Long-time friends and colleagues Uncle George Kahumoku Jr. and KAOI Maui radio host Cindy Paulos are bringing peace in these challenging times through their music and various projects.
West Side resident Kahumoku, a master slack key guitarist and winner of multiple Grammy and Na Hoku Hanohano awards, and Paulos, a multi-talented musician and winner of both the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Cross-Cultural & Peace Crafters Award and Gandhi Peace Award, are conveying a message that brings people together with no boundaries or limitations. They hope to soften some of the many contentions in the world today.
Kahumoku and Paulos recently teamed with musician and filmmaker Rupam Sarmah to produce a special CD release titled “Aum”Aloha Blessings.” The three friends agree that using music for uplifting, redirecting and reflecting the emotions is vital to improve well-being during this difficult period in Hawaii, the country and the world.
Aloha Blessings was inspired by Sarmah’s visit to Maui when he showed his film, “One Little Finger,” at the McCoy Theater. His feature film promotes inclusion and diversity to break the barriers of stigma in disability. It made history with a cast of over 80 persons, themselves with disabilities.
Sarmah reflected, “The aloha tradition combined with ancient mantras produces forward-thinking creations of sound. The music compositions in Aloha Blessings will help in meditation, yoga and healing minds. Proceeds go to the nonprofit One Little Finger Global Foundation, where our work reflects the message of oneness, peace and aloha.”
Kahumoku added, “I worked on Aloha Blessings long-distance during the pandemic with over 100 musicians to create the blending of Indian music with Hawaiian chant and spoken-word invocation. It has 154 minutes of eight tracks plus an additional eight instrumental tracks for meditation. It is available in stereo and Dolby Atmos® on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Tidal and other platforms. The divine sound is music for the soul.
“Throughout the album, the aloha chant connects our ha (breath) with the aina (land) and the kai (ocean), creating lokahi (harmony) and peace between man, the creatures of the earth, the plants, and the fruits and vegetables that sustain us. The chanting and healing energies from around the world are over 7,000 years old.”
In all his endeavors, Kahumoku remains true to the Hawaiian values that are part of his life. He believes that we must all operate with aloha, integrity and mutual respect, treating each other the way we want to be treated.
“Some other important values for all people to live by are kala mai, to be sorry and forgive; mahalo, gratitude, being thankful for life’s blessings; akahai, kindness to be expressed with tenderness; and ahonui, patience to be expressed with perseverance,” he said. “These are just a few of the traits of character that express the warmth and sincerity of Hawaii’s people.”
Paulos noted, “The stress of Covid made me turn to the creative side within me to find something positive to do to counter the flood of bad news and fear that was present in the news. It felt so good creating Aloha Blessings in a time of such need. The results are direct and immediate. We get to know each other through music. It brings joy amid the pandemic, and it is a wonderful way to connect us.”
Host of the longest-running radio talk show on Maui, Paulos has done more than 18,000 interviews over numerous years, with eight of her CDs submitted for Grammy considerations. Since being named a UNESCO Cross-Cultural & Peace Crafters Award Laureate, she is involved with the Peace Projects UNESCO, a specialized agency of the UN aimed at promoting world peace and security through international cooperation in education, the sciences and culture.
With a background in communications, Paulos also airs the Maui Peace Project, a weekly Zoom-cast, radio show and podcast to share the work and wisdom being fashioned throughout the state and globally. The show can be found on YouTube, Inspirational Radio KUOSFM.com. and various times on Akaku. In October 2021, Paulos was awarded the Gandhi Peace Award, which moved her to help others find that place of peace within.
“I want to spread the word to inspire others to work for harmony and goodwill in their communities and worldwide,” said Paulos. “My awards continually motivate me to do more. The world is in dire need of peacemakers, and we all need to contribute, each in our own way, to making daily life just a little kinder. Even a smile works!”
This Thanksgiving, Paulos and Kahumoku said they have much to be grateful for. They agreed, “Gratitude changes your perception. It facilitates contentment, makes you aware of all the blessings you have, and strengthens relationships. Goodwill and loving-kindness are truly the most important things that everyone can believe in. All faiths, all religions can agree on that.”
Paulos noted, “Thanksgiving brings forth the season of reflection and gratitude for all our personal and earthly blessings. The season switches on the light bulb of an attitude of thanks, helping to see the positive in all things, as well as the spiritual connection we share.”
Kahumoku added, “This time of year, the Hawaiian Makahiki season, has always focused on bringing the community together in the spirit of abundance, gratitude, peace and healing. I am so grateful for my small farm in the West Maui Mountains. My goal has always been to be sustainable and to feed people. I have been blessed with the opportunity to draw on my visions through my music, teaching, farming and all the things I set my heart on. The premise is simple. Be kind, be grateful, be happy, and have a wonderful holiday — with aloha!”
Tune into Cindy Paulos’ Thanksgiving talk-story interview with George Kahumoku Jr. on Wednesday, Nov. 24, on KAOI from 1:05 to 2 p.m., when Uncle George will sing “Mahalo Ke Akua” and other selections.