‘Sharing our Aloha’: Hawaiian Spirit Alive in Lu’au

Singer-songwriter Bo Napoleon played alongside his uncles at the Kupa’a Hawai’i Club Lu’au in Kingsmen Park April 11 as traditional Hawaiian dancers performed beneath lights strung across the park.

Napoleon is from Carson, California. He said his passion for music was inspired by his father, who is also a singer-songwriter.

“It’s a family affair,” said Napoleon, who has Hawaiian, Filipino and Tahitian roots. “[My dad] is kind of a local legend from where I’m from, he’s always been writing.”

Napoleon has been a professional musician for eight years, but has been writing songs for over 20. He has played for the House of Blues and is currently planning a tour of the west coast.

“It’s the connection you get…when I write a song and you feel that connection and people know the song and sing it back to you and they know how you feel when you wrote that song and what you were trying to get across…that’s the best feeling,” Napoleon said.

The Lu’au had Hawaiian trivia, a raffle and prizes. Graduate student Cynthia Alvarez encourages anyone who is interested in cultural events to give them a try. 

“[Cultural events] build community and diversity, and we get to learn about other people’s culture. Absolutely go,” Alvarez said. “Everyone is super nice and it just has a really nice chill Hawaiian vibe.”

Napoleon expressed his interest to perform again at Cal Lutheran. He believes in the importance of sharing one’s culture with others.

“Sharing our Aloha is what we call it, our love with everyone, all races…is a beautiful thing,” Napoleon said.

Sophie Zepf