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Hawaiian music returns to Grammy Museum

  • COURTESY MELE MEI

    Halau Hula O Lilnoe from Carson, California perform during Mele Mei in L.A. at the Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles in 2016. Henry Kapono will headline a concert at the museum on Feb. 8.

  • COURTESY MELE MEI

    Bobby Moderow performs at the Grammy Museum in 2016. He’ll return to Los Angeles next month to lead a private music workshop at the museum on Feb. 8 before taking part in the “We Are Friends: A Lifetime Party of ‘70s Music” concert that evening.

Henry Kapono, Malani Bilyeu and Gaylord Holomalia will be joined on stage in Los Angeles next month by Johnny Valentine, Alx Kawakami, Blayne Asing and Kalani Pe‘a when “We Are Friends: A Lifetime Party of ’70s Music” opens at the Grammy Museum Feb. 8.

This is the second year in a row the Grammy Museum, a 30,000-square foot space located within the L.A. Live entertainment district near the University of Southern California, has partnered with the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts with support from the Hawaii Tourism Authority and presenting sponsor Outrigger Resorts to produce an exhibit focused on Hawaiian music. The museum unveiled a newly built 20-foot display case dedicated to Hawaiian slack key guitar in 2016, which included instruments, album covers, concert posters, archival photos and signature performance attire from Gabby Pahinui, Dennis Kamakahi and Ledward Kaapana.

For 2017, “We Are Friends” will turn back the clock to a time when bands like Country Comfort, Olomana, Kalapana and Sunday Manoa were in their prime. Along with archival photos, press kits and promotional flyers, the display case will feature the guitar Cyril Pahinui used while recording with his Sandwich Isle Band and his father’s Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band next to one he used while playing with the Peter Moon Band.

In addition, a significant portion of the fourth-floor exhibit will focus on the success of Cecilio & Kapono, displaying items like the 1978 Na Hoku Hanohano Award the duo received for “Night Music,” a program from their 1976 concert at Aloha Stadium and the suitcase former C&K tour manager Johnny Isara used while on the road. Kapono’s Grammy nomination medal and certificate for his 2006 solo album, “The Wild Hawaiian,” will also be part of the exhibit.

“The artifacts that will be on display … really place a much-deserved spotlight on the music of the ‘Hawaiian Renaissance’ of the 1970s,” said Grammy Foundation vice president Scott Goldman in a statement. “I’m confident even the most seasoned Hawaii music fans will learn something new.”

“We Are Friends: A Lifetime Party of ’70s Music” will be on display at the Grammy Museum through April 2 and also serves as the official launch of Mele Mei, a monthlong celebration of Hawaiian music, hula and culture held at various venues around the state. After wrapping up its run in Los Angeles, the exhibit will be transported to Honolulu and expanded before reopening April 16 at the Hawaii Convention Center.

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‘WE ARE FRIENDS: A LIFETIME PARTY OF ‘70S MUSIC’

With Henry Kapono, Johnny Valentine, Alx Kawakami, Blayne Asing, Malani Bilyeu, Galord Holomalia and Kalani Pe‘a

>> Where: The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, Los Angeles

>> When: 8 p.m. Feb. 8

>> Cost: $35

>> Info: axs.com, melemei.com

>> Note: A free public dedication of the new exhibition will take place at 4 p.m. Feb. 8 at the museum

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