Pacific Verse project hosts public performance on April 17

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Katherine C Higgins, (808) 956-2658
Center for Pacific Island Studies
Posted: Mar 3, 2014

Pacific Verse is a project focused on developing and encouraging indigenous Pacific languages in songwriting. The project began in March 2014 with a music workshop and will be followed by public performances, recording sessions, and future follow-up sessions with the participating musicians.

Pacific Verse is being organized by Leora Kava, graduate assistant and MA student at UH Mānoa Center for Pacific Islands Studies. Looking for ways to promote Pacific-language songs, Kava, a poet and musician, has developed this series of events in the hope that it will eventually lead to a music festival.

Dr. Aaron Salā, Assistant Professor of Hawaiian Music and Ethnomusicology in the UHM Music Department, and Dr. Raukura Roa, Instructor of Māori Language Program in the Department of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literatures, will facilitate the first workshop in March. Jason Mateo and Melvin Won Pat-Borja, MA students at the Center for Pacific Islands Studies and co-founders Pacific Tongues, a nonprofit organization that cultivates an active artistic Oceanic community, will also help with facilitation of Pacific Verse in the workshop and future activities. Participants in the workshop will include undergraduate and graduate students from the UH system as well as local Pacific Islander high school students. All events for Pacific Verse are free, and the only criteria for participants are that they be proficient in at least one instrument (including voice) and be interested in working with indigenous Pacific languages.

The first public performance by Pacific Verse participants will be on the evening of Thursday, April 17 at the 2nd annual PACITA: Pacific Islanders in the Arts Festival at UH Mānoa.

To enable Pacific Verse to reach out to the wider community, Kava will also host a Pacific Islands music workshop at Pālolo Homes as part of the Pālolo Pipeline program through the Pālolo ʻʻohana Learning Center.

Pacific Verse is sponsored by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Center for Pacific Islands Studies the Office of Student Equity Excellence and Diversity, and Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge and Kamakakūokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies.

For additional information, please contact Lee Kava at or Katherine Higgins at