Amy Hānaiali‘i Gilliom—Hawaiian Ambassador of Music—performs at the museum on the National Mall—Saturday, May 25, at 5 PM EDT
How can we be so certain Saturday is going to be an evening you won’t want to miss? Amy’s five Grammy Award nominations are part of the answer, to say nothing of her 17 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, presented by the Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts, an organization whose mission is to preserve, protect and promote the islands’ music.
Another reason is the legacy of Hawaiian—and Mainland American—cultural contributions made by Amy's family. As a kumu hula (master dance teacher) and choreographer working on Hollywood movies in the 1940s and ’50s, Amy's paternal grandmother, Jennie Nāpua Woodd, helped create the popular image of Hawai‘i. Jennie encouraged Amy to pursue an education in Hawaiian, as well as classical, music. Through Jennie, Amy met Aunty Genoa Keawe, an icon of Hawaiian music and language-preservation, and was introduced to Hawaiian women’s falsetto singing. Amy’s mastery of the style has in turn inspired a new generation of Hawaiian singers. Amy’s paternal grandfather, Lloyd B. Gilliom, played trumpet with Sammy Kaye, Tommy Dorsey, and other jazz greats.
And it's true—Amy is an official Hawaiian Ambassador of Music, appointed by the state's governor in 2008. And, yes, she has opened for and performed or recorded with a long list of accomplished musicians, including Carlos Santana, Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker and Ernie Watts.
But what really gives us the moxie to suggest that you drop everything Saturday and take part this event is Amy’s performance at the museum during the inaugural festival, Out of Many, earlier this year. Check out the video and see if you don’t agree: Saturday evening is going to be one fun time!
If you can’t make it to the concert in person or live on the Internet, we’ll post a link to the You Tube video of Saturday's concert as soon as it’s available.