virtuoso

The Films of Eddie & Myrna Kamae
From the Heart

A co-presentation of PBS Hawai‘i and the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation

 

PBS Hawai‘i TV broadcast and online live stream: April 6-9

Films will be live streamed above. Scroll down for the broadcast schedule.

Films will also be available on this page for on-demand viewing April 10-17.

 

The late Eddie Kamae was a Renaissance man. Known for his vast musical contributions, he was also a filmmaker dedicated to documenting Hawai‘i’s cultural treasures for future generations. With his wife Myrna as producer, they sought to capture and uplift the voices of Hawai‘i’s legacies. They eventually founded a nonprofit, Hawaiian Legacy Foundation, which aims to perpetuate the cultural heritage of Hawai‘i.

 

PBS Hawai‘i is proud to partner with the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation in presenting The Films of Eddie and Myrna Kamae, From the Heart. Hosted by PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO Leslie Wilcox, the televised and online film festival will showcase the ten award-winning documentaries in The Hawaiian Legacy Series, released between 1988 and 2007. This is a celebration of the Kamaes as visionary cinematic storytellers who understood the value and urgency in preserving Hawai‘i’s cultural traditions.

 

Myrna and Eddie Kamae Film Festival

 

Two films airing Thursday, April 6, 8-10 pm:

Liʻa: Legacy of a Hawaiian Man

Liʻa: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man

(1988)

This award-winning documentary celebrates the music and spirit of Sam Li‘a Kalainaina, a performer and composer shaped by his home in remote Waipi‘o Valley on Hawai‘i Island.

 

Those Who Came Before
: The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae

Those Who Came Before: The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae

(2009)

The Kamae’s final documentary recounts Eddie’s own journey of musical self-discovery, a journey that led him to some of the most well respected gatekeepers of the Hawaiian Renaissance and grew into a 50-year pursuit of Hawaiian cultural and musical traditions.

 

 

Two films airing Friday, April 7, 8-10:30 pm

Lahaina: 
Waves of Change

Lahaina: Waves of Change

(2007)

In 1999, Lahaina’s plantation era came to an end with the closing of the West Maui town’s Pioneer Mill, the beating heart of Lahaina’s sugar industry. This film documents the last harvest, the last cane burning and the final days of operation at the mill, revealing a town with great historical and sacred significance, as well as the persistence to thrive into the future.

 

The History of the Sons of Hawai‘i

The History of the Sons of Hawaii

(2000)

Surveying 40 years of Hawai‘i’s rich musical traditions, this film tells the story of the Sons of Hawai‘i, the music group led by Eddie Kamae that helped launch the Hawaiian cultural renaissance.

 

 

Two films airing Saturday, April 8, 7-9 pm:

Kī hōʻalu Slack Key: The Hawaiian Way

Kī Hōʻalu: Slack Key, The Hawaiian Way

(1993)

A collection of candid interviews and archival images, combined with the music of an array of virtuoso performers, this film tells the story of Hawaiian slack key. It depicts how this unique style of playing has become fundamental to Hawai‘i’s musical, cultural and familial traditions.

 

Luther Kahekili Makekau: A One Kine Hawaiian Man

Luther Kahekili Makekau: A One Kine Hawaiian Man

(1997)

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Hawaii International Film Festival, this film constructs a rich portrait of a colorful and controversial Hawaiian man. Born on Maui in 1890 during the reign of King Kalākaua, Luther Makekau was part philosopher and part outlaw, a chanter, singer and poet, as well as a fighter and a cattle rustler, known throughout the islands for both his passion and his rebellious nature.

 

 

Four films airing Sunday, April 9, 12-4 pm:

Listen to the Forest

Listen to the Forest

(1991)

An environmental documentary that traces the destruction of Hawai‘i’s rainforests, this film calls for preservation and a return to the ecological wisdom that guided traditional Hawaiians’ connection to the land.

 

HAWAIIAN VOICES
: Bridging Past to Present

Hawaiian Voices: Bridging Past to Present

(1998)

This documentary honors the role of kupuna in preserving Hawaiian culture, and taps into the valuable memories and perspectives of three respected Hawaiian elders whose lives bridged the transition from older times into the late 20th century.

 

WORDS, EARTH & ALOHA: The Source of Hawaiian Music

Words, Earth & Aloha: The Source of Hawaiian Music

(1995)

Featuring some of Hawai‘i’s most respected cultural resources and talented performers, this documentary pays tribute to composers who flourished between the 1870s and the 1920s. The film looks closely at Hawaiian lyrics and the places that inspired them, and charts the evolution of Hawaiian music with the introduction of imported musical forms.

 

KEEPERS OF THE FLAME: The Cultural Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women

Keepers of the Flame: The Cultural Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women

(2005)

The lives of three extraordinary Hawaiian women, Mary Kawena Pukui, ‘Iolani Luahine and Edith Kanaka‘ole, are chronicled in this film. It shows how together, they combined their talents and commitment to reignite the flame of tradition in a time when Hawaiian culture was gravely threatened.

 


 

Those Who Came Before:

The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae

THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE
: The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae

 

Those Who Came Before tells the story of a young Hawaiian ʻukulele virtuosoʻs journey of musical self-discovery and how it turned into a 50-year pursuit of Hawaiian cultural and musical traditions.

