Mahi Beamer

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Mahi Beamer
Birth name Edwin Mahiai Copp Beamer
Born (1928-12-05) December 5, 1928 (age 86)
Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii
Genres Hawaiian
Occupation(s) Singer, dancer, composer
Instruments Vocals, piano, glockenspiel

Edwin Mahiʻai (Mahi) Copp Beamer (born 1928) is a tenor falsetto singer, composer and hula dancer of Hawaiian ancestry. He was born in Honolulu in the Territory of Hawaii and is the grandson of Helen Desha Beamer. His father, Milton Hoʻolulu Desha Beamer Sr. was her son. Mahi's mother was Mildred Kaaloehukaiopuaena Copp Beamer. In 2006, Mahi Beamer was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.[1] He was named a "Living Treasure of Hawaii" in 2008 by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, which has been recognizing Hawaii's treasures since 1976. He received the 1992 State of Hawaii Recognition Award for his musical contributions to the state and for perpetuating his grandmother's music. Beamer was the 1993 recipient of the David Malo award presented by Rotary International for his cultural contributions.[2]

Beamer is a 1946 graduate of Kamehameha Schools and went on to continue his musical education at University of California, Santa Barbara and Juilliard School of Music. He is a cousin to Winona Beamer and once toured North America with Winona and her brother Keola performing the ancient Hawaiian form of the hula.[3] He served in the United States Army during the post-World War II years at Schofield Barracks at Wahiawa on the island of Oahu, where he played classical piano and the glockenspiel.[4] His civilian music career got its start with a three-year stint singing at the Queen's Surf in Waikiki. In 1959, Beamer had an uncredited part as a singer in the Columbia Pictures movie Forbidden Island, which starred Jon Hall and was filmed on location in Hawaii.[5] Beamer has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City, and for thirteen years was a featured performer of Nalani Kele's Polynesian Review at the Stardust Resort and Casino in Paradise, Nevada. He has performed at numerous venues in his home state of Hawaii. Beamer has recorded many of his grandmother's compositions. The Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts gave Beamer its Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.[6]

Singles discography (partial list)[edit]

Source: allmusic[7]

Family tree[edit]

Alexander P. Miller Jr.[A 1] Kapuailohia Wahine Kanuha Kaialiilii.[A 2]
Sarah Kaʻili Miller John Mahiʻai Miller/Kaneakua
(Oct. 9, 1860-Jan. 26, 1936)
County Clerk of Kaua‘i
Hui Hawaiian Aloha ʻĀina
Lucy Kaʻumealani Cummings Samuel Kalimahana Miller.[A 3][A 4]
(1868-Nov. 24, 1933)
Daisy Amoe Ai George Langhern Desha Isabella Haleʻala Kaʻili Miller [A 5][A 6]
(1865-Feb. 28, 1949)
Noa Miller
Sakichi Hayashi Annie Maikaʻi Miller Peter Carl Beamer Helen Kapuailohia Desha
(Sept. 8, 1882–Sept. 25, 1952)
David Lester Desha
James Waichiro Miller Milton Hoʻolulu Beamer Kaaloehukaiopuaena Copp Francis Kealiʻinohopono Beamer Louise Leiomälama Harriet Kekahiliokalani Beamer Peter Carl Kaleikaʻapunihonua Beamer Jr. Helen Elizabeth Kawohikukapulani Beamer
Mahi Beamer Odell Steppe Winona Beamer
Keola Beamer Kapono Beamer


  1. ^ Kaʻanoʻi Walk writes in an article for the Hawaiian Cultral Center: " great-grandfather John Mahiʻai Kāneakua was born in Honuaʻula, Maui to his loving parents Alexander P. Miller and Kanuha (Kaialiilii) Miller".[8]
  2. ^ Kapuailohiawahine and her daughter Isabella, taught Hula in secret, hiding it after the ban by Kaʻahumanu.[9]
  3. ^ Hawaii State Archives lists Samuel Kaia Miller marrying Amoy Ai on 5-2-1903 in Honolulu, Hawaii.[10]
  4. ^ The Marriage certificate of Samuel and Daisy Amoe Ai lists Alika Miller and Kanuha as parents to Samuel, with Namakelele and Ai as parent to Daisy.[11]
  5. ^ In a press release from the Hula Preservation Society, they list Isabella Hale`ala Miller Desha as Nona Beamer's great grandmother.[12]
  6. ^ The Desha Genealogy lists William Francis Desha as the son of Isabella and George Desha.[13]


  1. ^ Moreno, Loren (July 11, 2007). "Hawaiian music legends to be honored". Honolulu Advertiser. 
  2. ^ "Beamer, Burrows, Cox, Kodama, Tanaka honored". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. January 19, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Winona Beamer dies at 84 on Maui". Pacific Business News. April 10, 2008. 
  4. ^ Rath, J. Arthur (2005). Lost Generations: A Boy, a School, a Princess. University of Hawaii Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-0-8248-3010-6. 
  5. ^ Pitts, Michael (2010). Columbia Pictures Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Films, 1928–1982. McFarland. p. 85. ISBN 978-0-7864-4447-2. 
  6. ^ "Mahi Beamer". Hawaiian Music History. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Credits for Mahi Beamer". Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  8. ^ Walk, Kaʻanoʻi. "Kāneakua, John Mahiʻai". Hawaiian Cultural Center. Kamehameha Schools. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Barbara Bennett Peterson (1984). Notable Women of Hawaii. University of Hawaii Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-8248-0820-4. 
  10. ^ "MARRIAGES: Oahu (1832-1910)". Hawaiian Genealogy indexes. Hawaiʻi State Archives. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  11. ^ State of Hawaii Department of Health, Office of Health Status Monitoring, Certificate of Marriage, May 2, 1903
  12. ^ "Hula Preservation". Hula Preservation Society. Hula Preservation Society. Retrieved 27 December 2014. 
  13. ^ DeWitt Collier Nogues (1983). Desha genealogy: a survey. ATEX Austin Inc. p. 212.