Geoffrey Fey’s Tribute to His Late Father Barry Fey


Brother, Father, Grandfather, Provider & Contributor

My dad left behind a sister, four boys, three granddaughters and two ex-wives. Through all of his trials and tribulations he kept it together, and no matter if you knew Barry or not, adored him or were indifferent, you must admire that he provided for all of us. As a father myself, I know that love is a great quality, but the pressure to provide a better life for your children can be very challenging and emotional.

My dad failed and succeeded in his rollercoaster of business. However, his children were afforded every economic opportunity to make of their lives as they saw fit.

Even after his death, my dad left me a gift that allowed me to grieve the loss of my beloved child Arielle without the concerns of paying rent, buying food, or getting up and going to work. He was very angry and sad about what was being done to his Arielle. Sometimes I think he knew what was coming and was loading in the stage.

A larger than life figure, very raw and emotional. His diversity in character was legendary but he had a heart of gold. My dad loved Denver and the people of Colorado who gave him many great blessings. It was very important to him that he had a positive impact on this community.

In the final moments of his life, he was recognized through his induction into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame and the Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame. These awards were paramount to my dad because he defined his success by the impact he had on his industry and community and these recognitions validated that part of his life.

Today [4/28/14] marks the one year anniversary of his death, and by law I should move on with my grieving. However, for me today is no different than yesterday or what I imagine tomorrow will bring.

Geoffrey Fey – on Facebook – 4/28/14 (shared by Chuck Slocum)

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The Rev. Dennis David Kahekilimamaoikalanikeha Kamakahi (March 31, 1953 – April 28, 2014) was a Hawaiian slack key guitarist, recording artist, music composer, and Christian minister. He won multiple Grammy Awards, and in 2009 was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.

In 1972, Kamakahi became a member of a Hawaiian music group known as Na Leo O Nuuanu. His first recording with Na Leo O Nu’uanu was the album Ia ‘Oe E Ka La Volume 1, released on the Nakahili Productions label with Palani Vaughan. It was the first of a series of albums based on the life of King David Kalakaua. The second recording of the group, released 1974, was recorded live at a music festival in Waimea, Hawaii called The Waimea Music Festival. The festival featured many of Hawaii’s popular entertainers of the time including Gabby Pahinui, Fred Punahoa, The Sunday Manoa and Genoa Keawe.

It was his tenure with Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawaii (1974–1995) that led Kamakahi to become one of Hawaii’s most prolific songwriters in the Hawaiian language, composing around 500 songs. In 1974, Kamakahi recorded with the Sons of Hawaii for the National Geographic Society’s Music of the World series. This was the beginning of seven albums under the Hawaii Sons label and the recording of many of Kamakahi’s music compositions. In 1978 he became a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers and created Naukilo Publishing Company, a music publishing firm.

From 1988 until 2004, he continued to work with Kamae, recording soundtracks for several Hawaiian documentary films: LI‘A: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man, Listen to the Forest, The Hawaiian Way: The Art and Tradition of Slack Key Music, Words, Earth & Aloha: The Source of Hawaiian Music, Luther Kahekili Makekau: A One Kine Hawaiian Man, Hawaiian Voices: Bridging Past to Present, Sons of Hawai’i: A Sound, A Band, A Legend, Hawaiian Son: The Life and Music of Eddie Kamae and Keepers of the Flame: The Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women, all produced by Eddie and Myrna Kamae as part of the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation series.

Kamakahi launched his solo career in 1996, releasing his first slack key guitar CD Pua’ena, (Glow Brightly) co-produced by Howard Johnston and pianist George Winston, under Dancing Cat Records. In 1998 he released his second slack key guitar CD for Dancing Cat Records together with son David Kamakahi on the ukulele. The CD was called Ohana (Family). It was soon followed by another Dancing Cat Records release, Hui Aloha (Play Together), featuring both Dennis and David Kamakahi, George Kuo, and Martin Pahinui.

In 2003 under his own recording label, Dennis Kamakahi Productions, he released a second album with son David, The Gift of Music – From Father to Son. The CD included narratives between each song selection to explain the meaning of each song. In 2003, both Kamakahi and David became involved with the Walt Disney Studios to provide vocal and instrumental the animated film Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch (released in August 2005) as well as the soundtrack, released on Island Favourites. It was also at this time that Kamakahi became a member of SAG Screen Actors Guild.

Kamakahi produced an album featuring his son in 2004 entitled Pa’ani (Play). The CD was the first solo ukulele effort of David and garnered a Na Hoku Hanohano Award from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts for Contemporary Album of the Year in 2005. At that same Award Ceremony, Kamakahi was honored with the Na Hoku Hanohano Kiho’alu Award (Slack Key Award) by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts.

At the 49th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California on February 11, 2007, Kamakahi received his first Grammy Award for Best Hawaiian Album for the slack key guitar compilation CD Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, part of the recorded live concerts at Kapalua, Maui at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Dennis received his second Grammy in the Hawaiian Music Category in 2008 at the 50th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles for the slack key guitar compilation CD Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, part of the second recorded live concert series at the Napilikai Resort Hotel in Kapalua, Maui. He also joined the Music Teachers National Association that year to continue the teaching and advancement of music composition to students.

Kamakahi was nominated for a third Grammy in 2009 at the 51st Grammy Awards with the slack key compilation CD The Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, a third recorded live series at the Napilikai Resort Hotel in Kapalua, Maui. The CD did not win the award, but Kamakahi did receive his first gold Grammy Nominee medal as a record producer.

Kamakahi was nominated for his fourth attempt to win a Grammy on the slack key compilation CD The Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Volume 2 – Live in Maui and won his third Grammy for Best Hawaiian Music Album at the 52nd Grammy Awards on January 31, 2010.

In 2009, Kamakahi was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts as a member of the Sons of Hawaii and inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall Of Fame. Kamakahi continued to perform in live concerts in Hawaii and abroad and taught Hawaiian slack key guitar, the History of Hawaiian songs and their meaning, and songwriting workshops in both Hawaii and the U.S. mainland.

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Other notable musicians’ deaths…

April 2014

29th : Iveta Bartošová, 48, Czech singer, three-time winner of Zlatý slavík (1986, 1990, 1991), suicide by train.

28th : Dennis Kamakahi, 61, American Grammy Award-winning musician, lung cancer; Idris Sardi, 75, Indonesian violinist and composer.

27th : DJ E-Z Rock, 46, American hip-hop musician (Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock).

26th : Alena Míková, 86, Czech opera singer; DJ Rashad, 34, American footwork disc jockey, drug overdose.

24th : Konstantin Orbelyan, 85, Armenian composer and conductor.

23rd : Benjamín Brea, 67, Spanish-born Venezuelan musician, stomach cancer; Patric Standford, 75, English composer.

22nd : Loyd Boldman, 59, American Christian rock musician (Prodigal).


Categories: In Memoriam