Letter: Help Needed for Inoue Ohana Band

Hello Windward Hawaii Friends. I am writing for some help in an unexpected and difficult situation. As some of you many know, Donna Keefer is at Queen’s Hospital getting chemotherapy and in serious condition.Before she knew this was going to happen, she invited for five weeks her longtime friends Keni and Kathie Inoue, who had recorded many timesat Donna’s late husband Rick’s SeaWest Studio. That’s where I met them, and, over the years, I’ve toured in Japan with them quite a bit.

Now Donna’s  family is gathering in Honolulu at the hospital, and they aren’t sure they want Keni and Kathie for the five weeks at Donna’s house. Keni and Kathie have already paid for their plane tickets, so they are in kind of a fix. They will arrive April 1 and leave on May 7.So here’s my solution, which could be a win/win for the Inoues and the island:

Kathie and Keni make wonderful reggae, Hawaiian, Tahitian and Okinawan music, and I’ve seen them lift the spirits of every audience before whom we played. So, I am looking for places that might LOVE to have an event with live music and give them a week (or more) of lodging in exchange.

They are very loving, caring, positive people. I’ve spent a lot of time with them. For me, they are like family. They’ve been married for decades, and live in Japan. Keni’s Japanese and Kathie is half-Japanese, half American, raised in Southern California and Hawaii. Both speak and write English, but Kathie’s completely fluent.

I have already written a note to Richard Koob at Kalani Honua Eco-resort, but there must be other places that could or would be happy to have music in exchange for lodging. I recall there is a yoga retreat center in Puna, but I don’t know anyone there to call.

They could play for a fundraiser, at a private party, or at a school or church.Here are three videos of the Inoue Ohana Band performing:

An original song “Touch The Sun”

An Okinawan song at Roots Coffee Shop, a club in Ishinomaki, the town that was partially destroyed by the tsunami of March 11, 2011:

“Sweet Reggae Music”

If you have any leads, please email me at aliciabaylaurel@gmail.com.

Many thanks in advance!

Aloha Pumehana to the Windward Hawaii community,

Alicia Bay Laurel
Phoenix,  AZ

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