A Tribute to Maui Musician Extraordinaire Willie K
May 19, 2020 | By: Aubrey Hord Photography
I first met Willie K at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center about 15 years ago Maui. He is a fixture of the Maui community with his large presence both physically and with his booming voice. He was a magician of a musician in the sense that he could make any song he sang sound like it was written by him and coming straight from his soul to his audience.
Willie K was an incredible stage presence with a voice that was unparalleled. He sang opera to rock and roll and Hawaiian music.
I photographed him many times at MACC events before I was hired by Brian Kohne as the Still Photographer on the Maui comedy feature film, Get a Job. On set, Willie was a hilarious addition to the all star cast and when he would show up on set people would definitely pay attention. They recognized that greatness was in the room.
As a soulful singer and an active community member, Willie K was one of the most sought after musicians in the State of Hawaii.
Last night, he lost his battle with lunch cancer after 2 years of bravely fighting while still performing for his loyal audience. He is free of his body that was overtaken by cancer but his voice will live on forever as the fabric of our culture and community.