in New York City and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey, Flanagan came to the Hawaiian Islands in 1980 to study and explore the Art of Kiho Alu, or Slack-Key Guitar, and Haku Mele, Hawaiian poetic song composing. Flanagan heard the recordings of Ry Cooder and Hawaiian Slack Key icon Gabby Pahinui while living in Colorado, which inspired Flanagan’s first visit and eventual move to Hawaii. Flanagan immersed himself in Hawaiian Culture and Art, seeking out Native speakers, Teachers and Composers of Hawaiian Poetry along with legendary Hawaiian Slack key players, passionately studying all the indigenous art forms with Hawaii as the backdrop. An “eternal wellspring of inspiration for Artists and Writers from around the globe” is how Flanagan describes Hawaii.

A prolific composer and performer, and one of Hawaii’s most respected and celebrated Recording Artists and Producers, Barry Flanagan has composed some of Hawaii’s popular songs of the last three decades. In 1994, the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts honored Flanagan, and Hawaiian Language Professor S.H. Kiope Raymond, with the prestigious “Haku Mele” award, an acknowledgement for Excellence in the Art of Song Composition in the Native Hawaiian Language. In 2004, Flanagan co-composed a song with friend Kenny Loggins for his Grammy nominated “More Songs from Pooh Corner” release. The song, entitled “Hana Aluna Lullaby” includes a chorus in the Hawaiian language, making this the first song utilizing Hawaiian lyrics to receive that distinction.

HAPA’s benchmark self-entitled first release in 1994 still remains the number one selling recording by a group or duo in the history of recorded Hawaiian music, sweeping all six categories it was nominated for at the 1994 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, the Hawaiian equivalent of the Grammy’s. “HAPA” was Produced, Composed, and Arranged by Flanagan, with supporting vocal performances by Grammy Award winning singer Kenny Loggins and Guitar performance by Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Stephen Stills.

All follow up HAPA recordings, 1997’s “In The Name of Love”(“The year’s best album”-Honolulu Advertiser); 1999’s  “Namahana”(“A Masterpiece”-The San Francisco Chronicle) and 2005’s “MAUI”debuted in Billboard Magazine’s World Magazine’s Top Ten.

Currently, HAPA’s music can be heard in the Adam Sandler Movie “Just Go With It”, released in theaters Febuary 2011.

Director Dennis Dugan also featured HAPA as “the band” in the movie’s supper club scene shot on Maui in May 2010.