Uma’s Ultimate Kona Konnection is a weekly column covering the music scene of Kailua Kona. This week she spotlights ‘Lightning’ Larry Dupio. He plays this Friday August 2 at Gertrude’s Jazz Bar from 7-10 p.m. You can expect a great blues show from an amazing blues guitarist. And Blues Fest comes again August 24! Larry plays with Scott Reagan in the Larry & Scott Show from 8:30-10 p.m.
Larry Dupio is an amazing Blues guitarist. He won the Nā Hōkū Hanohano award last year for his Rock album Lightnin’ Strikes Hilo. You wouldn’t believe the stories he has to tell, especially the one where he met Muddy Waters in 1979, the year Muddy passed. The way Larry tells it, he puts you right there with him in this little shack behind the Waikiki Shell, smelling the big stogies Muddy was smoking…long story short, Larry promised him to keep the blues alive. And he sure has done that, by playing the blues 40 years later, improving his craft, and working with musicians who inspire him and keep him striving to inspire others. If you have the chance to chat with Larry, I highly recommend it…I asked him a few questions and here’s what he said…
Any challenges and/or joys of playing music here on the Big Island?
The challenge or joy is to be as creative with your music and to never put yourself in a position where you eventually begin to be unhappy with your situation……always evolve and get better in your chosen craft. Try to be the best you can and find what makes you happy…work for it.
What got you started playing music?
Watching my father and uncles play in a big band! I knew what I wanted to be when I was four years old.
About how many days in a month do you usually play?
Professionally, 6 to 8 appearances a month. Personally, I practice every day 2 to 3 hours.
Your biggest dream music-wise is…
I am living my dream! The musicians that helped shape my imagination were the ones that I saw play live and had a chance to meet. I feel blessed to have been witness to The Greats…too many to list.
What inspires your music most?
The heart of a survivor…the stories I’ve encountered in my life have been such a profound inspiration to me and helped me overcome life threatening issues in my own life. Lessons in life have taught me to remain positive, optimistic and be patient with myself and never ever give up on my dreams.
Your proudest moment in music was…
Winning the Na Hoku Hanohano award…a moment of triumph for my family.
Any suggestions for aspiring musicians?
Never give up on your dream!
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
What TV show did you last binge watch?
Any closing thoughts, shout outs, mahalos, etc.?
I would like to thank my wife, Caroline, for keeping me sane and our children for making life easy for us. Thank God for gifting me with this talent and my father for showing me the way to develope it and my mother for teaching me compassion. Thank you to Carlos Santana, Robben Ford, Muddy Waters, Johnny Johnson, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Roy Buchanan, Charlie Musselwhite, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Willie K, Bobby Ingano and Kirk Thompson.
Gertrude’s Jazz Bar is located at 75-5699 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona. Gertrude’s is an open air pub with creative & tasty food and drinks. Live music cover: $5.
Blues Fest happens August 24 at Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel, 75-5660 Palani Road, Kailua Kona, from 4-10 p.m.. Tickets are $20.https://www.facebook.com/events/452215532267276/
Love Guru Uma performs at Hawaii Cigar & Ukulele this Saturday in Hawi 12-3 p.m. and at KonaStock with Marion Geruschat at Hale Halawai, Saturday at 5 p.m., or thereabouts! She also sings in the 4-piece Uma Zuma Band, and in a duo with her husband. Uma’s also a substitute teacher, Uber driver, tour guide and self-published author. She just completed Book 2 in a series of adventure love story and self-help reads entitled Love is Crazy – Lessons in Love: Creating your own Happy Ever After and Love is Crazy Satisfying. More at umaojeda.weebly.com
Photos: Steve Roby