Kailua kupuna hosts lanai jazz concerts for neighborhood amid Coronavirus outbreak


HONOLULU (KHON2) – If you drive through Kailua on a Friday night, you might hear the tunes of Buddy Makapagal.

“I used to play in Waikiki with a quartet,” said Buddy Makapagal a Kailua resident. “Piano, bass, drum, trumpet, we were on Lewers Street, it was a lot of fun, we just played the old, old music, the old jazz.”

The 86-year-old uses his lanai as a stage to share his music with the community.

“The Bible says we have spiritual gifts and mine is playing the piano and I enjoy playing and that’s my spiritual gift to play for other folks.”

Buddy wouldn’t be able to put on a show every week without the help of his wife, who thought of the lanai jazz concert idea.

“I dragged Buddy’s piano out on the lanai at lunch time and I said ‘Buddy, Buddy come, come’ and he came out and I said ‘can you play’ and he sat down and played maybe for an hour,” said Robin Makapagal. “Buddy is going to be 87 next month and this gift that he has of music needs to be shared with the world so that’s why we do it.”

The Makapagal’s say they’re glad they can bring their community some aloha during these uncertain times.

“It brings great joy to people, we have people that never used to come out of their houses who come and bring their chairs and make sure they’re here early. It’s just been a real encouragement to so many people to have this wonderful wonderful time on Fridays,” said Robin.

Even as the pandemic passes, Buddy has no plans of stopping his neighborhood concerts anytime soon.

“I’ll just go even when the quarantine is over I’ll just play until I drop dead,” said Buddy.

The Makapagal’s next lanai jazz concert is on Friday at 6 p.m. via Facebook live and Zoom. For more information, click here.

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