As restaurants, bars, nightclubs and live music venues remain shuttered during the global pandemic, Hawaii’s performers, most of whom are self-employed, continue to make music and share it with fans around the world. It’s a kind of high-tech virtual busking, with Hawaii musicians streaming live and posting videos from their home studios as they observe social distancing protocols.
Anyone with an interest in Hawaii and its music can tap into musical aloha from anywhere in the world. Streaming services offer an immediate connection with Hawaii musicians performing live, and most social media platforms archive videos of past performances.
There is a vast global community of musicians and other artists sharing their work out of a desire to create, even if it is alone from a tiny workspace. For working musicians, there is an unspoken dignity in performing for free. Hawaii musicians know this, and they’ve been doing it online since long before their workplaces were shuttered by a global pandemic.
The “kanikapila” tradition of backyard sessions informs much of the music that comes out of Hawaii, whether it’s in the sublime tones of Hawaiian slack key guitar or post-surf punk rock lyrics written after a crowded surf session. We come together to share music, usually around a smoking grill near the beach or a backyard retreat (lots of times, both).
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We’ve written about lots of Hawaii musicians on this blog in the past, and there is a wellspring of talent constantly emerging from backyard kanikapila sessions. Even as the world grinds to a halt, Hawaii’s musical artists carry the momentum of the Aloha Spirit into the days ahead, and you can feel it online for free. Grammy Award winner Stephen Inglis has a daily live-stream on Facebook Mon-Fri at 12:00PM (HST).
Most artists will include a virtual tip jar through a number of online services hosting their virtual performances. It’s always best practice to tip, and it’s easy to toss a couple of bucks to an artist from Hawaii who is bringing a bit of sunshine to wherever you might be staying at home.
Hawaii Public Radio has a webpage blog post with a list of live-streaming musicians in Hawaii.