He's had a fascination and love for Hawaiian music since the mid-80s, honing in on the similarities between and differences in Hawaiian slack-key open tunings that also surface in folk and blues songs. "In June 2003 I was invited to perform solo in Hawaii," writes Doucet via e-mail. "Part of the contract was with University of Hawaii to do some workshops. Having never really done this before, I had no idea of what to teach, but I decided on 'J'Ai PassÃ© Devant Ta Porte' in a slack-key tuning. That was a hit. At the UH show in Honolulu, which was sold out, I had the guts to play a Hawaiian tune which got a standing ovation."
The trip led to an enduring friendship with Hawaiian guitarist George Kuo ' and a unique opportunity courtesy of the University of Hawaii football team's perfect 12-0 season.
"I knew that the Rainbow Warriors would be coming to the Sugar Bowl, a first in UH history," Doucet writes. "It was a fantasy to get some Hawaiian musicians over here to Louisiana. Despite the expense, George figured it was a once in a lifetime [chance] to follow the team to New Orleans and the Sugar Bowl."
During his trip, Kuo will team with Doucet for one New Orleans show and a Lafayette performance this Thursday, Jan. 3. "I expect to learn a lot in the two shows we'll be doing," writes Doucet. "Since I learn by ear and by rote, it should be quite interesting."
BeauSoleil's David Doucet and Hawaiian guitarist George Kuo perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, in The Art House, upstairs at the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Hula dancer Leialoha will join the group for a pair of set-closing performances. Tickets are $10; for more info and/or to charge tickets online or by phone, call 233-7060 or visit www.LouisianaCrossroads.org.
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