The Lei of Emeralds Hawaiian Luau Party on the 5th 26th November 2011 at the  

Greenpark Hampshire Hotel . Six Hawaiian Steel Guitar players from the Netherlands and their bands promoting their Hawaiian music. From United Kingdom Rodney King and from Belgium Tam Trung Lee.

The oldest Dutch Hawaiian Steeler is Henk Braaksma , bandleader of the Honolulu Strings.

The second Dutch Hawaiian Band who performed is the Kameha Strings with Will Bouquet at the Hawaiian Steel

The 3rd Dutch Hawaiian Band is Pacific Malihini


 The 4th great Dutch Hawaiian Steel guitarist is Cees Meeusen with friends


The 5th Dutch Hawaiian Band is

The Mauna Loa Hawaiians with Rob de Kiewit as their Hawaiian Steeler.


The 6th Dutch Hawaiian Band is The EverLite For Hawaiians Band with Jan van Elk as their Steeler








5th May 2009      Lei of Emeralds Springtime Show with Basil & Pat Henriques, The Waikiki Islanders

                            from the United Kingdom and Bernard Glorian from France. 





14th september 2008       Lei of Emeralds Benefit Hawaiian & Tahitian Show.

                                         With Pascal Mesnier from Paris and Ukulelezaza from Belgium.

                                         Priscilla and her Hula and Tahitian Dancers MAEVA

                                         The EVERLITE for HAWAIIANS Band



5th May 2012 

Steel guitar convention in Netherland

I attended 2nd Lei of Emeralds International Hawaiian Steel Guitar Convention held in Netherland on last May 5th 2012 at

the request of  Ms.Nora and Mr. Rene Ranti.


I left my house at 6am on May 2nd and took flight at 10:40am

by KLM.

It is usually about 10 hour flight to go to Joliet in Chicago or

St. Louis from Tokyo, however it took about 12 hours to Schiphol air port of Amsterdam this time.

It was so hard for me to endure the tightness in economy class for

my age.


After arriving Schiphol air port, I could easily find Mr. & Mrs. Ranti whose pictures are always on FB and you tube and then

a Japanese lady who is a friend of Mr. and Mrs. Ranti and living

in Amsterdam too.


On the way to the hotel from the air port, I remembered my home town, Hokkaido located in North Japan.  

There were wide grass fields along the road and the line of poplar trees at the back of these wide grass fields. In these fields, there were browsing cattle, horses and sheep just same as Hokkaido.


Then we arrived at Hague. There were magnificent houses with unique northern European style in the fresh green making a healing world.


There was “The Europe Bilderberg Hotel In Scheveningen The Hague “along the beach of Hague.

This was my first hotel staying for two days at Amsterdam.

I took a shower and went to the beach. There were so many

beautiful antique houses for rich people.

Nora cheerfully said “So many topless girls are coming here on a        nice day”



First dinner in Netherland was at a restaurant for fresh seafood cuisine where Mr. and Mrs. Ranti are haunting many times.


After toast with Heineken beer, very funny appetizer came up.

This is a special food with pickled oily herring

I tried to have it in accordance with Mr. Rene’s instruction.



Second day, I went to the café restaurant to have breakfast.

There were innumerable, delicious foods.

I could enjoy very much except one thing.
I supposed there were plenty of potato dishes because this Netherland is close to Germany.

However there were none. I missed it because I love potato very much.




Mr. & Mrs. Ranti talked to me to pick me up this afternoon for sightseeing.

I tried to walk around in the neighbourhood such as beautiful resort condominium, beach etc…after breakfast.


When I was walking, I suddenly stopped in front of some resort

apartment house. I was so interested in twin lion statues in my sight working as gatekeeper beside the entrance.



As you know, my name is Kiyoshi “Lion” Kobayashi, Oh Yes Lion.

Twin lion statues installed at the entrance of one of the well

known department stores in Tokyo are believed to guard

the store, but not only in Tokyo but also here and hotel in Hilo….

