Henry K. Allen
Musician, Composer, Producer, and Music Educator
A master artist on the guitar, Hawaiian Steel Guitar and the Ukulele, Henry knows what he is talking about, being a virtuoso on all. Music runs thru his family, with his great grandfather being the first bandleader appointed by King Kamehameha for the King’s own band, now known as the Royal Hawaiian Band. and During the early Hawaiian Territorial days, played with local greats such as Alfred Apaka and René Paulo at renown clubs like Trader Vics, the Banyan Court, The Orchid Room, and the Shell Bar. Polishing his jazz guitar talents in Los Angeles in the mist of the swing days of Hollywood, Henry was scouted for the Martin Denny band as lead singer in which the band became the fore front sounds for the exotica ultra lounge craze of the 50’s and swing jazz. Contracted “Big Shows” at the famous Brown Derby, General Lee’s and The Seven Seas. His music encompassed the movie industry in television shows such as “Blue Hawaii” and “Hawaiian Eye”, and was also a featured guests on “Rosie O’Donnell” and NBC’s “The Today Show”. His talents extended even to Las Vegas and the “Greek Theater” in L.A., arranging and producing a 56-piece orchestra opening for the Don Ho show.
The love of the islands returns him to Maui where he produced and stared in his own show room productions in all the major hotels and resorts in Hawaii. He also played a different note and started arranging and producing text books and becoming a music educator for the state of Hawaii. He was then recognized being “The Master Artist” of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar and Hawaiian music by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists. Tirelessly, he also made time to book gigs with close friend and international jazz artist, George Benson.
Recent achievements include receiving Governor Lingle’s proclamation for “Henry Kaleialoha Allen day” April 4, 2004, and congratulatory honors from the Hawaii State Senate for outstanding contributions to Hawaiian Music in the State Capitol on April 2, 2004.
While being funded by the Department of Education for a special Ukulele program in Pahoa, Hawaii, Henry recognized the lack f professional material needed to teach how to read and write for this instrument, the Ukulele, or in Hawaiian, Pili Li’i Li’i. He then stared formatting this book, including Hawaiian songs, to where it is now, a complete learning book for the Ukulele.
Henry’s latest music includes 5 releases in 2005, a tropical swing jazz Hawaiian hula CD entitled “A Lei of Stars”, and “Live in Tokyo,” “Equinox”, “Europa”, “Live @ A Pacific Cafe”, “East Of The Sun. West Of The Moon”, and “Long Song Of Hawaii”. In 2004 and 2005 Henry did 3 tours of concerts in Japan. He was a featured act in the 11th Annual Hawaii International Jazz festival where he received ovations with the 17 piece orchestra playing his own songs that he composed and arranged. He will be on tour in 2006 in Tokyo and Hokkaido with his music in jazz festivals there.
Sherron Nohea Allen