“Musicians helping Musicians …
Friends Helping Friends”
“Giving is Living…”
— The Kuleana Breakfast Club
In late 2014, several older musician friends, began having breakfast together twice a month for the sole purpose of checking in and supporting each other where needed (music or otherwise). The best thing about the group was the fellowship and reminiscing. “We got together for breakfast one morning to reconnect, revisit and perhaps rekindle old musical friendships” said Mike Seda, who made the initial call out. “Well, we got to talking about the challenges of other lifelong musical friends and decided to organize an effort, using our talents to give back to fellow musicians who had fallen on hard times. We felt it was our kuleana (responsibility) and tagged the crew, the Kuleana Breakfast Club (KBC).” Thus began, from one call of aloha, an extraordinary mission of fellowship and giving. It would be “Musicians helping Musicians…Friends helping Friends.”
In August 2015, the KBC produced their first “Throwback to Give Back” concert. It was a tremendously successful show that featured, Willie K, A Touch of Gold, Simplisity, Harmony, Jeff Rasmussen and Robi Kahakalau, Josh Tatofi among many. The Second Annual Throwback to Give Back Concert held in August 2016 provided seven hours of non-stop entertainment and enjoyed great success as well.
“This effort is a fellowship. We’ve played many times to help many great causes. We now play for the purpose of helping our fellow musicians,” explained Club member Sam Solatorio.
In addition to the annual concerts, KBC produced smaller monthly Throwback Pop Up shows at a local club continue the Giving. Much thanks to Mo Morrison and Jed Roa of Lola’s for their aloha. Thus far, the Give Backs have varied in scope, but through the guidance of beneficiary friends and an established cap, each makana or gift is generally around 1000.00 each, the largest being 1600.00. Each Give Back has been impactful for everyone, both those giving and those receiving.
KBC’s fiscal agent is the Pacific Gateway Center, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that didn’t hesitate when asked to help. “They know that it’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving. Each need is centered around quality of living for each friend we help. Perhaps it will provide simple home improvement, a technology or application that helps return our friend to the music they once created or simply provide funds for daily needs…doesn’t matter,” Club member Franklin Makaawaawa shares, or as his brother and fellow Club member Billy Makaawawawa suggests “It’s all about aloha. Every Throwback to Give Back Concert, every Throwback Pop-Up is an invitation for us to brighten someone’s day. It’s in giving that we receive.”
See below for a list of our Give back friends. All performers.
KBC Throwback to Give Back Beneficiaries 2015 – present
- Kivin Kalauli (Oasis Night Club)– Stroke – Bathroom Improvements – $1,200.00
- Steven Hall (Peter Moon Band)– Stroke – Bass, Amp, Special Stand – $1,100.00
- John Sexton (Simplicity Band)– Hospital Stay – Home Utilities – $200.00
- Steve Jones* (Jazz Bassist)– Cancer – Hospital Bed – $1,600.00
- Imaikalani Young (Arranger/Bassist) – Heart – Interim Heart Meds – $1,100.00
- Jimmy Borges* (Singer) – Cancer – JB Vocal Scholarship Fund – $1,000.00
- Cyril Pahinui (Singer/Guitarist) – Kidney –Special Chair – $1,000.00
- Andy Bumatai (Comedy)– Cancer – Daily Needs Fund – $1,000.00
- Eddie Pascua* (Guitarist) – Cancer – Partial Funeral Plan – $1,000.00
- David Choy (Jazz sax) – stroke – $1,000.00
- Wally Suenaga (bassist) – Stroke/Heart – $1,000.00
- Kuki Among (Guitarist/Vocalist) – cancer – $1,000.00
KBC member Scotty Mosher adds, “It has been a remarkable ride and we’re incredibly proud of this work. What we’ve learned is that as we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.”
“We have a large network of friends we want to help and have carved a path for local musicians to give back to our music community in ways both big and small,” said Senator Brickwood Galuteria, Club member. “There are musical friends with needs all over the place, not just in Honolulu but throughout Hawai‘i. We began helping a few friends…and now, after a year we’ve arrived at twelve Give Backs.”
KBC member Rhonda Lamoka Osurman sums it up. “It is so clear for the Kuleana Breakfast Club, happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give. In a unique way, we now have a “Giving Garden” and as we all know, the simple arrangement with plants is that we give them love, they give us flowers!”