Hello Friends and Family,

Link to this year's index by clicking here.


Cecilio & Kapono


My first day on Moloka`i, I stopped by the Maunaloa General Store and noticed a poster advertising a concert by Cecilio & Kapono. I did a double-take — Cecilio & Kapono? When? Where? How much? November 16. I could not believe my good luck — Cecilio & Kapono performing in concert in Kaunakakai during my stay on Moloka`i. And to top it off, the concert was free. You have to believe that I read the poster three times to make sure I was reading it correctly. Then I confirmed the same information with the clerk inside the store. I was not dreaming.

Wait — you mean you do not know Cecilio & Kapono? Or as they are better known in Hawai`i — C&K? Well, let me introduce you. Cecilio David Rodriguez (photo to the right) and Henry Kapono Ka’aihue (photo below) are a singing duo who have been combining their harmonies creating a unique sound in Hawai`ian music for more than 35 years. I have been listening to them for as long as I have been going to Hawai`i — come to think of it, that is also about 35 years.

Cecilio was born and raised in California while Kapono was born and raised in Hawai`i. Both had become performers in their own right before coming together to create a phenomenon in Hawai`ian music. Any group that can remain popular for 35 years obviously is doing something special.

 

 


I arrived early at the center in Kaunakakai where the concert was to be held — in order to get a good seat. Well, it was actually held outside and the seats were picnic tables and bleachers. Well before the scheduled time, C&K came onstage to do a sound check. It was still light and the concert was scheduled for after dark — so I took the opportunity to get a few photos. Even at this time, the light was failing so I had no idea if any of my photos would turn out.

"Check, check. Testing. Check, check. Could you sweeten the sound a little bit?" The technician would make an adjustment and again "Check, check. Testing. Check, check."

Back in September when I was at the NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) Conference in Las Vegas, I attended one session on "Photographing Concerts". It was mostly out of curiosity at a time when there were no other sessions I much cared about.

I learned a few things like — carry a camera with good low light capability (my D300 qualifies) and a big glass — meaning a lens with large elements to capture as much light as possible (because no flash allowed). My normal lens is okay in that respect but not as "fast" as some others — those fast lenses being VERY expensive — and very heavy.


I also learned that performers often limit photography during their concerts — only photographers with credentials (no audience members) — and only during the first few songs. So I was watching to see if someone might come up to me and say, "No photography!". Well, no one did so I just kept shooting.

As I did, C&K began singing. It was the pre-concert concert. Oh that sound is so familiar and I love it.


Perhaps you might like to sample a bit of their music by going to their website by clicking here. Each web page on their site plays a different cut — some vintage, some brand new. Try sampling some of the other pages to hear their unique sound. If you like it, you can even download a couple cuts from their latest CD. And if you like it as much as I do, you can purchase one or more of their albums.

After a couple songs, they left the stage to wait for the sun to set and to begin the "real" concert. It was obvious that lighting was going to be a problem for any additional photos during the concert — so I congratulated myself on showing up early to get a few shots while there was some light.


As I sat patiently on one of the front row picnic tables, I met a local resident, Ruby, who has ten children and a bunch of grandchildren. This fine looking young man (left) is one.

As darkness fell and the stage lights (all two of them) were turned on, I met another of Ruby's grandchildren (right). It is so much fun to meet the folks on Moloka`i — they are so friendly and welcomed me as a kama`aina (local).


Finally, it was time and those smooth, sweet harmonies began again. It even hypnotized the young ones who are probably new to C&K. Some of the kids ran back and forth in front of the stage — but no one seemed to mind.

 


Two stage lights staring right at my camera. Too little light so my shutter speed was slower than I would like. I braced the camera but I doubted that anything good would come of it — but I took a bunch of shots anyone. Surprisingly, a few actually turned out reasonably well.


Many of the songs they performed were old favorites — not just mine but for many of the folks in attendance. I could tell because we were all singing along with C&K. It didn't surprise me to see the keikis (kids) up and dancing with the music — but then a few of the tutus (grandmothers) did too. C&K seemed to enjoy it as well. It was a real lovefest. I was so fortunate to experience it.


A personal note: Last week was the twelfth anniversary of Kona's death. I dug through some photos and found this one to share which was taken on our one-year wedding anniversary. We were celebrating at the Kapalua Bay Club on Maui (the spot now occupied by Merriman's Kapalua). That year, Kona had been through cancer surgery and chemotherapy (including one session on Maui) but she still was able to flash that smile that everyone loved and still melts my heart.

Everyone who loses a loved one must find a way to deal with the grief. Some people go into group therapy. Some turn to alcohol. I found solace in Photoshop. This was one of the first photos that I ever worked on.

Our life together was way too short. Be sure to cherish every moment you have with your loved ones. You never know how many moments there will be.

Life is good. Mostly.

Aloha,
B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com