Steven Espaniola, born and raised on Oʻahu but now living in the San Francisco Bay area, was scheduled to come home to Hawaiʻi nei this week to celebrate with several concerts (including an appearance on Pakele Live) the recent release of his second album Hoʻomaopopo. Sadly, Steven and his wife April suffered the sudden loss of their one year old son Phoenix Kahanu on August 12.
Steven, a well-loved musician who is always there for others and who also authors the popular music blog “Anatomy of a Mele,” has legions of friends and fans both on the mainland and throughout Hawaiʻi. As word spread of his and April’s heartbreaking loss, condolences came rushing in from all over the world. The celebration of life for Kahanu was standing room only, with stories, Hawaiian music and hula.
Because so many of us who live in Hawaiʻi were unable to be there for Kahanu’s services, a number of his friends have joined together to honor Kahanu and show their love for Steven, April, and their daughter Kawena by performing on Pakele Live in his place, on the night he was scheduled to hold his CD release party. Among those scheduled to appear are Nathan Aweau, Ioane Burns, Kamakakehau Fernandez, Bobby Moderow, Halehaku Seabury, Jake Shimabukuro, Bryan Tolentino, and some surprise special guests.
The concert is free and will take place Thursday August 29, from 6:30-8:30pm at the Willows (901 Hausten St., Honolulu). It will also be streamed live online.
Many have asked about donating funds to help Steven and April in memory of their son Phoenix Kahanu. Your donations will be gratefully accepted to help cover medical costs and the cost for his services and final resting place – a beautiful spot overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
You may donate via email free of charge in care of Steven’s cousin, Kumu Hula Kawika Alfiche, at this link: https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/send-money-online
(The email address for the “To” section is: firstname.lastname@example.org – please be sure to note that it’s for Kahanu)
If you would prefer to donate by check, please make the check payable to Steven Espaniola and send to me c/o:
Me Ke Aloha
PO Box 2624
Ewa Beach, HI 96706-0624
I will forward all cards and checks to Steven and April.
Mahalo nui loa – the entire family is very grateful for the outpouring of kindness, love, and support.
Originally from California, Iʻve lived on Oʻahu for a number of years. Music has always been my passion and Iʻm fortunate to be able to work with and support many of Hawaiʻiʻs musicians. For such a tiny speck in the middle of a very large ocean, we have an amazing wealth of talent here!