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The Project: The players, dancers, and singers of the Na Kapuna Ukulele Club bring the Aloha Spirit to Chicago and across the country. Pono co-founders Lauren Okura and Paul Maeda each have ties to the group including Lauren's grandmother and uncle who were founding members.
The group was in need of a t-shirt to wear to their annual luau and fundraiser, so Lauren and Paul put together a logo inspired by the hand-drawn type Lauren's grandfather (a retired graphic artist) had created for the hand-made posters and event banners the group used early on. From there a shirt was made, and a website was built to share and archive the talent and history of this amazing group.
In 1997, a group of Hawaiian-American seniors got together and formed a ukulele club in Chicago. They called it the Na Kupuna Ukulele Club, as Na Kupuna means “elder” in the Hawaiian language. Together, the group of island and mainland born seniors sing, strum the ukulele and dance the hula to over 300 songs, including iconic Hawaiian classics like “Aloha Oe”, “Blue Hawaii”, “Hawaiian Wedding Song”, and “Kaulana Na Pua”. The group has held countless performances over the years, all across Chicago and as far as Hawaii.