Singers from Hawaiia, 1920.


Hand-Picked Company of Native Musicians in the Islands Chosen for Long Tour in United States and Canada During Present Summer—Sailed May 19th from Honolulu with Mildred Leo Clemens

Mildred Leo Clemone and Her Native Hawaiians of the Famous Waikiki Beach, April, 1920

Six of the finest native musicians in all the Hawaiian Islands sailed from Honolulu on May 19th on the steamship “Maui,” to fill their first American engagement. They will appear on the Colt Alber Premier circuit in Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Ohio.

The company is a hand-picked group of unspoiled native instrumentalists and vocalists, all of whom are prominent in musical circles of the Islands. They were chosen for the especial tour by Mildred Leo Clemens, cousin of Mark Twain, who visited the Islands early this year, and following the instructions from the Colt-Alber offices, engaged the finest musicians available. A cablegram from Miss Clemens on the day of departure stated that her company will be the finest organization which has ever toured America. They are real Hawaiians and real musicians.

Prominent Hawaiian Musicians.

The personnel of the company consists of Kuulei Poina  Ole, generally considered the finest steel guitar player in the Islands, and one of the few women who have been able to master this difficult method of playing; Ane Hila, a true Hawaiian type, who sings, plays and features interpretations of the old Hawaiian legends, particularly the “Ulululi,” or warrior’s dance, and the “Puili,” or sacred Bamboo dance; Keoni and Kewini Panui, versatile brothers, master of guitar, ukulele, steel guitar and mandolin, and vocalists of considerable fame in native circles at Honolulu; Kamaki Pahu, a thorough musician, leader of the Hawaiian Glee Club at Honolulu; and, lastly, Kahaia Pahu, whose voice was a favorite in all Hawaiia. Kahaia Pahu was soloist with Prince Kuhio, Hawaiia’s delegate to Congress, on his last tour of the Island. Prince Kuhio is today the most popular statesman of his beloved land.

The engagement is a splendid feature for the big Chautauqua. Each year has seen the same old Hawaiian companies touring the United States, the members in most cases having lived in the United States most of their lives. The continuous popularity of Hawaiian music, however, led the Colt-Alber management to believe that a real company of natives who could really play and sing Hawaiian music, with the fascinating and alluring interpretation so characteristic of the race, would be an appreciated feature on this year’s program. This especially when accompanied by Miss Mildred Leo Clemens in her great illustrated lecture, “The Pacific Paradise.”

(Jeffersonian Democrat, 6/10/1920, p. 2)


Jeffersonian Democrat, Volume 44, Number 24, Page 2. June 10, 1920.


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