Apokolani offers a deep full baritone ukulele and easy vocals to match. All original music, the album "Red Wine and Blue Skies" is distinctly "island" jazz and full of gentle surprises. "One day in the rainforest of Puna, Paul Lindbergh played his tenor sax while I jammed on my baritone, and the music I had been creating took off to another place." No longer in the back room of the songwriter, these new songs took flight. The initial recording session with Damon Williams laid down a trio of ukelele, saxophone and vocals that Apokolani says is the foundation of this album. Soul Sound studio added a sweet weave of other island musicians, providing layers that give the listener a soft place to swim in the sounds and breathe with quiet spaces in between.
Would you like the pleasure of a haunting piano and ukulele duet? Don't miss the tracks "I Sit Here Wondering" where Shawn Livingston Moseley on piano with Apokolani playing his baritone ukulele, venture deep into poignant places of the heart. They shift ever so slightly to tender anticipation in the final track "Quiet Love" with the addition of Bruce Hamada playing acoustic upright bass. A counterpoint, "Mahina Love" might make you want to get up and move to an upbeat island-latin groove with Jon Hawes on bass, Jason Segler on drums, while Paul Lindbergh cuts loose on the sax.
The title track "Red Wine And Blue Skies" is a meant-for-sunset. duet with the sultry voice of Ulu Jacqueline Visser. "Once There Was A Time", a song about reconnecting to love, features two people near and dear—long time musician and 'Polynesian brother' Tui Masaniai on lead guitar and electric bass—and a duet with his 'pu‘uwai' or 'heart' as he refers to his wife Yvonne Yarber Carter. "Fly Away" was given the sweet gift of background vocals by the trio, Nāhone.
Apokolani has a wide range of musical compositions and styles that reflect his island roots, so stay tuned for music waiting in the wings. Loving it all—jazz to country and at his heart and soul—'kīhō‘alu‘ (Hawaiian slack key). Guitar has been the instrument of choice until recently when the urge to reconnect to the instrument of his youth took hold. He says, "I was on a different musical journey with completely different songs written through the years, ready to record. In fact, back when my dream was to record a cassette!" It appears that music has its own way in his life. "When I made this baritone ukulele—seems like it came with its own new songs that just had to come out." Here is the debut album. All island—all jazz. 90% baritone ukulele compositions. Sit back, relax, and enjoy with someone you love.
“Apokolani” is Keoki Apokolani Carter, who lives and works on Hawai‘i island. He is closest to Kohala Mountain but is equally influenced by the other beautiful mountains—all in his daily view plane. Ancestral ties to the island, go back more generations than he can count. Apokolani was given this Hawaiian name at birth by his long departed, tutu Maraea (Maria) Paahao Asing Carter. She said it meant, ‘reaching for heaven’. While most know him as Keoki or “Uncle Keoki” in the forest where he works, Apokolani is the name that fits best for this musical journey where, “sometimes the songs seem to drop out of the sky”.