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Jeff Gere, Storyteller - Coming Events - JATAKA TALES


Sponsored by Hawaii Buddhist Council & BDK Hawaii!

FREE! SUNDAY, APRIL 2, 10:45am, FREE! for BUDDHAʻs BIRTH DAY at the

Jodo Mission Temple

1429 Makiki Street, Honolulu PUBLIC INVITED! video links below

JATAKA TALES are Buddhist Teaching Tales in which the Buddha appears as an animal with life lessons. In this delightful family-friendly performance, popular Oahu storyteller JEFF GERE tells these simple profound tales in his animated dramatic style, and with shadow puppets. Innovative violin wizard LESLEY KLINE adds her rich musical textures.

This show plays for FREE to celebrate Buddhaʻs Birth Day on April 2, 10:30 (for an hour.) at the Jodo Mission Temple ( 1429 Makiki Street, by the freeway behind Shrinerʻs Hospital at Punahou). The 9:30am Opening Ceremony includes remarks on ʻJataka Talesʻ by GEORGE TANABE, Professor Emeritus in Religious Studies (Buddhism.) The public is invited.

THE TALES: A foolish rabbit mistakes the end of the world with the thump of a mango on the ground... and he has some hard questions on contemporary issues too. We are urged by the Brave Parrot facing a fire to HELP! A boy ‘makes a difference' saving one starfish at a time. We learn the difference between Heaven & Hell. The Great Stag confronts the King: "stop killing or kill me!" In the midst of disaster, a strawberry sure tastes sweet! So is the Sky falling? Is the end of the World here? What can we do about it? If we are born to die, how do we live?

Answers and inspiration come from these old and new parables, told in fresh, innovative ways (... with some audience participation too.) Bring children and grandparents and the neighbors too! Check out videos of some of these stories below.

JEFF GERE is among Hawaii's top storytellers. He created and produced the Talk Story Festival, Hawaii's largest storytelling celebration, for 27 years, a Story TV Series and Talk Story Radio. He constantly performs (for all ages) throughout the state & internationally, sometimes with shadow puppets. He will tour India in July (3rd trip.)

LESLEY KLINE is one of the finest violinists in Hawaii. She came to Oahu from Paris. She has performed in Hawaiiʻs finest Irish & Appalachian bands, cutting edge drum & bass, and currently Martin & Kline, a swing era duet. Make a point to come hear her with Jeff.


The Brave Parrot (To put out a fire, we all gotta HELP! 8:30)

The Difference Between Heaven & Hell (it's in helping others, 6 min)

Foolish Rabbit (the world is ending, but you can do something 9:30 min.)

Short Tales (4 short tales inside a story of running out of gas, 7:30)


Jeff is a visual artist, shadow puppeteer, and kinesthetic aerobic raconteur. Born on Halloween, Jeff is the retired 'Drama Specialist' for Honolulu's Parks Department (30 years!) where he created, produced the largest storytelling event in Hawaii (27 years), and spin-off story radio & TV series. Retired to start 2015, Jeff toured lots in Asia, Hawaii, & west coast (and once to Oz)) before covid hit. Heʻs produced & performed virtually since. Heʻs doing 13 (live) Spooky Shows in October for his 70th Birthday. See LOT of Jeff on YouTube,

RECENT NEWS: I did 37 shows in the Summer Fun Program for kids in Oahu Parks in July (33rd year.) In August, I did shows on the Big Island & Kauai, and started a ʻrealʻ credit Storytelling Class at UH Manoaʻs Theater Dept. (ongoing…) They have to tell Spooky Tales on Halloween in class. Life is FULL!


Contact: Jeff Gere, (808)737-1774

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Jeff Gere is a storytelling activist! He is the Drama Specialist in the Parks Department, talks to thousands of Summer Fun children each summer (new CD: Silly 'N Spooky: Tales of Kids in Hawaii). Jeff directs and hosts the TALK STORY FESTIVAL (Hawaii's largest and oldest storytelling celebration- 3 FREE nights each October).

