Whittier College News Release
Dec. 20, 2002
Contact: Judy Browning at (562) 907-4216
Hawaii’s Willie K. in Concert at Whittier College
WHAT: Singer-songwriter-entertainer Willie K. in concert
WHEN: 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, 2003
The Ruth B. Shannon Center
for the Performing Arts at Whittier
13406 Philadelphia Street, Whittier
ADD: Returning to the Shannon Center for his second appearance, Willie K. brings his unique and varied style to a one-of-a-kind solo concert.
Raised on Maui, Willie Kahaiali`i has been playing music and entertaining audiences since the age of 10. His father, Manu Kahaiali`i, one of Hawaii’s most respected musicians, recruited Willie and his brothers to perform in his band. From the very beginning, Willie was influenced by and exposed to a myriad of musical genres; from the Hawaiian, jazz, and early R&B he heard at his father’s side, to the sounds emanating from the radio and TV from musical giants such as B.B. King, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and Willie Nelson. By his high school graduation, Willie was playing in as many as eight bands, with styles including country and western, salsa, rhythm and blues, rock, and of course Hawaiian.
His first three albums changed the direction of contemporary Hawaiian music, and he swept up Na Hoku Hanohano (Hoku)—the Hawaiian Grammy—awards from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts.
After two more recording efforts, he took a break from recording his own music and teamed up with a new talent, Amy Hanaiali`i Gilliom. He produced three albums with Amy for the Mountain Apple Company and earned two more Hoku awards for producer of the year, while Amy won album of the year, female vocalist, song of the year, and Hawaiian album of the year awards.
In 1999, he released a Christmas album, Willie Kalikimaka, which reflected Willie's favorite songs for the season and ended up being the biggest selling Christmas CD in 1999, while rising to #11 on Billboard magazine’s Worldbeat charts.
The beginning of 2000 also brought forth a new CD, The Uncle In Me, which compiles the best of his music into a single recording. The songs, which have been Willie’s trademark pieces, were unavailable on the market for years. The Uncle in Me brings these songs back to the ears of Willie K. fans, digitally re-mastered to highlight his extraordinary musical and vocal talents.
Awihilima: Reflections, Willie K.’s first solo album of all traditional Hawaiian music, recently debuted at #10 on Billboard’s Worldbeat charts.
INFORMATION: Call the Shannon Center Box Office at (562) 907-4203
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