Final Advent concert: The Hawaiian sounds of Christmas

Keoki Serno and his wife Nancy.

Submitted photo

Keoki Serno and his wife Nancy.

photo

Keoki Serno and his wife Nancy will perfrom at St. John's Church for the final Advent concert Dec. 17.

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — The final Advent Concert at St. John’s Episcopal-Lutheran Church takes place Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. in Williams.

This free concert features George (Keoki) and Nancy Sereno, bringing the beautiful sounds of Hawaii and Christmas.

Keoki was born in Hawaii and grew up on both Oahu and Maui. Keoki’s tutu kanes grandfathers were from Madeira, Portugal while his maternal grandmother was of mixed races, producing a “poi dog” (Heinz 57) breed of grandson.

Keoki’s roots are closely related to the ukulele. There are three Portuguese credited with the development of the ukulele in Hawaii (circa 1887) Augusto Dias, Manuel Nunes and Jose do Espirito Santo. All originated in Madeira.

Keoki plays with multiple Hawaiian style bands in and around Arizona. Nancy, his wife of 50 years, accompanies him on her ukulele and sings many melodies.

Keoki and Nancy often perform with his band, the Poke Bowls, a sub-group of the Prescott Ukulele Guild. (Poke is a raw fish salad served as an appetizer in Hawaiian cuisine, and sometimes as a main course). Mixing music and food is a long-standing Hawaiian tradition. The Pike Bowls perform a mix of older and new age Hawaiian music, contemporary equatorial music, jazz, blues and various other popular music styles. Many of the Hawaiian songs include Hawaiian language melodies and hapa songs (English lyrics put to Hawaiian style tunes).

This is the eighth year St. John’s has opened its doors with four free Advent concerts for the Williams community and visitors. Refreshments and a time to meet the musicians will follows the concert.

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