Jeff hosts/produces TALK STORY RADIO (1/2 hour weekly storytelling show featuring the tales & tellers of Hawaii & the Pacific Rim)(KIPO 89.3FM Mon 5:30, KTUH 90.3 FM Thurs 7pm). Born on Halloween, he specializes in true supernatural tales/ oral histories of Hawaii (3 Haunted Hawaii CDs).

Jeff Gere is a master storyteller. He blends talents as painter, puppeteer, mime, teacher, and director into a performance style, which has electrified audiences of every age throughout Hawaii and the mainland for two decades. Jeff's physical energy, wide range of voices, morphing elastic face and clear characterizations make his performances unforgettable events. Jeff becomes his stories!

Gere earned a BA in Painting and Art History, spending his junior year in Florence, Italy, and an MA in Inter-relating the Arts (a multi-disciplinary program requiring 4 to 6 original shows a week for 2 years). He returned to Italy in 1979 to caretake a 600-year-old Tuscan villa. He created, produced, directed and acted in Dream Theatre, exploring social issues through experimental puppet, mask and mime pieces. This troupe of seven toured Italy extensively and toured to 13 German cities (6/82).

In 1982, Gere came to Hawaii to study Asian Mask Theatre. He's since established himself as one of its most popular storytellers and puppeteers. He's taught and performed in literally every venue conceivable (all Hawaii's museums, most private & public schools, all ages, audience sizes, & income levels; bars, prisons, homeless shelters, conferences, conventions, beaches, graveyards, retreat & community centers, & state-wide solo and group tours, many of which he produced).

In 1987, Gere was hired as the Drama Specialist, Parks Department, City & County of Honolulu. In 1989, he created the Talk Story Festival, Hawaii's largest & oldest storytelling celebration. It attracts some 3,000 listeners to its broad, diverse offering of local talent and receives excellent publicity. He founded a non-profit and found corporate sponsorship (Bank of Hawaii, Aloha Airlines, LavaNet).

His original programs, often commissioned, include The Arabian Nights (2 musicians & bellydancer; 10 tales over 18 months (03-04) & Hong Kong 6/05), Yo Pharaoh ( 2 musicians & dancer), and Van Gogh's Ghost. He performed in the Vancouver Story Fest. (Arabian Nights 11/04), Turkey (Karagoz Shadow Puppet Fest. 11/04) Thailand Story-In-English Camps (4/03) for kids and teachers. He's taught at the National Storytelling Conferences ('04, '99, '93). Jeff was featured at the Boulder City Folk Festival (9/02 and 03), the Flying Leap Storytelling Festival (Calif. 99), and the National Invitational Storytelling Championship (Idaho 97). In '92 he toured American Samoa, Guam and Saipan and represented Hawaii at the Universal Expo in Sevilla, Spain. He toured the West Coast annually (93-02). He created, directed, & performed "Art Off The Wall", a collaborative interdisciplinary performance series interpreting art exhibits at Honolulu's Contemporary Museum (97-00, funded by the Hawaii Community Foundation) and its Teacher Training Course (00- 04, Maui Arts & Culture Center). Gere also developed a "Tell Well" Storytelling System (Univ. Hawaii 90-97).

Jeff has produced 4 CDs, Haunted Hawaii vols. 1, 2, & 3, retelling true supernatural tales, and Rank Devil Mountain, folk tales of fire with 3 musicians. His children's video of original stories, Silly 'N Spooky, won Honors from the National Parent's Choice Awards (96). He had 2 stories appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul of Hawaii (03). He's in Storytellers: a Biographical Directory of 120 English-Speaking Tellers Worldwide (98). New York Cablevision leased 5 spooky stories for their subscription WEB series (98). He's done extensive radio & TV projects in every capacity, including co-producing and performing in "The Storytellers" series (KITV 4, ABC affiliate, 95-97). He's featured in the Places of Mystery Series (Travel Channel, 8/00) and Haunted History Series (History Channel, 10/00). He was awarded Outstanding TV Performance Arts Series (00) on Olelo Community TV, where he's created monthly programming since '90. He starts Talk Story Radio in spring, '05 (Hawaii Public Radio).
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