Concert in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

Henry performs with the Prema Rasa Ensemble.

January 1, 2019: Henry performed in concert with the Prema Rasa Ensemble at a New Year’s Day Concert at the Yoga Hale Studio in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Henry was invited to perform by the ensemble’s founder and director, Manuel Roberto, a Bansuri flutist who specializes in Indian Classical Music. Henry and Manuel—and Manuel’s wife, the harpist Bernice Roberto—are longtime friends and performed often together when they served as musicians at a religious community in West Virginia in the early 1990s. The Prema Rasa Ensemble specializes in the music of India, but also combines elements of Western classical and pop music. One of the audience members, Dhivya Hirata, thought highly of the concert: “Music from the angelic realms. Moved the Soul and lightened the heart. The accordion was a carnival ride of joy.”

Henry said, “I absolutely adore Hawaii; its climate, geography, people, flora and fauna. I made a new friend who took me hiking in the Kona Cloud Rain Forest on the slopes of the Hualalai Volcano: an active volcano which last erupted in 1801. Probably the high point of my visit was playing music with my friends Manuel and Bernice again after so many years. We used accordion in about two-thirds of the program. I used the instrument to contribute to the harmonic texture, to add countermelodies to the vocals, and to add a bass line to the mix (the accordion and the Indian harmonium played by Bernice were the only instruments in the ensemble which could play in the bass range). Although the accordion and the Indian harmonium are both free-reed instruments, the two instruments have different timbres and playing styles and can make a nice compliment together. In addition, it was fun playing barefoot for a change (shoes are normally not permitted during concerts of Indian music, nor in yoga studios)!”

Pictured above, from left to right, are: Doug Fox, Nepalese flute; Irminsul, santoor (Indian hammered dulcimer) and electronic keyboard; Manuel Roberto, Bansuri flute; Madhavi Infinity, harp and vocals; Bernice Roberto, harp, vocals, Indian harmonium and electronic keyboard; Henry Doktorski, accordion; and Prakritidas, tablas.

Henry said, “My two-octave/twelve-bass accordion was perfectly suited to the music we performed. There was no need to bring a larger 120-bass model, and this instrument fit nicely inside my suitcase!”

Manuel Roberto, the founder and director of the Prema Rasa Ensemble, playing the Bansuri flute.

Photo credits: photo 1 by Dhivya Hirata; photo 2 by Manuel Roberto; photo 3 by Henry Doktorski. For more photos, see Facebook.