Creating Music, Uniting People, Building Communities

Spring Show Success: Our Growing Community

Thank you all for supporting Kainga Music’s “Steel For Your Soul Concert” on May 31st, we filled the Avo Playhouse with great music and energy. An amazing sense of community was felt both on and off stage as over 800 people throughout the day shared this experience together.
Our show included 137 steel drum students ages 6-76 on stage. Our goal six months ago was to target some of our communities’ most undeserved schools/students in the Vista and Oceanside area and have up to 84 kids in our pilot school program participate in the show. Ranging from 1st grade to seniors in high school in 10 local schools, we ended up reaching 99 kids in our program this year. 
Kainga Music was committed to making it happen for these kids and we are grateful for the participating school sites, their families, and private donors for joining us in that commitment. Even though the funding goals were not fully met, Kainga Music made its instructors’ time and services available to make sure kids were not turned away. We are continuing with our mission and we can still use your help with school program funding.
Everyone at the shows felt the communal energy from being a performer to being in the audience. We are Creating Music, Uniting People, and Building Community and the energy continues to be contagious!
Kainga Music will continue that strong feeling through the year and you can be a part of this great energy and momentum as we will be performing in community events such as “Christmas in July” on Saturday, July 11th at the Mission San Luis Rey and Encinitas “First Thursdays” on August 6th. Please check our schedule for upcoming events at here.
As you can see and feel, Kainga Music is not only about the performers on stage, but also the audience and all the community supporters whether they are on or off the stage. “Kainga” is the Tongan word for “extended family,” and everyone is a part of Kainga Music’s extended family: students, performers, supporters, audience members. We look forward to the exciting year ahead where we will continue to create, unite, and build together!
Keli Ross-Ma’u
Founder, Kainga Music


Music is a unifying experience that the world shares. It’s what unites us, it’s what makes us live in the moment together. We believe our mission is to share this experience with our community by providing access to the schooling, culture, creation, and performance of this art form. In respect to this, our non-profit organization has adopted the name “Kainga”: a Tongan word that means “extended family.” 

Kainga Music established its non-profit corporation 501(c)(3) in 2014. Its mission and vision as an education platform is inherently tied to the shared human experience, uniting people from all walks of life in the culture, creation, and performance of music, as a part of and resource for the community. Music is uplifting, healing, and gives the opportunity for starting and strengthening the bond between people of different backgrounds, genders, and ages. The featured instrument in the school, the steel pan, is played throughout the country of origin, Trinidad & Tobago, in community centers called “Panyards” that welcome the variety of members in the surrounding neighborhoods to find a common place and common voice. 

Kainga Music’s Founder, Keli Ross-Ma’u’s vision for the school is for it to be modeled more like a Panyard. Keli chose the word “Kainga” from his Tongan heritage, which means “extended family,” to help embody the intention of community-building as the core goal of the school, with the learning and performance of music as an extension and expression of that shared bonding experience between the students and audience members alike.


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