Talk Story Host McKenna Maduli welcomes Teresa Bright to wala’au & kanikapila

Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 10:14 AM HST
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Join host McKenna Maduli and her one-man band dad Kata Maduli as they welcome legendary Hawaiian entertainer Teresa Bright into the Talk Story Hale to catch up and of course jam out. Aunty T, which McKenna affectionately calls her spends some quality time revisiting memorable moments in her lifelong career of making music. Teresa shares stories about working with Kata, who also served as Teresa’s producer on her 1991 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Album of the Year ‘Self Portrait.” A sweet kanikapila and wala’au session with truly one of Hawaii’s living legends.

ABOUT: Teresa Nanialiʻi Bright was born on September 22, 1959, to Carolyn Halualani and Daniel Bright. The youngest of four children, she was raised in Heʻeia, Oʻahu, which she still calls home. She is a successful native Hawaiian vocalist, entertainer, musician (her instruments being the ʻukulele and the guitar), record producer and business woman. Spanning over four decades, Teresa’s music career has included performing as one half of a duo and as a solo artist, for which she has been recognized with multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards. Teresa’s music can best be characterized as Hawaiian inflected with touches of jazz, blues, and even soul. As a truly remarkable singer, she possesses a voice that has been described as crystalline, sultry, ethereal and powerful, characterized by a myriad of colors. In the early 1980s, a chance performance with Steve Maʻiʻi in which they clicked musically led to the formation of “Steve and Teresa.”

Throughout the decade, the duo enjoyed great acclaim as performers and recording artists, capturing a Song of the Year Hōkū award in 1988 for their “Uwehe Ami and Slide.” After the musical duo parted ways, Teresa’s 1990 album “Self Portrait” set the stage for a notable recording career as a soloist both here and in Japan. The album garnered multiple Hōkū awards, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year and Haku Mele (for Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett and his composition “Poliahu”), Producer of the year for Kata Maduli, and, for Teresa, Female Vocalist of the Year. More successful releases followed. Beginning in the mid-90s, Teresa began to focus on Japan, recording 8 albums from 1996 through 2012 that were first released in Japan and later made available in Hawaiʻi through her licensing agreements with the Japanese labels. She also became an in-demand producer for other Japanese vocalists who have sought to emulate her contemporary as well as traditional Hawaiian sound for the Japanese audience. Her music has been licensed by major corporate brands. Teresa has an artistic bent as an amateur photographer and as a teacher of crafts to keiki. She has taught ʻukulele to kūpuna and served on the Board of the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts. But music defines Teresa and Hawaiian music is her genre. She remains one of Hawaiʻi’s premier singers and performers.

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