 

The documentary pays tribute to the music of Hawaiians whose gifts of knowledge helped guide Eddie Kamae. His pursuit led him to some of the most respected gatekeepers of the Hawaiian Renaissance: the great author and translator Mary Kawena Pukui, the “Songwriter of Waipiʻo” Sam Liʻa, “Aloha Chant” author Pilahi Paki, and Hawaiian cultural resource Lilia “Mama” Hale. One by one, they entrusted him with key pieces of Hawaiʻi’s musical heritage – inspiring him to understand, perform, and pass that heritage on to the children of Hawaiʻi.

 

Those Who Came Before: The Musical Journey of Eddie Kamae is the 10th documentary from Eddie and Myrna Kamae’s celebrated and multiple award-winning Hawaiian Legacy Series.

 

Source: hawaiianlegacyfoundation.org

 

The History of the Sons of Hawaii

The History of the Sons of Hawai‘i

 

Some of the leading voices of the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance, which began in the early 1960s, were musicians and singers. Their songs carried feelings that were yearning to be expressed throughout the island chain. Among the most influential groups of that era was the Sons of Hawaii, led by Eddie Kamae, already famous for his ʻukukele styling, and by the great vocalist and slack-key guitar virtuoso, Gabby Pahinui, together with bassist Joe Marshall and the brilliant young steel guitar player David “Feet” Rogers.

 

This 80-minute feature length documentary, the seventh in the Kamaes’ award-winning Hawaiian Legacy Series, tells the story of a charismatic band. Spanning forty years of Hawaiʻi’s rich musical tradition, the film offer an intimate look at a unique group of performers and composers, their songs, their humor, their devotion to a sound that continues to convey something essential about the Hawaiian spirit.

 

“Eddie Kamae’s popularity as a musical renaissance man and leader of the seminal band
Sons of Hawaiʻi, has been eclipsed by his appetite for filmmaking and his ability to capture voices of Hawaiʻi’s musical and cultural legacies”
– Wayne Harada, Honolulu Advertiser

 

Source: hawaiianlegacyfoundation.org

 

Kī Hōʻalu: Slack Key, The Hawaiian Way

KĪ HŌʻALU SLACK KEY: The Hawaiian Way

 

This film is a moving journey into the beauty and meaning of Hawaiian slack key music. Director Eddie Kamae’s rare combination of master musician and cinematic storyteller is the key to showing how Hawaiʻi’s cultural traditions and the ki hoʻalu guitar intertwine, and opening the door to a greater love of that music.

 

Candid interviews and archival images combine with the music of many virtuoso performers, from the legendary Fred Punahou and Gabby Pahinui to Raymond Kane and today’s Ledward Kaapana, to tell the slack key story from the 1830s to the present. It shows you how this music perpetuates family tradition as songs, techniques and special string tunings are passed from one generation to the next.

 

All the main islands are visited, including seldom-seen Niʻihau, as Eddie Kamae explores this kind of Hawaiian music and its links with the people and places that have nourished it.

 

“A beloved document with candid interviews, virtuoso performances, impromptu dances, and some archival footage that tells, like never before, the precious story of slack key, from the early 19th century to the present.”
– Wayne Harada, Honolulu Advertiser

 

Source: hawaiianlegacyfoundation.org

 

Fireworks: The 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

Fireworks: The 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

 

This program chronicles a global search for the next generation of young concert artists. Held once every four years, 37 young classical violin virtuosos from around the world met and competed in the 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis for the top prize: a medal, a cash reward, a Carnegie Hall recital debut and the use of the 1683 Stradivarius owned by the late Josef Gingold – considered one of the most influential violin masters in the United States. The documentary takes viewers behind-the-scenes of the competition where they meet the contestants and see their performances; hear from judges, host families and other contest insiders; and witness the ups and downs of the competition as it culminates in the launching of a concert violinist’s career.

 

Joshua Bell’s Seasons of Cuba

 

Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell leads a LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER event with the Chamber Orchestra of Havana, composed of some of Cuba’s most accomplished classical musicians. Bell performs a range of selections, from Vivaldi classics to Piazzolla tangos and more, building a bridge between Cubans and American artists.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
American Ballet Theatre: A History

 

Delve into the rich, 75-year history of one of the world’s pre-eminent ballet companies. The documentary combines intimate rehearsal footage, virtuoso performances and interviews with American Ballet Theatre’s key figures including: Alicia Alonso and the late Donald Saddler and Frederic Franklin; contemporary luminaries, including dancers Susan Jaffe and Julie Kent, choreographer Alexei Ratmansky and artistic director Kevin McKenzie; past and present stars Misty Copeland, Gillian Murphy, Marcelo Gomes and Hee Seo.

 

AMERICAN MASTERS
Jascha Heifetz: God’s Fiddler

 

Discover the story of legendary musician Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987), the first truly modern violin virtuoso. Through vintage performances, master classes and Heifetz’ previously unseen home movies, this documentary portrays an artist for whom only perfection would do. New interviews include other great violinists influenced by Heifetz, including Itzhak Perlman, Ivry Gitlis and Ida Haendel, former students Ayke Agus and Sherry Kloss, and biographers John Anthony Maltese and Arthur Vered. They reveal how Heifetz was a mysterious, idiosyncratic, solitary figure who embodied the paradox of artistic genius: a dedication to his craft at all costs.

 

Benise: Strings of Passion

 

From his humble beginnings as a street musician to performing around the world, the American guitarist Benise takes viewers on an international journey of musical genres including salsa, flamenco, tango, waltz, samba and more. Known for his virtuoso “flamenco nouveau” style, Benise presents his Emmy-winning multi-cultural stage show where classic rock anthems are fused with fiery guitar and dance. Included in the lineup are songs from rock icons like Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Eagles and others.