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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 22, 2010

Johnson gives mini concert for Keiki Kokua Day

By Dave Dondoneau
TGIF Editor

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Thomas Rooney of St. Anthony's School clowns around with a giant rubber fly that he learned about at Keiki Kokua Day, where 800 children from elementary schools across O’ahu got a five-song concert from North Shore native Jack Johnson today.

DEBORAH BOOKER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The big concerts for the Kokua Festival aren't until tomorrow and and Saturday, but the one that is the most fun for Jack and Kim Johnson went off without a hitch this morning on the grounds of the Waikiki Shell.

About 800 children from elementary schools across O'ahu got a five-song concert from North Shore native Jack Johnson, who was joined on stage by longtime friend and partner Zach Gill and reggae star Ziggy Marley at the annual Keiki Kokua Day. All the children who attended were invited to the performance as a reward for environmental projects they participated in.

"As parents (of three children) Jack and I love this part of the Kokua Festival," Kim Johnson said. "Since we started the keiki day we've had more than 2,500 kids take part and some of the projects they've come up with have been amazing."

The Johnsons spent about 45 minutes handing out Certificates of Achievements to students and also took photos with the recipients. Johnson and Gill then took to the stage for three songs and asked the teachers to allow the keiki to move closer on the lawn and dance to the music. Some chaperones and parents also joined in.

All the kids then got a chance to participate on some hands-on experiences with environmental non-profit organizations and Kokua Day partners. All the children received reusable tote bags filled with a special reusable water bottle, healthy snacks and other educational materials.

Johnson and Gill opened with "The Three R's Song (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)" and some music from the "Curious George" soundtrack. Ziggy Marley, who won a Grammy earlier this year for his "Family Time" album, then joined in for two songs.

"It's so fun to watch the kids enjoy themselves," Kim Johnson said. "Our son is now old enough to take part in this and now we get to see him and all his classmates and friends enjoying it. And they're all learning how to help the planet. I love it."

Ukulele sensation Jake Shimabukuro was supposed to join them on stage, but he is currently trying to return from Europe in time for tonight's soldout Kokua Festival concert at the Waikiki Shell. Shimabukuro has been stranded overseas since the volcano eruption in Iceland forced flight cancellations over the airspace.

Ziggy Marley, Jack Johnson and Zach Gill

Jack Johnson and Zach Gill