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Slack Key Guitar Master and Hawaii's Songstress Collaborate on Innovative Recording

HONOLULU (May 4, 2010) – Slack key guitar legend Keola Beamer and twice Grammy-nominated Hawaiian songstress Raiatea Helm have collaborated on a ground-breaking new CD, "Keola Beamer and Raiatea." Released today on the Mountain Apple Company HAWAI'I label, this unique recording transcends the Hawaiian music genre and enters the world music stage by incorporating ancient Hawaiian musical instruments into inventive arrangements.

The stunning arrangement of John Lennon's anthem, "Imagine" (translated into Hawaiian as "Ina-"), demonstrates the beauty, brilliance and innovative interpretation these Hawaiian artists have brought to bear in this work. This song includes slack key guitar, a wind quintet, and a Hawaiian chant blended with the falsetto musings of Raiatea, singing in Hawaiian, with Keola Beamer carrying the melody as Lennon originally composed.

The ballad, "When I Look In Your Eyes," (L. Bricusse) is performed in Hawaiian by Raiatea as "I Kilohi Aku Au." Near the conclusion, Ms. Helm carries a note of such luminescence that you will forget that Rex Harrison originally performed it in the 1967 film "Dr. Dolittle." And, fans of traditional Hawaiian compositions will be delighted with the fresh renditions of "Hilo Hanakahi" and "Ke Ali'i Hulu Mamo."

It is enough to say that these songs and the other original compositions on the CD defy simple classification into a single genre. This work of unparalleled musical inspiration showcases the talents of two world-class artists along with their love of Hawaiian music and culture.

Keola Beamer's career of more than 30 years as a world-renowned guitarist has bestowed upon him the coveted title of "Master of Hawaiian Slack Key." At 25, Raiatea has received every major music award in the Hawaiian Islands, as well as national recognition as a Billboard World Chart recording artist.

Their collaboration in "Keola Beamer & Raiatea" is destined to become a classic. For more information, visit

It is not often that two artists who had never before met can come together and, in such a short period of time, collaborate in the creation of a work of art as moving, deeply personal, and exciting as this self titled CD “Keola Beamer & Raiatea."

But they did just that.

Keola Beamer and Raiatea Helm collaborate on new cdBy Kam Mak When Raiatea Helm, now 25, met Keola Beamer for the first time two years ago at a religious music event at Ala Moana Park, something clicked. They bonded like old pals.

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