Ehukai Teves


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Ehukai (pronounced A-hoo-kai) Teves was born in Hawaii. His father was an Army medic and his mother an Army nurse. His family traveled the world, living in Hawaii, North Carolina, Okinawa, and the Canal Zone. The family's roots run deep in Hawaiian culture and music. Both of his parents earned "Living Legend" awards – his father for restoring the historic Kahikolu Church on the Big Island, and his mother for her work in preserving the Hawaiian native language. They also performed throughout the islands, singing and playing the "old-style" Hawaiian music with Ehukai playing bass. Ehukai holds a B.A. degree in Music Theory and Vocal Performance from the University of Hawaii. From his teens he established and led working bands in Panama and Hawaii, and he has performed with Hawaiian music icons Keola Beamer and Moses Kahumoku. If Ehukai looks a little familiar, you might have seen him as an actor, extra and surfing stuntman on the original "Hawaii Five-0" TV series. He has composed over 300 songs, among them a Hawaiian Grammy winner. Besides mountain dulcimer, Ehukai plays the Chapman Stick, Hawaiian-style ukulele, bass, and guitar.

Here on the mainland, Ehukai met Jean Ritchie, “the Mother of American Folk Music,” who became a good friend and admired his music. Her influence graced his understanding of Appalachian music and the mountain dulcimer, and Ehukai has used all his band experience to the instrument’s benefit. He developed the "Home-Middle-Outside" system of playing mountain dulcimer in 8 different keys using DAD tuning. He and Lois Hornbostel have combined their substantial talents and experience, playing concerts and teaching mountain dulcimer and ukulele throughout the year, as described on their web site.

Living in the Great Smoky Mountains, Ehukai has been warmly welcomed by old-time and bluegrass musicians. Traveling to Southern Appalachian fiddle conventions to learn tunes, he has been awarded the mountain dulcimer championships at Union Grove (3 times), Fiddlers Grove, Ashe County, Alleghany County, and has placed in several other mountain dulcimer, traditional folk song and dance competitions as well.

Ehukai and his wife, Lois Hornbostel, perform traditional and original music and teach mountain dulcimer, ukulele, and several other instruments.

More Background Details:
- Years of work on the original Hawaii Five-0 television series as an actor, extra and surfing stuntman.
- Regular performer at venues on Hawaii's Big Island like the Full Moon Café, Ehukai has also performed with slack key guitar legends Moses Kahumoku and Keola Beamer in nightclubs and hotels in Honolulu and Las Vegas.
- Mountain dulcimer and ukulele events throughout the U.S., including Dulcimerville, the Earl Scruggs Center, Augusta Heritage Center, the Folk College, New Mexico Dulcimer Festival, Common Ground on the Hill, Vermont's August Dulcimer Daze, Indiana Dulcimer Festival, and Midwest Uke Fest. Ehukai has developed new playing techniques for mountain dulcimer to play many styles of music, including blues, jazz, rock, Latin, and American traditional music.

(Photo: Steve Kilby Photography)


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