“Honoka`a Loves Music” Exhibit Opens Friday

August 21, 2013, 3:19 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 7:03 PM
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“Honoka`a Loves Music,” an exhibit celebrating the legacy of musicians and music in the Hamakua community, opens this Friday, 4 p.m., at the Heritage Center in Honoka`a.

The public is invited to the Aug. 23 opening. Members of the Honoka`a High School Jazz Band will perform.

The exhibit begins with Hawaiian oli (chants) of Hamakua, and notes that the district had the second oldest community band on the island in 1884. After World War II, the Honoka`a Band was reorganized and became known as the Hamakua County Band.

The exhibit also features plantation bands that toured from camp to camp playing at manso dances (a type of taxi dance) and other events. Groups like the Harmonizers and Bob Fernandez Orchestra were largely made up of plantation workers who would spend their weekends playing music.

This year marks the 35th since Honokaa High School music teacher Gary Washburn created the school’s renowned Jazz Band and Ensemble. The exhibit contains a retrospective on the band as well as some featured performers who have gone on to careers in music.


The exhibit will be open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, at the Heritage Center, 45-539 Plumeria St.


The Heritage Center is part of the North Hawaii Education and Research Center, University of Hawaii at Hilo.

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