In tandem with the upcoming PBS premiere of Kumu Hina, we created this Spotify playlist compiling some of the greatest Hawaiian music, from Hula to slack guitar, ukulele, and beyond. And yes, we also couldn’t resist tossing in a standard at the end, while finding inspiration for some of the other choices via Hawaii Magazine, Honolulu Magazine, King’s Hawaiian, and our friends, readers, and viewers from Hawaii.
Kumu Hina tells the captivating story of a native Hawaiian mahu (transgender) teacher who uses traditional culture to inspire a student to lead the school’s all-male hula troupe. The film reveals a side of paradise rarely seen on screen, and airs on Independent Lens on PBS Monday night May 4 at 10 pm (check local listings).
To accompany the playlist, here’s a collection of tracks and videos to further get you in a Hawaiian state of mind, and have your own personal kanikapila (music jam) in your home.