Kahilu Theatre Presents ‘Island Breeze’

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Kahilu Theatre is proud to present a unique trio of world-class musicians, Island Breeze, Thursday, December 13, 2018, at 7 p.m.

Island Breeze. Courtesy photo.

Award-winning Hawaiian slack key guitarist Jeff Peterson and shakuhachi grand master Riley Lee joined forces with taiko master Kenny Endo during a weeklong residency in Honolulu in 2012. Each artist conducted intensive workshops and also sought to skillfully blend their individual styles together to create an inspired sound distinctive to the Hawaiian Islands. The trio put together a program of refreshing music as a result of their collaboration and presented it in concert at the University of Hawai‘i’s Orvis Auditorium. In August of 2014, the trio recorded Island Breeze, which was nominated for Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards (Hawai‘i’s version of the Grammys) for “Album of the Year” and for “Instrumental Song of the Year” in 2015.

Peterson was introduced to the rich heritage of Hawaiian music by his father, a paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) on Haleakala Ranch on the island of Maui.

Jeff Peterson. Courtesy photo.

Today, Peterson is at the heart of the Hawaiian music scene and is recognized as one of Hawai‘i’s most versatile musicians. His passion for the guitar has allowed him to shine as a solo artist and has given him the opportunity to collaborate with a wide variety of artists from Hawai‘i, across the US, and abroad. His focus on slack key guitar, classical, and
jazz music has allowed him to develop a unique and transcendent voice on theguitar while being deeply rooted in the traditions of his Hawaiian heritage.


Lee was the first non-Japanese person to play taiko professionally, touring internationally as a full-time performer and completing his BA and MA degrees in music at the University of Hawai‘i and receiving his PhD degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Riley Lee. Courtesy photo.

Riley began studying and playing the shakuhachi (bamboo flute) in Japan in 1971. Over the course of seven years the shakuhachi became the focal point of Riley’s performances as he grew increasingly immersed in the music and tradition of the instrument. In 1980, he was honored with the rank of Dai Shihan (grand master) and has continued to introduce the shakuhachi to a diverse audience as a soloist, with other performers, and through his teachings.

Endo is at the vanguard of the taiko genre, continually paving new paths for this Japanese style of drumming.

Kenny Endo. Courtesy photo.


A performer, composer, and teacher of taiko with numerous awards and accolades, Kenny Endo is a consummate artist, blending Japanese taiko with rhythms influenced from around the world into original melodies and improvisation. He is arguably one of the most versatile musicians in the genre, crossing easily between the classical Japanese style and his own neo-traditional, globally-inspired variety. Among his many distinctions are an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, an artist residency at the Lincoln Center Institute in New York, and his very own “Kenny Endo Day” proclaimed by the Mayor of Honolulu.

These world-class musicians will once again come together to create a unique blend of music crossing culture and tradition. Island Breeze will perform Thursday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. at the Kahilu Theatre. Tickets are $65/$45/$25 and can be purchased online, by phone (808) 885-6868 or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office located at 67-1186 Lindsey Road in Kamuela.

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