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 last year, and, of course we had to bring him back.
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 welcome addition and important piece of the puzzle that makes up the Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat.
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.
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!)
And he will tell us stories. Kaliko is a fabulous and gifted story teller who lovingly, and respectfully, recounts the ancient tales of his adopted homeland in the most entertaining manner. (Last year, Kaliko’s “story time” was the highlight of the afternoon for many of us.) Time permitting, he may 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, and other local historic sites.
We couldn’t ask for a more informed, compassionate, or entertaining guide as we explore the music, culture, and history of Hawai’i.
We sincerely hope you can join us.