“Boston was a great city to grow up in, and it probably still is. We were surrounded by two very important elements: academia and the arts. I was surrounded by theater, music, dance, museums. And I learned how to sail on the Charles River. So I had a great childhood in Boston. It was wonderful.” -Leonard Nimoy

The annual Mayor’s Cup Regatta takes place in July each year on the Esplanade of the Charles River where Corporate and Philanthropic teams of eight, with at least one person living with a disability, compete in Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe Races. It was a beautiful day to play contemporary and traditional Hawaiian music as part of the onshore activities that included live music, luau, and an awards ceremony.

It was great to receive positive feedback from the attendees and organizers, many of whom have a connection to Hawaii. But the greatest compliment of all was to have kids with disabilities standing two feet in front of us smiling, clapping, and dancing to the music while being held by their parents.

We play this music because the songs, poetry, and Hawaiian culture touch our hearts. It eventually permeated our souls. It was magical to see kids dancing based on the sounds coming from our instruments.

Special thanks to my playing partner Claudia Goddard, AccesSportAmerica, the Boston dancers who generously came to share hula, and all the sponsors. With fine summer weather, it was a great day spent on the River Dock on the DCR’s Esplanade just over the Arthur Fielder Footbridge near the Hatch Shell in Boston.

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