Aloha and welcome to Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts Group, Inc.! We were founded in 1969 by Meki & JoAnn Toalepai who were performers at Baltimore’s most famous tiki restaurant – The Hawaiian Room in the Emerson Hotel. Meki is an immigrant from Western Samoa performing across the United States in the early 1960s when he met JoAnn who was a Baltimore native that practiced hula as a hobby. They met when Meki’s group had a contract with the Emerson Hotel to provide entertainment. The Hawaiian Room closed around 1970 and the Emerson Hotel was demolished in 1971. The couple had married in 1966 and formed Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts Group a few years later. Tamure is a Tahitian term for “dance festival or party”.
Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts Group is still run by the Toalepai family and continues its mission to use the cultural group to entertain, educate and instruct audiences in Maryland and surrounding states with regards to the art forms of Polynesia. Polynesia is defined as the geographical region within a figurative triangle formed by Hawaii (North), New Zealand (Southwest) and Easter Islands (Southeast). We share the songs, dances, instruments and costuming of the islands of Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga as part of our full scale productions. We have delighted audiences of all ages for numerous occasions for 50 years…and we’re still going strong!
Meki’s Tamure is currently under the directorship of Meki & Kim Toalepai and has undergone a transformation. Meki & Kim have returned to Maryland from living in Hawaii from 2011-2016 and they have instituted new instrumentation, new songs, new dances and new costuming to refresh the group’s offerings and image for decades to come.
While living in Hawaii, Meki had fully immersed himself in the Polynesian cultures and the local entertainment circles. He performed with groups such as Tahiti Mana, Malu Productions, Kalena’s Polynesian Ohana and Island Storm. Meki was a musician and drummer playing at venues all over Oahu most notably Diamond Head Luau, Big Kahuna Luau, Turtle Bay Luau, Hale Koa Luau, Pro Bowl Tailgate Party at Aloha Stadium, and Ko Olina NFL Pro Bowl Family Party.
Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts Group is continually redefining and reinventing itself as the times change and we are excited to offer our culturally enriching shows to expanding audiences. We’re reaching more audiences through partnerships with new organizations, new venues and new events. Over the years, we’ve performed at festivals, arts shows, fundraisers, galas, birthdays, cultural affairs, Pacific Islander heritage events, morale builds, etc. and would love to add your organization to our growing list of satisfied clients.