Mekia Kealakai

Mekia Kealakai

Birth
Death 31 Mar 1944 (aged 76)
Burial Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
Plot AA-N-14
Memorial ID 151883491 · View Source
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Mekia "Major" Kealakai was born into poverty inside the barracks at ʻIolani Palace in Honolulu, Kingdom of Hawaiʻi. Even with his humble beginnings, Mekia was destined for greatness and became one of the best known Hawaiian musicians of his era. Captain Henry Berger, Bandmaster for the Royal Hawaiian Band, took a young Mekia under his wings and tutored him in music, which also included learning how to play the trombone, flute and piano. Mekia then became one of the youngest members ever to perform with the Royal Hawaiian Band. He later toured the United States and Europe numerous times with great success and was one of the earliest proponents responsible for spreading Hawaiian music throughout the world. Mekia was a brilliant performer (John P. Sousa remarked that Mekia was the best flute player that he had ever heard!), a prolific composer of Hawaiian music, an entertainer of extraordinary quality, and a conductor who returned to the Royal Hawaiian Band to serve as their Bandmaster from 1920-1926, then again from 1930-1932. Upon his passing in 1944, Mekia was placed in an unmarked grave beside his beloved wife Mele at the Diamondhead Memorial Park. His grave site was unmarked for almost 70 years until March 31, 2014, when the "Friends of the Royal Hawaiian Band" held a ceremony to commemorate Mekia and his life. On that day a beautiful new grave marker was placed at the final resting place of Mekia Kealakai to insure that he would never be forgotten. NOTE: To download a more extensive biography on Mekia Kealakaiʻs life, you may click on: http://royalhawaiianband.com/the-friends-of-the-royal/projects-of-the-friends/mekia-kealakai-memorialscho/


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  • Created by: David Bandy
  • Added: 5 Sep 2015
  • Find A Grave Memorial 151883491
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Mekia Kealakai (15 Oct 1867–31 Mar 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 151883491, citing Diamond Head Memorial Park, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by David Bandy (contributor 48835842) .