Slack Key Musician Patrick Landeza Celebrates Album Release With Virtual Concert
Slack key musician Patrick Landeza’s new album “Far Away” didn’t get the usual fanfare of a CD release party last April. On Sunday, he'll finally get to celebrate with a live virtual concert from the Hawaii Theatre.
Without parties, touring or playing for live audiences, Landeza found himself grounded on the mainland for a year—unable to visit the islands. But with an increase in vaccinations and a decrease in cases in Hawai‘i, he said things are looking up.
"We recorded a while ago, but all of my tours were canceled. So in April 2020, we had the CD release plan, we had the tours planned and because of COVID we had to cancel everything. Then finally, we decided, 'Okay, let's release it during Christmas time. Let's just do an online release,'" Landeza said. "Oh my gosh, it's been such a positive response."
This year, he has also been named a finalist in the 44th Annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards “Hawaiian Slack Key Album of the Year” category for the album.
To celebrate the release, he will be playing live virtually at 3 p.m. on Sunday from the Hawaii Theatre as part of the Moonlight Mele series. Click here for more information
Here are some excerpts from Landeza's interview, edited for length and clarity:
On the central theme of his new album "Far Away"
The whole theme of the album is home. I'm born and raised in Berkeley, California, but my mother is from Ho‘olehua on Moloka‘i and my father came from Kahuku so I've always battled with identity and home. As we ended Asian Pacific Islander Month—am I Asian or am I Pacific Islander, am I both? Who am I? The music is what grounds me.
The theme of the whole album is that whole notion of home and featuring songs, like "Ka Ipo Lei Manu," that was written for King Kalakaua by his wife, the queen, and we know that he had passed here in San Francisco—so that's the tie to that song "Hele Au I Kaleponi." It speaks about a man going to San Francisco, or to the mainland and then asking his wife, "Hey, honey, I'm going there. What would you like me to bring you?" The title track is called "Far Away" and that's a song that my teacher, my mentor, the late great Dennis Kamakahi composed because he missed his wife while he was on tour. He wrote it in my backyard.
So it just means a lot, really, the music, the CD, and just being able to play again really means a lot to me. I cannot tell you how excited I am to return back to Oahu and not only just returning back to Oahu, but being at Hawaii Theatre and that's exciting.
On how he kept busy during the pandemic
You know, everybody ono for poke. I can't travel. I can't play music. I can't tour. So I started a poke delivery business. If you cannot play music to share your Aloha, then you utilize your other talents and I just love to cook. And that's how you do it.
This story aired on The Conversation on June 3, 2021.