Aloha! Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts Group, Inc. is an award-winning Maryland based 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the music, dance and traditions of the Polynesian islands. We have served Maryland since 1969 through programs of education, entertainment and instruction. Just in January 2022, group founders Meki & JoAnn won the Maryland State Arts Council’s Heritage Award for lifetime achievement in traditional arts. We are proud to present live music, dancing and drumming from the islands of Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga.
Our current director, Meki J. also serves as a Commissioner appointed by Governor Larry Hogan in the Office on Asian Pacific American Affairs. He also serves as Chair of Pacific Fun Day Festival, Maryland’s only Pacific Islander festival and heads the Island Breeze band.
Call now and experience Polynesia through education, entertainment or instruction as we offer luau packages, kids parties, library and school presentations with PowerPoint, dance classes, ukulele training, Oahu tour guide services, and much more.
Mahalo for your interest and we look forward to adding you to our extensive list of satisfied clients.
Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts Group, Inc. in conjunction with its affiliate band Island Breeze is able to provide anywhere from 10 minutes up to 5 hours of music and Polynesian dance entertainment for any event. Either way we can accommodate any budget to ensure you’re getting an authentic presentation for your money. In our 50+ years, we’ve performed throughout Maryland and surrounding states for a myriad of events, organizations and venues. From inaugural celebrations to major league baseball events to simple backyard parties, we’ve done it all.
We have also supplied guest speakers to universities to talk about the traditional arts of Polynesia as well as our founders’ amazing story of overturning Maryland’s law and paving the way for interracial marriages. They own a small but significant piece of Maryland history. We cover topics on diversity, equality and inclusion with real life examples and our personal experiences.
We also offer instruction on music and dance for both recreation and expressly to join our production. We’ve offered ukulele classes to several schools and held master dance classes at several high schools and universities. If you have an interest in learning to perform, we can provide your training. You can make money as a Polynesian traditional artist and ambassador.
Our current director was practically born and raised in the Polynesian arts. His parents (group founders) performed in the 1960s in downtown Baltimore at the Hawaiian Room in the posh Emerson Hotel. His dad is from Western Samoa and immigrated to California to work a factory job but also was a musician and dancer. He and some Polynesian friends were able to put together a performing group that would tour the US in places such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas and of all places…Baltimore.
Co-founder JoAnn was born and raised in Locust Point in South Baltimore and was always a dancer. She loved dancing and as Hawaii became our 50th state, she discovered the dance of Hawaii - the hula! She joined a local hula dancing group and became proficient enough to begin dancing professionally. She eventually went to the Emerson Hotel and saw Meki’s show at the Hawaiian Room. She ended up eventually dancing in his show. They fell in love and married. Meki’s contract with the hotel ended and he stayed.
In 1969, as a married couple they formed Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts Group and shared the cultures with anyone and everyone. JoAnn trained the neighborhood Irish, Polish and Italian girls in Polynesian dance and the group continues to this day.
Meki J. took over the group as director in 1992 after graduating from Johns Hopkins University as an electrical engineer. He took a work tour in Hawaii in 2011. While in Hawaii he worked with Tahiti Mana Tahitian dance group, Kalena’s Polynesian Ohana, Malu Productions as well as the bands Hotline and Island Storm. He performed all over Oahu in notable places such as Turtle Bay, Hilton, Hale Koa Hotel, Diamond Head Luau, Big Kahuna Luau, Hickam Officers Club, Pro Bowl Tailgate Party, and many more venues. Meki returned to Maryland in 2016 to resume directorship of Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts Group.
With such rich history in Maryland and a 5 year training sabbatical in Hawaii, Meki is looking to fulfill his role as Commissioner by providing more traditional arts events to further the Pacific Islander presence, representation and influence. The Pacific Islander demographic is a super-minority but looks to make big splashes in the coming years. Hope you can help!
Mahalo and let’s celebrate!
SERVICES/CLASSES WE PROVIDE
Mixed Polynesian studio
Polynesian service business
Performance for hire
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Aloha and welcome to our ohana! Please view this video for a quick tutorial.