I began producing free live events and special youth art education programs
in 1980 for the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, moved on to expand that work as Executive Director for the Juneau, Alaska 10-day annual Jazz & Classics music festival and then, after relocating to Hawaii, for the island of Lanai, as Executive Director for the Lanai Art Center. That work continued in my capacity as Lanai Coordinator and Event Producer for The University of Hawaii at Manoa Outreach College.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a list of previously produced events and great photos.

UH Manoa/Four Seasons free concert series concludes

After a 5-year run, The Free Concert Series on Lanai has come to an end. The series helped to fill the gap left when the old Visiting Artist Program was ended several years ago. During its run, we presented over 20 events featuring all Hawaii-based performers in a series of family-friendly, free events for all ages that consistently brought diverse, top quality entertainment to the somewhat remote island of Lanai.
The series also drew in over $150,000 to Lanai in artist fees, travel expenses and production costs that would not have been available from any other sources, and presented Performing Arts that included traditional to modern Hula, Jazz, Celtic, Peruvian, African and Chinese music, as well as wonderful storytelling, Classical and Opera.
Thanks to The University of Hawaii at Manoa Outreach College, The Hawaii State Foundation on Culture & the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts for their long-standing support and funding of this program. Photos from all the events in the series and many more events on Lanai can be found below. Thanks to the audiences of Lanai for their suppport. It was a great pleasure to produce this series. Greg Cohen
Photos from past events:
Friday, December 6, 2013 - Hawaii Opera Theatre - The HOT quartet won the audience over from the first aria, and held them for a lengthy, varied and extremely well-performed and delivered 90-minute set that began with opera arias, and ended with a segment of Broadway musical favoritesThe quartet received a standing ovation when the show ended! The Lodge was fully trimmed out for the holidays and the warm festive atmosphere really accentuated the evening’s event.

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - Rakugo Bento -
Rakugo is a traditional Japanese comic storytelling where a performer sits on a zabuton, which is a Japanese pillow, and tells a comic story using a Japanese fan and a Japanese towel. It has been one of the most popular Japanese traditional theatre forms along with Kabuki and Bunraku. Bento Rakugo is a dynamic group whose mission is to honor traditional Rakugo and also bring a modern twist to it. Lanai was lucky enough to have them visit us on Thursday, April 25, where they delighted an audience of 60+ with a nice mix of keiki, middle schoolers and adults. The storytelling was wonderful, funny and charming.
Saturday, April 6, 2013 - Patrick Ball - Legends of the Celtic Harp - Patrick Ball was joined by two talented artists, Lisa Lynne and Aryeh Frankfurter in an afternoon of moving storytelling and magic, melodic Celtic music featuring three harps plus Lisa performing on a bazouki/mandolin and Aryeh also playing a gorgeous and intricately constructed instrument called a nyckelharpa which is a bowed instrument that sounds something like a viola. They kept a spell-bound crowd of 75 entertained and fascinated. A very special afternoon at the Lodge.
Saturday, December 1, 2012 - Hawaii Opera Theatre - The HOT quartet won the audience over from the first aria, and held them for a lengthy, varied and extremely well-performed and delivered 90-minute set that began with opera arias, and ended with a segment of Broadway musical favoritesThe quartet received a standing ovation when the show ended! The Lodge was fully trimmed out for the holidays and the warm festive atmosphere really accentuated the evening’s event.

Thursday, November 15, 2012 - Ben Moffatt, Storyteller - One of our favorite island visitors, Ben has performed at the Lodge at Koele with Yukie Shiroma, performing the wonderful Monkey Waterfall piece in both 2009 and 2011, (click the year to see great photos). Ben held an audience of Lanai keiki enthralled for an hour at the Lanai Library with his wonderful storytelling, puppetry and amazing work on stilts. A master storyteller, he had developed a rapport with the kids even before the show started, and wove a wonderful tale that took kids and adults down "the River of Dreams", wending his way through many stories that all were stitched together by a central tale of a little girl named Zuzu. Sheer delight for all.
Sunday, October 21, 2012 - Eth-Noh-Tec, storytelling - The 2012-2013 series kicked off in style featuiring the excellent San Francisco-based storytelling group Eth-No-Tec , founded in 1982 by Artistic Co-Directors Nancy Wang and Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo, longstanding San Francisco artists who have contributed greatly to the Asian American performing arts movement. Both have trained and performed in traditional and contemporary art forms for over two decades, truly meeting the goals of their name Eth-Noh-Tec: The weaving [tec] together of distinctive cultural elements of the East and West [eth] to create new possibilities [noh].

Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 16th Avenue Quartet -
This talented quartet performed a 90-minute program for a capacity seated crowd tallied almost 200 happy jazz fans between the Great Hall and the Dining Room. The Quartet toook the audience on a global tour of the history of jazz, tracing a rhythmic theme and its evolution.

