Anthony Natividad, renowned for his playing and building of nose flutes and an original cast member of 'Ulalena, died Sunday. He was 48.
"There is nobody else alive that can play the nose flute and build 'em and play 'em," said George Kahumoku Jr., a Grammy and Na Hoku award-winning musician.
"Anthony was a great friend and a mentor," he continued.
Kahumoku worked closely with Natividad at the University of Hawaii Maui College Institute of Hawaiian Music, where Natividad taught and held workshops. Kahumoku is the director of the program that is helping to produce the next generation of Hawaiian musicians.
"Anthony was a man of the land. He was keiki o ka aina," Kahumoku said Wednesday.
Natividad was known for building nose flutes out of anything. Cathleen Bailey, his sister, marveled at how her brother could make a nose flute out of bamboo, PVC, a soda can.
Her brother could create "depth and sound in the music even in a soda can," she recalled.
"Anthony didn't just play," she said. "He put a hundred and ten . . . no a thousand and ten percent. He played it for all the ancestors all over the world."
Natividad was an original cast member of the landmark 'Ulalena show that opened in 1999 in Lahaina, his obituary said. He was "an innovative musician, instrument and stone craftsman and sound healer," the notice said.
"With his deep love of culture and music, he learned many styles of world music and spiritual practice," the obituary said, noting his love of the ocean.
The Lahaina resident was born Jan. 17, 1964, in Wahiawa, Oahu, to Keiko Nagata and the late Casimero Natividad and was a 1982 graduate of Leilehua High School.
A celebration of life will be held 10 a.m. Nov. 11 at the 'Ulalena Theatre. Scattering of ashes and reception is set for 12:30 p.m. that day at the Lahaina Jodo Mission. The family welcomes loose flowers for scattering and no lei.
He is survived by his wife, Jamie Uyeda Natividad; children Gavin Uyeda, Waikaleolani Natividad and Aleia Natividad; his mother; and siblings Christopher Natividad, Christina (Tom) Clohan, Cathleen (Timmy) Bailey, Gregory (Tracey) Natividad; and two grandsons.
* Lee Imada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.