“I love my Kamaka because it was given to me as a gift by my father for my graduation from high school in 1999. This ukulele has taken me through the last 17 years of life…offering me a career in entertainment and teaching, an opportunity to comfort those who are suffering, a way for me to connect with complete strangers, and a means by which I am able to include my husband and children in all I do.”
Pōmaikaʻi Lyman has been playing the ukulele since she could first hold one. Her first public performance was in 1986 at a Native Hawaiian Conference (held at BYU Hawaii in Laie) with her grandmother, Genoa Keawe, doing Wendell Silvaʻs winning composition “Hoʻolako Hawaiʻi” to honor the Year of the Hawaiian. It wasnʻt until high school, when she was called to be a musician in Punahou Schoolʻs annual Holoku Pageant, that she realized she wanted to perform just like her Tutu Genoa.
Since then, she has traveled as a featured artist singing traditional Hawaiian Music in the style of her late grandmother, “Aunty” Genoa Keawe. Pōmaikaʻi currently performs every Thursday evening from 6:30pm-9:30pm with the Keawe ʻOhana at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Moana Terrace. Her four children are not far behind, joining her on-stage at various performances, and performing as featured artists themselves. Each one of her children also have their very own Kamaka Ukulele.