Friday March 9 and Saturday, March 10, 2012 - Spring Wind Quintet -
The Spring Wind Quintet, recognized as one of the country’s leading woodwind quintets, has been a major force in the development of chamber music in Hawaii. Many new works have been composed and arranged especially for the Spring Wind Quintet. The group has an extensive and varied repertoire earning several national grants and offers educational programs for all ages.
Saturday, February 25, 2012 - Yang Jing, Chinese Pipa Virtuoso and Ensemble. Renowned pipa virtuoso Yang Jing maintains an extensive performance schedule throughout Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East, bringing a mixture of musical styles and cultures to the stage. Combining her love for the millennium-old tradition of Chinese music with an innovative spirit of exploration, Yang Jing builds on a vast amalgam of musical history from both Asian and Western traditions to create a musical experience that transcends boundaries. She is equally comfortable whether performing solo concerts, chamber music or concertos, and frequently appears in jazz and improvisatory settings as well. From the Golden Hall in Vienna to the Barbican Center in London; from New York’s Carnegie Hall to Tokyo's Suntory Hall; from the community Hall in Shropshire, UK that bears her name to the Lucerne Culture and Congress Hall in Switzerland; from Jerusalem Concert Hall in Israel to the Beijing Concert Hall in China, audiences have experienced her distinct mix of virtuosity and lyricism, tradition and innovation.

Thursday, November 10 , 2011 - Lanai Public Library -
Slam Poetry performance featuring Kealoha
Kealoha is the first poet in Hawaii's history to perform at a governor's inauguration, and in 2010 he was selected as a master artist for a National Endowment for the Arts program. Impressively, Kealoha graduated with honors from MIT with a degree in Nuclear Physics (and a minor in writing), and served as a business consultant in San Francisco prior to becoming a professional poet in 2002. He has also collaborated with such notable artists as Henry Kapono, Hapa, Makana, Willie K, and even Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac fame.

Thursday, April 21, 2011 - Badenyaa
- Badenyaa introduces audiences to the songs, dances and percussion music of Cuba and Haiti and their relationship to the music of the Central African region of Congo and to the West African region of Guinea. This music is ancestral to blues, jazz and rock and roll and to many of the genres of music that are popular today. The group integrates the audience from the beginning and throughout the performance in order to create a collaborative and interactive experience. They focus on highlighting the diversity within Africa and the African Diaspora as well as the interrelations between various cultures.

Saturday, March 5, 2011 - Monkey Waterfall - A Honolulu-based dance theatre company that always serves up the brilliantly unexpected, and dear to many hearts here on Lanai. If you visit their web site, you’ll immediately recognize the two dancers who entertained us in the Great Hall in the final year of the Art & Story project; they performed a dance based on a traditional Chinese fable that featured a little red monkey and 10-foot tall man who danced the entire performance on stilts, both in stunning masks. The tiny, graceful dancer in the red velvet monkey suit was Monkey Waterfall's principal, Yukie Shiroma, who was the dance movement coach for all 5 years of Art & Story. Yukie inspired over 100 young Lanai students and our capacity audience of 200+ saw why and were inspired themselves.

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 - Huliau
- a contemporary Hawaiian dance company showcasing hula at its highest art form. HULIAU is noted for their innovative presentations. Artistic Director and Kumu Hula (Dance Master) Michael Pili Pang brings to the stage Hawaiian rituals, myths, and legends with a contemporary flair, to the tell the stories of Hawaii'i and its rich culture. HULIAU performers have been trained through the dance school  Halau Hula Ka No'eau in the style called hula ku'i- a descriptive dance style which blends traditional hula with western idioms. Mr. Pang and his company have been a leader in Hawaiian dance theatre presentations throughout the United States, Canada, Taiwan, and Korea for the past decade.

Saturday, December 4, 2010 - Hawaii Opera Theatre

This fine quartet shared a warm, brilliant evening of opera and Broadway favorites with a full house, a real treat for the Lanai community, who showed their appreciation with a standing ovation. A memorable night for all.

Saturday, November 6, 2010 - Wayne Mendoza's Magsayawan Filipino Dance

Wayne Mendoza’s Magsayawan Filipino Dance Troupe brought cultural insights, great authentic music and incredible, artful dancing to the Lanai community.
Saturday, May 15, 2010 - In keeping with our goal of diversity, we presented live jazz, a rarity on Lanai with a stellar performance by Bailey Matsuda's 16th Avenue Quartet
Saturday, June 5, 2010 - The Tau Dance Theatre

The series kicked off on April 10, 2010 with the Kenny Endo Taiko Ensemble.
Click on the link for great photos from both their events.
Other Lanai Live Event History
(Click on any link for event photos)
Bones - Storytelling and Dance Presentation
Keola Beamer
Hapa
Dennis Kamakahi
- Slack Key Guitar shows
Kahikili Dance Troupe
Hookena
Lakota Indian Dance Troupe

Art & Story - Youth Storytelling and Art Project
The Lines Are Drawn - L'oi Theater - 1 act play
Lanai High & Elementary School -Mural Project
Lanai High & Elementary School - Honolulu Art Excursion