“Halelu: Songs of Christmas from Hawai`i” the songs:
Po La`i E/Silent Night
Performed by Pueo Pata and Leimana Abenes, their soaring falsetto voices captivate as they sing this standard first in Hawaiian and then in English.
- Winter Wonderland
Ata Damasco charms us with his distinctly Hawaiian voice singing about snow and sleigh rides! Pueo and Kai back him on harmonies and instrumentation.
- E Halelu!
In her first ever song composition, Joni set to music a Bible passage rejoicing in the birth of Christ: “E halelu aku ia Iehova, e na mea mai ka lani mai, e halelu aku ma na wahi ki`eki`e” – Praise the Lord, from the skies, praise him high above the earth. Performed with her Ahumanu partner, Liz Morales.
- Mele Kalikimaka
“Mele Kalikimaka” is how we say “Merry Christmas” in Hawai`i! Performed by Leimana Abenes.
- Song of Christmas
Hawaii’s beloved singer/composer Kui Lee wrote this song while in New York. Performed by the Hula Honeys with Bobby Ingano on steel guitar and Cliff Collins on upright bass.
- Hanau `Ia `O Iesu/Jesus Was Born
Performed by Kaiolohia Funes Smith. Kai learned this song for a Christmas program at Hana Elementary School, and it’s been a favorite of his ever since.
(Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett)
This mele honors the snow goddess of Mauna Kea on Hawai`i Island. Although not composed as a Christmas song, its images of snow and Bulla’s moving vocal and guitar arrangements make it a fitting contribution to this project.
- Taro Patch Christmas
Lei`ohu shares memories of her childhood Christmas celebrations on the family’s ancestral land on the windward side of O`ahu. Music and local delicacies were a big part of the festivities. She is joined by some of her 7th grade students at `Iao Intermediate School.
- Mele Kalikimaka Ia `Oe
(Mary Kawena Pukui)
A lively song of the season performed by Pueo.
- Sleigh Ride
Performed by Gypsy Pacific (Tom Conway, Willy Wainwright, Phil Benoit & Marcus Johnson). Fasten your seatbelt as Gypsy Pacific takes you on their version of a sleigh ride!