Hanging at the Blue Note

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

RHS'69 Reunion Committee chair Vincent Yim and his wife Wendy joined a group of other members to take in classmate Riley Lee's performance at the Blue Note.

Cheryl Osumi provided the great pictures. Enjoy!

Monday night 16 classmates and spouses were treated to a wonderful evening of enchanting music. Island Breeze, a trio of taiko drums, Kenny Endo, slack key guitarist Jeff Peterson and our classmate Shakuhachi flute Master Riley Lee.

Wendy Yim made all the arrangements at Blue Note in Waikiki.  She got all of us the super Kamaaina deal.  $15 cover charge, 3 up front reserved tables and 50% off pupus and drinks.  The menu selections were excellent and the prices were reasonable.  

Just before the start of the concert Riley came out and spent time at each of our table to catch up on the island gossips. I told him about our 65th Birthday events and where he was going to be in 2 weeks. He said he will be doing a residency at Princeton University. He told us that he constantly thinks about coming back home and is pretty sure he and his family will relocate. He stayed to talk to us right up to the last minute where he had to hurry up to the stage to start to entertain us.

There was a composition called Spirit. It put me into a lust green forest, on the left was the Taiko drums, not with the traditional heavy 1.5-inch dowels, banging on the drums, but with a pair of bamboo brushes. Like a monkey rhythmically swinging from branch to branch, brushing the leaves as they swung by.

On the other side of the forest is Jeff Peterson so skillfully strumming his slack key guitar. He was like a squirrel like animal running up and down the branch plucking at all the berries the tree had bared. Closing his eyes enjoying every bit of the fruits of his labor.

In the middle is Riley Lee and his flute fully aware of what is going on with the ruckus around him. Flying free like a butterfly weaving between the swings of the monkey and flying by the squirrel to add to the pluckings and to bring harmony to the surroundings. Our eyes and ears were full of calming thoughts with venturous relaxation. All we had to do was sit in the right spot and watch as the forest grew.  At the end, everyone mesmerized, gave them a standing ovation.

Island Breeze helped Mother Nature to make us realize how lucky we are in what Earth gives us. Man and Earth in harmony. Wonderful evening.

Thank you Wendy...you are a jewel in every way.

On stage, Riley said most of his compositions that he plays are sleep music. The combination of Taiko drums, slack key guitar and his Shakuhachi flute are quite unusual and kept you wide awake. Once the music started we all were mesmerized for the next hour and half.