What a surprise.

My relatives are working everywhere in the world.

Oh, ING bank also has Lion.

In addition to ING, The memorial tower for the war dead in Amsterdam also has had Lions.

@   @

I went to the windmill park through tulip flower field together

with Mr. & Mrs. Ranti  and Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher from Spain.

Mr. Fletcher was in blood so much although he is 82 years old

and has walked long way easily.


I didn’t know that the worker for the mill is living with family

in this mill. Living and dining rooms are on the first floor then

bed room is on 2nd floor. Children’s room is on the 3rd floor

where you could see calm pastoral landscape.


After this park visit, we went back to Amsterdam and took dinner

of Chinese cuisine recommended by Mr. Rene Ranti

All foods were tasty very much although some dish looked not acceptable for me.



Last day we went to some steak house. However my stomach

was almost full already. I couldn’t eat 300g of steak up but ate

one third only although it was of excellent quality. So I had to ask other people to help the rest regrettably.


I scaled my weight at my house after coming back to Japan.

It was more 2kg over than usual weight. Oh my goodness!


Regarding the event held on May 5th 2012, I will report as early as possible.





The eve of the Convention in the Netherlands


On the 4th of May, 2012, falling on the 3rd day after my arrival@in@the Netherlands, I and Mr. & Mrs. Norman Fletcher from Spain who were staying at the same hotel with me were picked up around 2pm by Mr. Ranti.


After leaving the Bilderberg Europe Hotel for an approx. 30 minute ride, we got to the 4 star ranked Greenpark Hampshire Hotel. Unfortunately no bell boy was available and Mr.Ranti was so kind to help me carry the 20kg guitar and 23kg suitcase all the way to upstairs. It was good that I had an injection, 4th one of hyaluronan supplement into my troubled left knee joint which removed my pain. Anyway his helping hand was very much appreciated. Entering the lobby hall, I was so surprised. The three walls of the hall decorated with pictures of tall, freshly

green shrub trees and a grand piano situated in the approx.15 metre square spacious hall as if like an electrically worked terrestrial globe with an gorgeous chandelier hanging down in the stairwell all the way to the 5th stairway ceiling.   Suddenly, I was tempted to play the piano and dared to do a few melodies with a permission from the manager.


Guided by Mr. Ranti, we then had a brief tour of the tomorrow’s convention site including a bar and restaurant.


We took a shower and visited Mr. Ranti’s house with Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher.

Mr. Ranti’s wife Nora had been busy from early in the morning preparing her skilled cuisine of as many as more than 10 Indonesian dishes. When entered the front door, there were spacey living and dining rooms leading to a roomy kitchen. Beyond the living room, you could see an outside garden with a patio where you could enjoy barbeques.


Mr. Ranti’s friends Pascal, Mesnier, and Dominique, all of them from France  driving 6 hours were staying at Mr. Ranti’s house. It appeared they kept drinking from the morning and we joined them with champagnes and wines. I told with my little knowledge that in Hawaii they toss saying “Okole maluna”, but they all had a difficulty to pronounce correctly, just shouting something like “Okle malina” or “Oklu malena”. Evening of around 8pm in the Netherlands was still bright that confused us for the correct time.


Tomorrow’s players all gathered - Rod and Rosemary from England, Ken Emerson from San Francisco (originally from Kauai Island, HI) who once played guitar to my piano and local persons Jan Van Elk and Casey Meeusen. Before start eating, we all prayed for the war dead in accordance with the TV monitor. Thereafter, we started  “Okole maluna” and enjoyed a variety of delicious Indonesian dishes skillfully cooked by Mrs. Ranti. Mr. Ranti himself also must have been exhausted with incessant hard work including the previous day’s shopping, helping his wife’s cooking, tuning  the old fashioned upright piano for me, plus as driver for our moves from hotel to hotel after accompanying us all the time during the rehearsal by Ken and 3 French men.


