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Pulama: Press Room


        Bay Area’s sounds of Hawaii: Pulama, Espaniola, Inglis to showcase new albums

     Posted on July 26, 2013 | By

In Hawaiian, hiʻipoi means “to tend, feed, cherish, as a child,” which describes the loving, tender approach of Pūlama, i.e. Albany’s slack-key guitarist/singer Jim Romano and vocalist Paula Kauapālaukī Rudman,  to traditional Hawaiian mele and  new compositions — and certainly to  the production of their recordings, given the length of time between their 2009 debut, “The Song Within the Song,” and tonight’s CD release party for their second album, “Hiʻipoi.”

Jim Romano and Paula Rudman of Pūlama.

Jim Romano and Paula Rudman of Pūlama.

I’ve previously related the story of how the two healers — she a reiki practitioner, he a massage therapist — lived a few blocks from each other in Albany for years, but never met until 2003, when the two carpooled to an event in Danville. After Romano put some slack-key guitar music on the car stereo, Rudman started singing along. The two not only sang their way through the Caldecott Tunnel, they took the scenic route back after the workshop, through Orinda and Tilden Park, where he turned up the car’s heat and said, “Let’s pretend we’re in Hawaiʻi.”

Soon they began singing together, combining his inventive slack-key arrangements and their mutual leo nahenahe (soft, melodious vocals) into the distinctive sound of Pūlama (which also means “cherish.”) The recording of their 2011 performance at Freight & Salvage of “Hiʻilawe” (video below) — a song that appears on the new album — is a good example of their style, as are the liner notes:

History records two songs with the same words but different melodies, written at or before the turn of the 20th century. This version of “Hiʻilawe” by Pūlama is from the song attributed to Mrs. Kuakini in “Songs Of Hawaiʻi” (1902) as distinct from the song attributed to Martha K. Maui and first recorded by the great Gabby Pahinui.

Romano performs one of his regular Aloha Friday lunch gigs from noon to two today at King Tsin restaurant in Berkeley, returning for Pūlama’s CD release concert with Rudman, hula dancers and other special guests from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The music is free, but reservations are suggested for dinner; call (510) 525-9890.

Hawaii Insider

Jeanne Cooper - SF Gate - San Francisco Chronicle (Dec 12, 2009)

Hawaii Insider

Jeanne Cooper - SF Gate - San Francisco Chronicle (Dec 11, 2009)


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Wonderful Melodies
This is a wonderful album of traditional Hawaiian music. Love the guitar, especially. Will play my favorite, Pua Maeole when I feel lonesome for my Hawaii!!! Continued success to Pulama as he spreads the Aloha Spirit!!

Pulama | Hi'ipoi

Pulama’s 2013 CD, Hi`ipoi, presents some of Hawaii’s favorite classic songs, arranged with artistry and performed with aloha. This duo’s intimate, full, rich vocal sound, combined with scintillating slack key guitar, is both soothing and energizing.

5.0 out of 5.0  5.0 out of 5 stars A super treasure from the SF Bay area March 6, 2012
This is a sweet and satisfying gem of Island music from the SF Bay area.

Jim and Paula have magnificent harmony to accompany Jim's slack key prowess.

If you favor Island music or long for the magic of Hawaii, this is the album for you.

Seldom heard selections bring true Hawaiian artistry to light.

A great treasure and a group not to be missed.

 Pulama | The Song Within The Song

 The Song Within The Song  This beautiful debut CD sparkles with the aloha these two musicians have for their listeners, each other, and the islands and music of Hawai`i. Close, pure vocal harmonies combine with scintillating slack-key guitar on traditional and modern Hawaiian songs, with a few hapa-haole numbers and original compositions added to the mix.

5.0 out of 5.0

  • Quality of Service:  5.0
  • Responsiveness:  5.0
  • Professionalism:  5.0
  • Value:  5.0
  • Flexibility:  5.0

Pulama went above and beyond. They came to the venue a couple weeks before the big day just to get familiar with the area, demo different songs to see which ones we wanted for our wedding, they even added/learned new songs to their set because they had sentimental value to us. These guys came to the rehearsal and practiced the timing of the music with the ceremony and first dance. Their professionalism is the best I've ever seen. The quality of their music is amazing. They had us crying with the purity of the vocals and instruments, they set the exact romantic under the sea mood we wanted. They made all our guests feel like they were on the islands, one of our dear friends whose actually Hawaiian royalty said he felt like he was home. We can't thank you guys enough! You truly made our wedding unique and amazing and filled with so much love!! mahalo nui loa :)
Wedding: 08/03/2013
Services Used: Ceremony Music
Alisha - Wedding Wwire (Aug 3, 2013)

User nophoto 130

5.0 out of 5.0 (5.0 / 5.0)
This was such a wonderful experience with Pulama it is hard to know where to begin. They offered to come a week early to meet with us and discuss all of our special requests and also check out the site to judge how to set up. The night of the event they came hours early to ensure they would have everything in place and working properly. They managed to learn multiple song requests from as far back as 1932! and performed them so sweetly for our honoree. Jim and Paula could not have been more accomodating, flexible or wonderfully musical in all details. TX to Pulama our event had a very special dimension.
Phyllis - Event Wire (Feb 12, 2014)


Pulama's CD, The Song Within The Song

Paula Rudman - Bio

Jim Romano - Bio

Puama Photos - Low Res

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Pulama Photos - Low Res

Pulama Photos -Hi Res


Pulama Photos - Hi Res