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What these Mauians do makes them worthy of our attention.

Willie K & Eric Gilliom Native Talent

In the past year, no two local guys have captured the attention of the Maui music scene more than Willie K and Eric Gilliom.

Separately, they are a story in themselves: Willie Kahaiali‘i—Grammy-nominated musician with numerous CDs and Na Hoku Hanohano awards to his name, son of jazz legend Manu Kahaiali‘i; and Eric Gilliom—actor/musician with a list of TV, Hollywood and Broadway credits, grandson of revered actress and choreographer Jennie Napua Woodd.

Together, they are the Barefoot Natives—a creative musical duo just as likely to get the crowd laughing with a wedding spoof, serenading each other across the aisles, as to evoke chicken-skin with a thrilling rendition of Willie’s song “Indigenous Nations.”

Both guys grew up on Maui and were encouraged by their families to begin performing at a young age. But it wasn’t until Willie started recording albums with Eric’s sister—well-known ha‘i (female falsetto) singer Amy Hanaiali‘i Gilliom—that the two began collaborating musically, releasing their first CD in May 2006.

Onstage, Eric’s bumbling antics are a perfect foil for Willie’s gruff demeanor. Offstage, their personalities are different, but not much. Eric is warm, exuberant, quick with a story and any excuse to dramatize.

Both guys share a deep, unwavering commitment to Maui and to Native Hawaiian culture.

Read Full Article in Maui No Ka Oi Magazine: http://mauimagazine.net/10-intriguing-people-2007/