Keola and Moana Beamer, Hawaii’s First Music Couple, tour the world to present their unique vision of Hawaii’s cultural arts and to share aloha. Keola, a master musician and slack key artist, who earned a place on Billboard’s Top World Music Albums Chart, and Moana, renowned for her mastery of authentic hula dancing, bring life to the natural beauty and cultural awareness that makes Hawaii uniquely appealing.
“Since my husband and I began touring together, the value of connecting with different communities has been quite apparent to us,” said Moana. “Over time, it seems our work has opened numerous paths for sharing aloha around the world.”
Moana reflected, “One such path began as an opportunity to meet and work with Emmy-award-winning filmmaker Dr. Tom Vendetti on a film project called ‘The Quietest Place’. We hit it off and from there followed an invitation to participate in a film festival Vendetti had begun in Cambodia, where a large group of enthusiastic children prepared a hula performance to welcome us.”
“Keola wondered aloud what these children might also accomplish with a ukulele in their hands,” said Moana. “The instrument that many of us here in Hawaii have been blessed to grow up with—four strings, simple, portable, historically well-traveled, versatile. Perfect!”
The following year, the hotel that sponsored the Angkor Wat Film Festival had generously agreed to host the Beamer’s Ukulele Education Project, providing space for classes and meals for the children. Bringing teachers from their Aloha Music Camp, the Beamers’ taught 40 poverty-stricken children living in Cambodia how to play the ‘ukulele. The children are now performing concerts in Siem Reap. The Beamers’ hope to continue this effort, sharing the aloha spirit in Myanmar, as well as other places around the world.
“I am sure there can be no better outcome for those individuals who helped make it all possible,” Moana said. “But, best of all, for the children whose lives we were privileged to touch for a brief moment in time. It was one of those experiences that enlighten our sensibilities for a long time to come.”
Aloha Music Camp, a week-long immersion into the music, dance, and culture of Hawaii, provides ukuleles, and more, to persons who want to immerse themselves in island culture at the camp. For more camp information visit www.mohalahou.org and www.alohamusiccamp.com.