Keali‘i Reichel’s Final Kūkahi This Weekend with Hālau Ke‘alaokamaile
The Maui Arts and Cultural Center presents Kūkahi 2020 featuring Keali‘i Reichel and Hālau Ke‘alaokamaile in three performances on Feb. 15 and 16 in the Castle Theater. The 2020 production will be Reichel’s final Kūkahi production, according to a MACC email announcement.
The shows feature hula, mele and chant in three shows: Saturday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Castle Theater.
Preshow festivities start at 5:30 p.m. in the Yokouchi Pavilion and include island crafters with displays of local arts and crafts for purchase. Preshow music and hula will be provided by the Kamehameha Schools Maui Campus Hawaiian Ensemble.
Reichel was born and raised on Maui, growing up in Lahaina and spending weekends and summers at his grandmother’s house in Pāʻia on the windward side of the island. His passion for the language and culture of Hawai‘i led him to become the founding director for Pūnana Leo O Maui, the Hawaiian language immersion school. He also founded his own hula school, Halau Ke‘alaokamaile, in 1980. Reichel is also recognized as an accomplished chanter.
In 1994 he independently produced and released a collection of Hawaiian traditional and contemporary songs and chants entitled “Kawaipunahele.” His subsequent music releases, “Lei Hali‘a” (1995), “E O Mai” (1997), “Melelana” (1999), and “Ke‘alaokamaile (2003) have cemented his place in the Hawaiian music industry.
All told, he has been awarded 38 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and two Grammy nominations, and his consistent placement in Billboard Magazine’s World Music and Heatseeker Charts has garnered him international attention.
Reichel has opened concerts for Bonnie Raitt, LeAnn Rimes, Celine Dion and Sting, and has played such diverse venues as Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, and consistently sells out concerts from Honoka‘a to Honolulu, Seattle to San Diego, Okinawa to Osaka. Reichel retains his initial goal of presenting new compositions in the Hawaiian language for hula students, and works to dispel long-held stereotypes of Hawai‘i’s living culture and her indigenous people.
Tickets are available at the MACC Box Office, by phone at (808) 242- SHOW, and online at MauiArts.org. Current MACC members receive a 10 percent discount and kids 12 and under are half-price (excludes $12 tickets).