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TO HONOR A QUEEN (E HO'OHIWAHIWA I KA MO'I WAHINE)
Ozzie Kotani
Label: Dancing Cat

 

 

Unlike many heads of state, Hawaiian Queen Lili'uokalani has a legacy in music as well as politics. Born in 1838 with the remarkable name Lydia Lili'u Loloku Walania Kamaka'eha, the future queen excelled at musical studies and was particularly interested in documenting Hawaiian culture. She became queen in 1887 and continued to compose even while imprisoned in a room with blacked-out windows after the 1893 coup that deposed her (and led to US annexation).

She wrote more than 150 songs, and on this CD Ozzie Kotani performs 13 of them on ki ho'alu (slack key guitar), sometimes adding original bits to the queen's melodies. From the festive "He 'Ai Na Kalani," a tribute to royal feasts, to his sublime interpretation of the well-known "Aloha 'Oe," Kotani conveys a reverence and respect for this amazing monarch while he provides us with some gorgeous listening.

©Scott Allan Stevens--2/1//02



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