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news flash, San Francisco 1883

April 29, 2013

“thousands of Masons from across the country got their first taste of modern Hawaiian music during the Royal Hawaian Band’s first-ever mainland appearance at the Twenty Second Triennial Conclave of the Knights Templar in San Francisco in August 1883. Although public interest was initially stimulated by false rumors that some of its thirty members were infected with leprosy, the band’s musicianship is what left the most lasting impression. Playing at a series of conclave events, as well as gigs at the Palace Hotel (official headquarters of the conclave) and city theaters, the band and its mix of Hawaiian, American, and European instrumental and vocal music was a hit, ‘acknowledged by the Press and the Public to be the best Band that has ever visited San Francisco,’ crowed Woodward’s Garden, a popular pleasure resort that featured the band in concert.”

(from the book: Ukelele, A HIstory, Univ. of Hawaii Press

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