Willie K and Israel Kamakawiwoʻole Remembered

Willie K performance on ukulele at Sea Life Park

This is a bittersweet time for Hawaii. Today we remember two music legends, Willie K and Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. One just passed away, and the other has been gone for a while.

Late last night we were all sad to hear the news about Uncle Willie K’s passing. It goes without saying that his talent and personality will be missed. But his spirit and memory will live on in his music.

I recall the first (decent sized) concert that we took our son to was a few years ago at Sea Life Park. Willie K headlined the evening, along with Na Leo Pilimehana. As always, he put on a magnificent performance that set the tone for the night. It was a very memorable concert for us all.

Willie K playing ukulele
Willie K performing at evening, outdoor summer concert at Sea Life Park in 2016.

Like so many, we are listening to Willie K songs all day today. It’s the most natural and obvious way to grieve for such a performer. When our son hears his songs he yells “Uncle Willie K!” A couple of our all time favorites are “You Ku’uipo”, “Oh Holy Night” and “Ave Maria” because these songs showcase his immense talent and range.

Willie K was truly was a musical virtuosos. From Hawaiian, to rock, blues, and opera, there was no genre he couldn’t play. He was respected by artists all over the world. I enjoyed seeing messages from Steven Tyler and Alice Cooper, posting about their love of Willie and respect for his talents.

The world works in mysterious ways

Just a day after Willie passes away, today we remember another local music icon. Today is Bruddah Iz’s 61st birthday. So as one local music legend passes, we celebrate the life of another born on this day.

Google honored Iz with a Google Doodle today, along with a great animated video short, featuring Iz on their platform. You know you made it, when Google makes a doodle of you and your life’s work. My son also painted a rainbow using his watercolors!

Today Uncle Willie K and Israel Kamakawiwoʻole are hanging out together. They are laughing and jamming, somewhere over a rainbow.

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