Steel Trappings

Lei of Stars 2022

Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame: Lei of Stars 2022

December 2, 2022 • Daniel TremblayNews

On October 29, 2022 there was a Ceremony Dinner for the induction of this year's Honorees; there were about 275 people in attendance at the Ball Room of the Halekulani Hotel for this gala concert. I had the privilege and honor to attend as a member of the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame (HMHOF). I also had the great honor of sitting at the table of the family of Jules Ah See along with Alan Akaka who is the chairman of the HMHOF selection committee. Jules Ah See was one of the honorees this evening. Jules was a great steel guitar player in his day. He passed at the young age of 34 but left a great legacy in his short time.

This was my first time going to the Lei of Stars ceremony, which was the first in quite some time because of the pandemic. It was a little intimidating for me as I did not recognize anyone and many were in formal Hawaiian costume. I have learned that there are many great Hawaiian Steel guitar players that have been inducted in the past; you can see panels describing their careers at the Royal Room museum that is on the Waikiki Beach Walk, Lewers St. L-206 on the second floor. Last year David Feet Rogers was installed and Jerry Byrd, Joseph Kekuku were as well in past ceremonies. Past Hall of Fame entertainers who were featured steel guitarists or could also play the steel but were known either as a composer or entertainer include:

  • Sol K. Bright - led his own band on the steel, but better known for his compositions like "Hawaiian Cowboy," "Sophisticated Hula" and several others
  • Sol Ho‘opi‘i - one of the best and teacher for Sol K Bright
  • Gabby Pahinui - a very accomplished steeler known more as a slack key artist

The night provided great music from a variety of players and styles, Alan played some of Jules' songs on the very steel guitar that was once Jules', with Hula dancers in abundance; at one point there were about 100 hula dancers throughout the hall.

I also learned that the HMHOF supports educational programs that teach children throughout the islands music theory, song and Hawaiian culture and history. I highly recommend that you visit the Royal Room when you are next in Honolulu and consider joining as a member to help them further honoring these great individuals and groups and while nurturing the youth with educational programs.

HMHoF
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HIMELE is a Hawai‘i non-profit corporation that supports music enrichment and education for people of all ages. Our purpose is to educate, promote, and perpetuate Hawaiian music, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian musical instruments.