Native Books, Inc.
Executive Producer: Richard Hamasaki
Wayne Kaumualii Westlake was only 36 years old when he died in the prime of his life in February 1984. The person who t-boned his car snuffed out one of Hawaii’s most remarkable warrior-poets. Wayne’s manuscript lay hidden for years in an outdoor shed, covered only by a tarp – manuscripts that rarely, if ever, saw the light of day, even when Wayne was alive. Fortunately, in 2000, Mei-Li M. Siy rescued his surviving manuscripts from destruction, and, as his literary executor, continues to honor Wayne’s life and poetry.
This album consists of 26 new and unique songs. Each song is based on a manuscript of poems that Wayne wrote between 1971 and 1973. In order of appearance, Down on the Sidewalk in Waikiki features work from Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa, Aotearoa/New Zealand, New York, Missouri, Illinois, Argentina, Washington, Utah, and Guahan/Guam. composers, musicians, poets, and artists lovingly made original music and songs inspired by Wayne’s poems. Within a year, all 27 tracks were produced and recorded.