Kings of Hawaiian swing breeze into Fallon

The talented, eclectic ensemble Kahulanui will bring their Hawaiian big band sounds to the Barkley Theatre in the Oats Park Art Center on March 25.

During the 1920s and 1930s you could hear a number of orchestras, including the Royal Hawaiian Band, playing Hawaiian Swing and these jumping performances were wildly popular.

Kahulanui, and its director, Lolena “Lena” Naipo Jr., draw upon and borrow from these influences—his grandfather was a member of the Royal Hawaiians. Their resulting sound presents some classic island songs in a highly syncopated style and has led to them becoming known as the Kings of Hawaiian Swing.

These musical sounds were captured on the group’s debut album “Hu;a Ku’I,” which went on to garner a Grammy nomination for Best Regional Roots Album, for the nine-member ensemble.

It is a truly contemporary take on this vintage musical style. The band’s name translates roughly as “The Big Dance” and the Wall Street Journal suggested that their music will make you want to dance the Hula and do the Jitterbug at the same time.”

Members of the group will talk about the history and traditions of island musical styles in a free and open to the public, informal conversation at 3 p.m. in the Center’s Art Bar. These casual conversations are a great way to learn about diverse musical traditions and talk with the performers in an up close and personal setting.,

Doors and the Art Bar for the evening show will open at 7 p.m. and the show will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $17 for CAC members and $20 for nonmembers and you can get yours at Jeff’s Copy Express on Maine Street, at ITT @ NAS Fallon or by calling Churchill Arts at 775-4123-1440.

Coming up on April 8 will be the opening reception for the new visual art exhibition in the galleries at the Art Center.

The show, “CollAssemblage” will present the works of more than 36 regionally and nationally acclaimed artists working in the media of collage and assemblage. The reception will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

The strategies of collage and assemblage, which can be traced to early twentieth century innovations by artists such as Picasso and Kurt Schwitters, enable the creation of compositions by combining found or disparate objects and images. The invitational exhibition will survey the works of contemporary working in these media and we’ll have a closer look the artists included in the show in the coming weeks.

Kirk Robertson covers the arts and may be reached at


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