Maui Arts & Entertainment

Te Vaka on Maui One Night Only in Lahaina

October 27, 2015, 5:06 PM HST
* Updated October 28, 1:41 PM
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The South Pacific roots band, Te Vaka, “The Canoe” returns to Maui after eight years for one night only on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, at the Maui Theatre in Lahaina.

A warm Hawaiian welcome was prepared for Te Vaka by Lahaina leader Keʻeaumoku Kapu at Nā Hale O Aikane in West Maui last night and this afternoon at the Westin Kāʻanapali Ocean Resort Villas. As customary throughout Polynesia, the nine band members participated in an awa ceremony followed by food and fellowship.

The Maui stop is one of four shows in the Hawaiian Islands as the group rounds out its US tour, which included previous stops in Florida, Washington, California and Arizona.  Other island stops include: Kamuela, HI at the Kahilu Theatre on Oct. 29; Honolulu at the Hawaiʻi Theatre Center on Oct. 30; and Līhue at the Kauaʻi Performing Arts Center at KCC on Nov. 1.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 27, tickets were still available for the Maui show.  Reservations can be made by calling the Maui Theatre box office at (808) 856-7900.

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Te Vaka was selected as the musical sound for the new Disney animated feature Moana which hits theaters around Thanksgiving of next year.  In recent weeks, Disney also announced the selection of 14-year-old Auliʻi Cravalho of Mililani to voice the role of princess, Moana.  She will meet the Te Vaka group for the first time at their Honolulu show, scheduled for Oct. 30 at the Hawaiʻi Theatre Center.

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Opetaia Foaʻi, the founder and leader of Te Vaka composed the songs and Te Vaka will perform them on the soundtrack of the film.  The group also celebrates the release of their new CD AMATAGA, “The Beginning,” which came out in September.  The CD, which is their eighth, is described as “a mix of the signature Te Vaka sound with heartfelt songs that serve as a call to support cultural and environmental sustainability in the Pacific.”

Te Vaka is an original voice in the contemporary music of the Pacific. Led by award-winning singer-songwriter Opetaia Foa‘i, [pronounced OH-PEH-TIE-YA FOE-AYE], Te Vaka’s infectious melodies, Polynesian drums, and world beat rhythms draw on its roots in the cultures of Tokelau, Samoa, Cook Islands, and New Zealand Maori as well as today’s funk, pop, and rock sensibilities.

A press announcement described the Te Vaka sound:

“With Opetaia on vocals and lead guitar, using open tunings often associated with slack key techniques, the band brings its lively energy to a mix of traditional and modern instruments, from log drums to electric guitar, bass, and keyboards. The beauty of the rich vocal harmonies, dancing that evokes Pacific traditions, and the poetry of lyrics in Tokelauan and Samoan languages belie the serious intent of many of the songs, which address current issues in the Pacific including climate change, family and cultural displacement, the more recent tolls of the tsunami in Samoa and drug culture among indigenous youth, as well as lighter fare. Yet, the band delivers up a rocking, joyful evening as the multi-talented musicians and singers double as dancers and chanters (Pacific-style). The music is life-affirming, every concert a celebration.”

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To date, Te Vaka has performed in 38 countries, including performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the Beijing Olympics, and festivals around the world.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

Te Vaka on Maui. Photo credit Daryl Fujiwara.

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