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Arts & Entertainment

Susie Contreras and Grace Liao, editors

 

Hawai'i artists reflect on Asian roots

Enriched by Diversity is a semi-permanent exhibit at the Hawai‘i State Art Museum that features 108 artists from many different countries and backgrounds, united by their reflection, in their art, of Hawai‘i themes. [More]


Russell Wee used the Raku-firing technique when creating, Carbon Flash, a ceramic vase dusted with copper carbonate. Using this method he was able to incorporate color onto a simple white vessel.

Photo by Susie Contreras

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Chinese art comes to downtown Honolulu

Looking for affordable Chinese art? An exhibit of traditional Chinese pottery is on display and for sale at the China Porcelain Fair, 1146 Fort St., from March 5 to April 6. It’s open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. [More]


A smooth wooden box with yellow linen cushioning the set of teapot and teacups. This set is made for daily use, to taste the fragrance of Chinese tea.

Photo by Grace Liao

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U2: More than just a band?

Is there anything left to achieve after 21 Grammy awards, more than 200 million albums sold, and acclamation as the world’s greatest rock band? For U2 there is, according to the lead singer Bono – to put an end to poverty and to fight against AIDS in Africa. [More]


Lead singer Bono of U2.

Web photo

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Going bananas over Jack’s CD
by Marquise Brack, staff writer

Jack Johnson’s new album, Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies, for the film Curious George, was released on Feb. 7 and was listed at No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s Top 200 albums and rock albums charts on Feb. 16, not only a first for Jack Johnson, but for any Hawaiian artist.

Johnson lends the mellow acoustics of his guitar and soothing vocals to all 13 tracks on Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies. He is joined by Adam Topol on drums, Merlo Podlewski on bass, and Zach Gill on piano and backup vocals. Guest vocalists include: Ben Harper, G. Love, Matt Costa, and Kawika Kahiapo.

A North Shore native, Johnson wrote seven songs for the Universal Studio’s film, including the tracks “Upside Down,” “Broken,” and “People Watching.” He produced Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies with Robert Carranza.

The album is similar to Johnson’s previous releases, and he refreshes the romantic acoustic melodies that are his distinctive sound. The lyrics are playfully appropriate for the children’s film, yet Johnson takes advantage of the opportunity to incorporate important teachings into the gentle harmony of his songs. He integrates societal values such as recycling and sharing, and he encourages his audience to make the world a better place, especially in the track “With My Own Two Hands.”

Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies, Johnson’s fourth full-length compilation, had fans excited in anticipation of its release. Though the album might generate a nostalgic feeling of being in a kindergarten classroom, or playing on a jungle gym at recess, it carries an infectious melody that curiously appeals to every listener’s inner child.

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Island Shadows: Art in Clay and Bronze

Exhibit: March 30—June 18, Honolulu Academy of Arts
Celebrated for ceramics and cast-bronze sculpture alike, David Kuraoka, 60, creates work that is exquisite in shape, color, and surface. Originally from Lihue, and a member of the art faculty at San Francisco State University since 1971, Kuraoka has been involved with clay for almost four decades. This exhibition showcases a selection of his works from across his best-known media. [More]


Kuraoka makes large-scale architectural statements out of wall murals composed of pit-fired or glazed tiles.

Photo Courtesy Honolulu Academy of Arts

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Hawai'i fans 'can't help falling in love' with UB40

UB40 didn’t perform all of its greatest hits at the second of its two concerts at the Waikiki Shell, but it performed most of them. Even though rain soaked audience members at the beginning, most were happy to just pull on plastic ponchos and sing and dance along with UB40’s “Kingston Town,” “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You,” and of course “Red Red Wine.” [More]


British reggae band UB40 played two concerts for fans at the Waikiki Shell.

Photo by Baxter Cepeda

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Celebrate Earth Day with Jack Johnson
by Marquise Brack, staff writer

On Earth Day, April 22, Jack Johnson will host the third annual Kokua Festival at the Waikiki Shell in Honolulu.

The benefit will promote environmental awareness in Hawai‘i and will feature a variety of organic food and beverage vendors and booths with eco-friendly businesses, environmentally active groups, and alternative energy demonstrations.

Soulful vocalist Ben Harper, local reggae artist Paula Fuga, funk-band ALO, and legendary country artist Willie Nelson will join Johnson on stage.

The Kokua Festival will also tour the Maui Arts and Cultural Center in Kahului, Maui on April 19.
Proceeds from both shows will go to the Kokua Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by Johnson that supports environmental education in local communities.

One of the many programs that the foundation introduced into Hawai‘i public schools was the 3 R’s recycling plan. Ten schools on O‘ahu currently participate in the program, which teaches students the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling materials to help preserve the environment.

The foundation teaches the programs to students by using fun and appealing methods such as singing songs and participating in arts and crafts, and also through a series of field trips around the island.

Tickets for the O‘ahu festival went on sale Feb. 4 and sold out that day. However, if you bring a blanket and pack a cooler, you’ll be able to enjoy the melodic sounds of Johnson’s gentle guitar and soothing voice echo over Kapiolani Park during the event.

For more information on the Kokua Festival or Johnson’s nonprofit organization, the Kokua Hawai‘i Foundation, visit kokuafestival.com and kokuahawaiifoundation.com.

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