Photos by John Olson

No alien land in all the earth has any deep, strong charm for me but that one; no other land could so longingly and so beseechingly haunt me, sleeping and waking, through half a lifetime, as that one has done. Other things leave me, but it abides; other things change, but it remains the same. For me its balmy airs are always blowing, its summer seas flashing in the sun; the pulsing of its surf is in my ear; I can see its garlanded crags, its leaping cascades, its plumy palms drowsing by the shore, its remote summits floating like islands above the cloud-rack; I can feel the spirit of its woody solitudes, I hear the splashing of the brooks; in my nostrils still lives the breath of flowers that perished twenty years ago.
— Mark Twain on Hawaii, in 1889

Hawaii has been an important part of my life for over ten years, as I have visited there often to perform and study music. In recent years, I have organized Ben Verdery's Maui Guitar Class, and my wife, Gioia, and I have enjoyed the opportunity to spend time on Maui, Kauai, Oahu and the Big Island. Unlike Mark Twain, I can't begin to describe in words how special a place Hawaii is to me, but I have tried to capture some of its beauty through photographs, which I share with you here.

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