On the following day – 5th of May, sleepy looking Mr. Ranti surprised me saying that after sending us to the hotel last night, he still joined the French trio and kept drinking till as late as 5am. He is really something.



Pacifica touch present Lei of Emeralds International Hawaiian Steel Guitar Convention was held starting 2pm at the Greenpark Hotel. The Convention site was in the same hotel premises as we staying. It was a big help as moving instruments was just a short distance.


Previous night, I happened to drop in a hotel bar and ordered what I myself named “Frank Sinatra”, my favorite drink – whiskey and gin, more precisely, fill almost up an old fashioned glass with ice cubes, pour bourbon and Tanqueray gin at a 1:1 ratio, stir and then drink little by little. A black bartender had no idea about the drink. I told him to try. He, after tasting, said somewhat surprisingly “Quite strong but pretty good”. I ordered mixed cheese to go with the drink and he brought a plenty of cube shape cut cheese of two kinds, young and deep yellowy aged ones in two glass containers (bigger than tea cups). Both were so rich and tasty, but had to take some back to my hotel because of the volume.


Next morning, I went to the restaurant and saw through the window birds swimming lightly in an adjacent lake and seemingly staring at me curiously. They looked so lovely. I was told that in winter the lake which looked bigger than a good size baseball stadium turns to a ice skate rink.


Rehearsal started at 10am for the Kauai guitarist, Ken Emerson from San Francisco, ukulele player Dominique from France and bassist Jim van der Sar
, cousin of Mrs. Ranti. I knew first time that the bassist was actually a rock musician and therefore not familiar with such rhythms as II and IV beats for Hawaiian music.

I really turned pale!! We then decided to forget about sophisticated tunes and instead sang easy ones like some wedding songs with Nola and myself, My little grass shack, etc.



Netherlands Convention

 On the 5th of May, the day of Convention: People were all busy, rehearsing here and there, sound checking, projector/microphone testing, etc. I myself had a rehearsal the very first time since Ho’olaule’a. In case of away and groupless solo performance, rehearsal may be effective, but otherwise I do not rehearse at all. Just do it on the spot like the way I did at the Conventions in Honolulu, Joliet, Maui and St. Louis.

I remember a bitter memory of the St. Louis stage of 1996. It was non rehearsal one and therefore no way to figure out musical level nor feel of the accompanist. I suggested to play a tune “A girl from Ipanema” in bossa nova and handed over its cord chart. Then all of sudden, the accompanist started with a 8 beat rhythm making unable for me to change in the middle. We had to stop and do it again from scratch.


However, like experienced in the Ho’olaule’a cases of recent years, rehearsal does not always effectively work due to relatively low musical levels of accompanists. For instance, in the Waltz count, to start incorrectly from the 5th stroke in failure despite of the instruction of one-two-three-one-two; another instance is to fail to start from the very 1st stroke in case of a break in the intro. Mistakes of this kind only serve to ruin the overall performance.


For the Netherlands Convention of this time, I had asked Mr. Ranti in advance to rehearse. Thanks to this arrangement, we could start rehearsal at 10am in a big room adjacent to the Convention hall and guitar and ukulele turned out just perfect. During the Convention performance, I totally devoted myself to the steel guitar concentrating all my attention for the Hawaiian guitar and ukulele not rock bass. As a result, overall I am pretty much satisfied under the circumstances.

If we have a chance to perform there again, Hawaiian music bassist will be



We appreciate Mrs. Nora and Mr. Rene Ranti.

No one can do it except Mr. & Mrs. Ranti.


Mahalo  Nui !



 5th May 2013 Pacifica Touch Foundation organize The Lei Of Emeralds International

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival :

Top Hawaiian Steel Guitar player from United Kingdom , Basil Henriques are performing on this day . His wife Patricia will accompany Basil on the rhythm guitar ,the Waikiki Islanders.












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