After our Ohio IMPACT Tour finished up we boarded a plane and headed straight for Maui where we met up with Kelvin for a concert at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Coming to Maui is almost like coming home thanks to the warm hospitality of Tony and Valerie Jones. Every time we come to Maui they go out of their way to help us out in all kinds of ways. Because of our tight schedule between Ohio and Hawai’i our drums weren’t able to make the trip but luckily we were able to borrow Zenshin Daiko’s drums for the concert. A huge thank you goes out to Tony and Valerie Jones and Zenshin Daiko for their help and use of their great drums for the concert. Also a big thank you goes out to Mika-san for the use of her Koto! And one last big thank you goes out to the excellent staff at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center who were a pleasure to work with. After our concert on Thursday night we had an educational outreach program for local elementary students on Friday and then headed to Hilo for our last concert of the tour.
It was quite a shock going from the cold, rain and snow of Ohio to shorts and t-shirts in Hawai’i. Luckily it didn’t take long to acclimate. One meal of Korean Chicken at Da Kitchen followed by a Ululani Shave Ice puts you right in the Hawai’i state of mind. If you haven’t been to Ululani’s Shave Ice it a must. I recommend the Mango, Lychee and Lilikoi with a scoop of haupia ice cream, mochi and a snow cap.
Hilo was the absolute perfect way to end the tour. I’ve always enjoyed Hilo’s laid back style. It just seems less interested in catering specifically to tourist than other parts of Hawai’i and has a wonderful small town charm. We loaded into to the theater in the morning then took time to go to the farmers market and eat at Miyo’s. In the evening we performed for a sold out extremely enthusiastic audience and it was the culmination to a month of performances. A huge thank you goes out to Lee for bringing us out to Hawai’i and to Apollo and Rob for their work in making the concert a success. Today I’m headed back to Maui to do some intensive workshops with Zenshin Daiko while the rest of the guys are holding workshops and private lessons for members of the Hilo taiko community. There should be a new rule that all On Ensemble tours end in Hawai’i!