Matisyahu made a Maui busker’s day on Friday night (Aug. 12) at the Hollywood Palladium when he brought ukelele player and fan Clint “Kekoa” Alama on stage with him.
To recap: while in Hawaii for the annual MayJah RayJah Music Festival on July 29 and 30, reggae star Matisyahu happened into a Maui coffee shop where a guy was strumming away on his song “One Day.” He started singing along with the busker only to realize that the local musician, who goes by the name Kekoa Alama, did not seem to know it was Matisyahu on vocals.
Some 10 days later, Matisyahu worked to secure Alama’s travel to Los Angeles for a surprise appearance. After gaining permission from Alama’s probation officer — the 27-year old busker had recently violated probation after convictions for assault and other charges — and a local judge, he made it to L.A. in time for Matisyahu’s set opening for 311.
The moment, caught on video by Matisyahu’s bass player, producer and musical director Stu Brooks (watch below), elicited a swell of cheers from the Palladium crowd. Matisyahu announced Alama’s arrival “with special permission from the judge,” then launched into “One Day” trading verses. Alama, naturally, had his ukelele in hand, only breaking away to point his finger in the air.
The song segued into Bob Marley‘s “No Woman, No Cry,” after which Alama made his exit. But the night of surprise appearances was not over yet. An hour later, Matisyahu joined 311 for The Cure‘s “Love Song,” which the rap-rock-reggae band famously covered in 2004.
Kekoa Alama live with Matisyahu.
Posted by Stu Brooks on Friday, August 12, 2016