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Photo of Mekia Kealakai

Mekia Kealakai

1930 - 1932

1920 - 1926

A pupil of Henry Berger, Mekia learned how to play the trombone, flute, and piano - eventually earning a position in the band as a trombonist. However on a trip with the band to the mainland U.S., he played the flute during a performance for John Philip Sousa and was offered a position to play with his band on the spot. Mekia politely refused and eventually became bandmaster upon the request of mayor Johnny Wilson, leading the band from 1920 to 1926. Under Mekia, the band expanded their listening audience by performing for regular radio broadcasts. 

He returned as bandmaster in 1930 during an interim tenure of just over a year while a suitable replacement was sought.

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