Kaliko Beamer Trapp will always hold a special place in my heart. He is the instructor who took this faltering, struggling ‘ukulele beginner with six thumbs on each hand, and got her to the point where she could change chords, strum, and sing (in Hawaiian). . . . .all at the same time. . . . .and with a certain amount of ease! So Kaliko was a natural choice to teach our beginning ‘ukulele classes at the Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat. . . . . .and this year, we were finally able to nab him!
But, teaching beginning ‘ukulele is just the tip of the iceberg.
Kaliko, is the hānai (adopted) son of the late Aunty Nona Beamer and brother of famed Hawaiian slack key guitarist, Keola Beamer. He is an avid student of Polynesian culture and language and is a lecturer in Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. And he’s a fabulous story teller who lovingly, and respectfully, recounts the ancient tales of his adopted homeland. He will be bringing all of that with him to this Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat, October 15 – 21, at the Kohala Village Inn in Hawi.
In addition to teaching ‘ukulele for beginners, Kaliko will be teaching a workshop on rhythm (something we all can use) with traditional Hawaiian percussion instruments and another workshop focusing on “Hawai’i Aloha,” the beautiful song that traditionally closes any Hawaiian gathering or ceremony. His students will also learn the meaning and correct pronunciation of the Hawaiian words. (Imagine if you heard a visitor enthusiastically singing “Tinkle, tinkle, little star!”. . . . .Don’t be that person!)
He will also be offering delightful storytelling sessions each day after lunch, Ha’i Mo’olelo, accompanied by a Hawaiian mele, or song. And Kaliko will also be our personal guide for an optional visit to Pu’ukoholā Heiau, a temple built by King Kamahameha and dedicated to Kū, the Hawaiian war god. There’s a fascinating story there no visitor to North Kohala should miss.
Kaliko’s fun-loving approach to ʻukulele and his ability to make everyone feel at ease as they chart new territory will be a huge benefit to all beginners at this year’s retreat. But what he brings for everyone else is every bit as valuable: a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Hawaiian music, culture, history, language, and tradition . . . . . a very important piece of the puzzle that makes up this year’s Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat. We sincerely hope you can join us.
(Hurry! We only have 4 rooms left!)