KEALE: Hawai’ian music in Switzerland. Cousin of late Isreal Kamakawiwo’ole, performs 30. April 2015. Hawai’ian cultural event with performing artists. Hawai’i kommt in die Schweiz! Keale is producing Aina Kaula (Motherland). Click the link to hear about Keale’s album, and support his efforts with a contribution to his Kickstarter Project.


Moe Keale, uncle to Keale. Photo by George F. Lee.

The Hawai’i Event in Switzerland brings Keale’s music (mele: Hawaiian for song) to the stage! Lineage is important and Keale is an accomplished family name with musicality and other performing art talents. The Keale family includes Wilfred Nalani “Moe” Keale (03. December 1939-15. April 2002), an ukulele virtuoso and American actor. His acting roles included reoccuring role as Truck Kealoha on the original Hawai’i Five-O (1968-1980), and as Officer O’Saughnessy in The Brian Keith Show (September 1972-March 1974). Moe’s music includes:

  • Hawai’i’s Treasure: Uncle Moe Keale Live in Waikiki (2005)
  • South Sea Island Magic (2000)
  • Imagine (1996)
  • Aloha is a Part of Me (1995)

In an interview with Steven Wildsmith, “Hawai’ian musician… Keale brings island songs to East Tennessee,” and last updates 4. June 2014, Keale reveals himself as a reluctant performing artists. “I didn’t like to get attention,” commented Keale during his interview with Wildsmith, “because I thought God should be the focus. People would give me a compliment, and I would give guitars away and not play for three years, because I didn’t want to dishonor the Creator.” [Steven Wildsmith, of The Daily Times, writes for a family-owned periodical based Maryville, Tennessee of the Grate Smoky Mountains. Since 1883, the newspaper has delivered local news to its readers in the Blount County, Tennessee.] Wildsmith’s interview reveals Keale’s uncle visiting him the day following Moe’s death in 2002. Sitting on a beach, Moe sat next to Keale and encouraged him to deliver his music. “You are Keale,” Keale took away from their meeting. “It’s my family’s traditional name, and it means when the wave begins to crest. It means that’s the signal that the wave is coming,” Wildsmith reported from his interview.

Along side Keale’s uncle Moe is Keale’s cousin Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, who achieved fame for his Hawai’ian-style remake of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” For most of his life, Keale grew up as a fan of music, and even though he got his first ukulele at the age of 36, he never thought about performing publicly: “Why pick it up when you’re around these masters?” he said with a laugh.

Israel “Bruddah Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole discography: Studio albums:
  • Ka ‘Ano’i (1990)
  • Facing Future (1993)
  • E Ala E (1995)
  • N Dis Life (1996)

Compilation albums:

  • Iz in Concert: The Man and His Music (1998)
  • Alone in IZ World (2001)
  • Wonderful World (2007)
  • Over the Rainbow (2011)

Wildsmith’s interview uncovers Keale as the son of a father from Arkansas and native Hawai’ian mother. (His paternal grandfather’s uncle was Tom Mix, a silent film star.) He was reared in “Indian country” located outside of Yosemite National Park, where he  developed a taste for social justice issues through his interest in Native American rights. Keale’s path the music follows his work as a seminary professor, where he taught Hebrew and Greek. After being persuded by his uncle Moe, according to Wildsmith’s interview, “he realized that the shadows cast by his uncle and cousin were large ones to live up to.” The important message from Wildsmith’s reporting is Keale’s quote: I think that the number one thing for music to do is to share healing and unconditional love and justice. I talk a lot and do a lot of storytelling — I might do a 9-minute introduction to a 2-minute song — but I’m real easy with people, so it doesn’t feel awkward. I’m not an entertainer; I’m an educator, and that’s how I feel — that music is more educational than entertaining, because there’s always something to be said.”

Keale was reluctant to enter into the music scene because of what Moe and Iz experienced in the industry, as reported by Melissa Moniz, of MidWeek Publishings-an O’ahu Publication Company, with her interview with the musician in the summer of 2007. Moniz asked an interesting question: If you could just send out one message through your music, what would that be? In his interview, Keale replied: Ua Mau Ke Ea O Ka  ʻĀina I Ka Pono. The land does not breathe when we are not pono (Hawai’ian for righteous). As long as we are not pono, we’ve got to change. We have to really get on with it. It’s all about perpetuating this thing that Ke Akua (God) created. Save the date: 09. May 2015 to experience Hawai’ian culture with Keale and other Hawai’ian performing artists. Find the latest updates about the Hawai’i Event in Switzerland on Facebook: Sugar Cane Culture Club. Please Like and Share to bring the Hawai’i Event to Switzerland.

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