"Our Link to Hawaiian Music Tradition"
2003 Na Hoku Award Winner for Best Jazz Album in Hawaii!
Mihana Souza grew up in the great old tradition of Hawaiian music-making. Whether it’s a dressy evening party or a lazy afternoon in the backyard, she always knows there’s going to be music and her family will be singing, strumming, dancing, laughing.
Mihana was born into a family of gifted musicians. Her mother, Aunty Irmgard Farden Aluli, was a Hawaiian treasure who composed hundreds of songs, and recorded and performed with her family quartet: Puamana.
The story begins way back when Polynesians first came to these pristine islands and began to settle and celebrate the glories of Hawaii in their stories and songs. Traditional Hawaiian music was part of daily life. Songs and chants told about celebrated places and people, myths, rituals, emotions and family.
As people from other cultures began to arrive, their musical styles and instruments were absorbed into what became the “Golden Age of Hawaiian Music” from 1930 to 1960. Mihana is the inheritor of this long tradition as the daughter of Irmgard Farden Aluli, a Living Treasure of Hawaiian music. In the 1970s. Irmgard, formed Puamana, her well-known family quartet.
With her daughters Mihana and Aima and her neice Luana, they performed from California to New York, and in major celebrations and public concerts in Hawai`i. Mihana, her family and friends, good times and trials set the stage for heartfelt songs which are about family, love and celebration. After her mother’s death in 2001, Mihana continued to write and sing. She brought her special abilities into her first CD “Rust On The Moon” which displays the depth and talent which is allowed to shine fully.
Moving easily from jazz to rock, Mihana croons the heartfelt sentiments of "Rust" and "Easy" then takes you on the great rockin' ride of "Hula" or "Love." Mihana wrote both the lyrics and music for all but one of the twelve selections offered. The title song was written by her mother to whom Mihana has dedicated the album.
"Mihana Souza's second solo CD continues her remarkable and resourceful journey into contemporary and world music. She cooks up a menu of diverse and savory blends, like "Chucky," a country-spirited novelty with its ono lyrics about teriyaki chicken, poi, sashimi, kim chee, sushi and more grinds — easily the best and most commercial entry.
Souza, normally a member of Puamana, the hapa-haole-singing group fronted by the late Irmgard Aluli, clearly has a rollicking good time in her solo journey, composing alone or with collaborators. "Family" is a ballad extolling the memories and joys associated with 'ohana, values that often get lost in today's music. "Wrap" has a sweetly nostalgic tropical swing and English and Hawaiian lyrics. Each of the 13 tunes featured has one-word titles: "Don't," "Darling," "Fire," "Thief," "Dream" and so on. The outlook: Hard to categorize and not easily explainable, Mihana has emerged as a refreshingly different and continuously delightful Island songbird, sharing stories with the appealing posture of a folk artist." Wayne Harada - Honolulu Advertiser Both Mihana's albums, "Rust On The Moon" and "One Little Dream" are available through: The Mountain Apple Company at www.mountainapple.com