The Hawaiian Serenaders plus one
The Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio was comprised of The Hawaiian Serenaders (husband and wife duo of Rich and Mele on vocals, ukulele and u-bass) plus Mele’s master student. The trio performed a variety of pop and jazz songs that Mele does not necessarily teach because of the difficult chord shapes and complex rhythms. Formed in 2011, the goal of trio was to play music just for the fun of it (without making sure students could follow along) and perform songs which people don’t expect to hear on the ‘ukulele in Hawaii, meaning more than Hawaiian songs. Have you heard “Girl From Ipanema” with a Bossa Nova Strum played on ‘ukulele? We performed 16 shows in the community from 2011-2017 with three different students to complete the trio.
The Maui Ukulele Jazz Trio performed In A Little Hula Heaven at the 7th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition at Queen Kaahumanu Center on November 8, 2014 on Maui. Trio members were Mele Fong, Rich Tom, and Cindee Burkitt. The song was written by Leo Robins and Ralph Rainer in 1937.
“You really made his (my dance partner’s) day,” said Kathy Collins after our performance at the 9th Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition in 2016 at Queen Kaahumanu Center. Kathy was master of ceremonies for the entertainment and told us that this man has learning disabilities but knew all the words to the songs we played and enjoyed getting up to dance. He wasn’t the only one dancing as we noticed many people moving in time to the music and singing-along (which we encouraged them to do), 12 November 2016
“Roberta and I enjoyed hearing the Maui Jazz Trio. Nice selection of song, good voices and harmony, and awesome playing.” – John Vogel, referring to March 16, 2013 performance at the Queen’s Festival at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS – CLICK ON A PHOTO for the story behind it
Hinano Kaumeheiwa – performed 12 shows from 2011 – 2014.
Cindee Burkitt – performed 3 shows from 2014 – 2016.
Leilani Justice – performed 1 show in 2017.
- 2011 – First gig at the Maui County Senior Fair for about 300 people in the War Memorial Gymnasium.
- 2011-2017 – Main recurring event was the Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition of builders’ displays and school/community group performances at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center.
- 2015 – Added two songs on banjo-ukulele as influenced by Cindee, the third member.
ARCHIVES – click on year for show review
Annual Keiki Karnival at Christ the King Church – 2012.
Annual Maui County Senior Fair – 2011 (first show).
Annual Maui Ukulele Guild Exhibition – 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.
Annual Upcountry Fair at Olinda – 2012, 2014 (Hinano’s last show with the trio).
National Museum Day at the Bailey House – 2012.
Queen’s Festival at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center – 2012, 2013.
Ukulele Explosion at Kalama Intermediate School – 2012.