MY HAWAII By Colin Sewake

“Okinawa is such a beautiful place, not just the ocean and scenery and culture, but the people. I’ve been treated well and taken care of by many people here in what has become ‘My Hawai‘i.’” — Colin Sewake

The passing of Malani Bilyeu, one of Kalapana’s original members, came as a shock to many whose lives the 69-year-old talent had touched. I consider Kalapana, the Hawai‘i surf/rock band, to be the most influential musical group to come out of the Islands.

I grew up listening to Kalapana’s music all the time in Hawai‘i and met them in the early 1990s while a University of Hawai‘i student through their sax player at the time, Colin Katada, from Hilo.

After moving to Okinawa, I reconnected with the band almost 15 years later when I attended their concert at the Tökyö Cotton Club in 2007 and then saw them again at the Tökyö Billboard Live club in 2009 and 2010. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when they came to Okinawa in 2015 for their first public performance here at the Camp Foster Festival. It was such a treat to see the guys here in my territory. I never expected it would happen.

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