Nahokuo Hawaii Music Festival

Hawai`i Convention Center
Various Stages throughout
Waikīkī & Honolulu

PARTS OF FESTIVAL

  • Hawai`i Academy of Recording Arts
  • Nā Hōkū Hanohano Red Carpet VIP Party
  • Nā Hōkū Hanohano After Party
  • Festival Opening Night Party with Special Artist Performances
  • Nā Hōkū Award Winner Performances & Workshops
  • Kumu Hula Workshops & Hālau performances
  • Haku Mele Workshops
  • Music / Instrument Workshops
  • New Media / Distribution Workshops
  • International Speakers
  • Cultural Practitioners
  • Food
  • Fashion
  • Live Entertainment on 25 venue stages throughout Waikīkī

Performing Artists

HENRY KAPONO

Henry Kapono Ka’aihue is an award winning and Grammy nominated singer/songwriter. He has taken home numerous Na Hoku Hano Hano Awards (Hawaii’s equivalent of the Grammy’s) including Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, Single of the Year, and Album of the Year. He is also the author of the award winning children’s book, A Beautiful Hawaiian Day, has appeared in the films Damien and Waterworld and has made many television appearances.

Know as “Kapono”, the Hawaiian word for righteous, Henry was christened “Henry Kapono Hosea Ka’aihue” and is a pure Hawaiian born and raised in Kapahulu, a small town located just outside of Waikiki, Hawaii.

Although Henry has had no formal musical training, he started singing in a children’s church choir at the young age of 5. “I was, and still am a very shy person, but I loved singing especially in a choral situation”, says Henry. “My Dad taught me how to play the ukulele. He would come home from work and sit in his easy chair and play the coolest stuff.” …“I saw a friend of mine play a guitar one day and fell in love with the sound of it. He taught me a few chords and I’ve been hooked ever since. After that I taught myself how to play by listening to records, radio and watching other guitarist play”.

Henry’s athletic abilities earned him a baseball scholarship to the highly regarded Punahou Academy in Honolulu. After high school he earned a football scholarship to the University of Hawaii with dreams of being a professional football player. Although injuries prevented him from fulfilling his dream as a football player, in a profound way it moved him toward his passion for music and allowed him to fully realize his potential as an artist.

Henry’s professional career started as a solo artist in little joints around Waikiki. This led to a short stint playing rock in a local island group called “Pakalolo”. The group played the islands and the Far East where a defunct tour company left them stranded in Viet Nam. Putting their situation and talents to good use, the group performed for the troops at fire bases throughout Vietnam and eventually made their way to Thailand. The 2 years that Henry spent overseas turned out to be a personal and professional odyssey that profoundly affected his music, his appreciation of life and his love of all people.

Returning to Hawaii, Henry’s career kicked off in a big way. Forming a collaboration with Cecilio Rodriguez, from California, the duo, known as “Cecilio and Kapono” became an instant phenomenon that took Hawaii by storm. Blending together their distinctive and individual talents, they gave contemporary and folk rock a new perspective. Within eight months Cecilio & Kapono had a recording contract with Columbia Records, a first for a Hawaii group, crowning them the largest recording artists to come out of Hawaii. “C&K;” have recorded 12 albums to date and reunite annually.

Continually evolving, in 1981 Henry pursued a solo career with the extremely successful release of “Kapono – Stand in the Light”. Since then he has created an incredibly broad range of musical expressions through 14 solo albums to date.

Kapono has become a household name throughout Hawaii and the Pacific. His music has taken him all over the world and his fan base is very diverse. His musical journey has been a very bohemic collage of innovation and creativity continually evolving in a way that very few artists are able to sustain. His influences, Bob Marley, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Sting and Stevie Wonder, to name a few, are reflected in his musical tapestry that is exclusively Kapono. His music transcends his Hawaiian heritage which he prides so much and embodies the spirit of Aloha that he has for all people.

Henry has the gift that most great artists share: the ability to enable us to gaze upon their painting or ponder their work or listen to their music – and find new meaning and purpose in our own lives. Henry touches the soul with the simple honesty of his lyrics and music, and the gift of an evocative, plaintive balladeer’s voice that haunts you long after he leaves the stage.

NATALIE AI KAMAUU

One of Hawaii’s best kept secrets, Natalie Ai Kamauu, proves she is no stranger to Hawaiian music. Natalie started turning heads when she was just a teenager, singing alongside her father, Howard Ai, for Halau Hula Olana. It wasn’t long before Natalie began stealing the show. Although she garnered the coveted title Miss Aloha Hula, it was her angelic voice that really caught people’s attention.

Many among the hula community and Hawaiian music fans are proclaiming, “Finally!” Natalie Ai Kamauu’s first solo release “‘E,” has arrived. A true labor of love, with husband, Iolani, on vocals and instrumentation, “‘E” is a perfect, genuine debut for this stellar vocalist. Even more impressive, she’s a songwriter.

Natalie’s voice dances playfully and soars effortlessly, weaving in and out of the guitar, bass, ukulele, and piano. It’s a voice that penetrates straight to the heart and moves the soul. Produced by Na Hoku Hanohano Award winning producer Dave Tucciarone, “‘E” seamlessly captures a little bit of sass, and a whole lot of heart. Already a sought after performer, “‘E” has secured her place among Hawaii’s honored Na Hoku Hanohano Female Vocalists. At the very first note, Natalie will command your attention, just as she always has.

AMY HANAIALI`I

Amy Hānaiali‘i’s talent is the result of an exceptional blend of classical training, modern musical influences and heritage.

Raised on the Island of Maui in Hawai‘i, Hānaiali‘i was raised with the sounds of cultural chants, ancestral drum beats and kani ka pila (music played with family and friends; lit. to play music or an instrument) melded with the sights of lapis colored oceans and verdantly emerald and peridot colored mountains, both abundant with wildlife.

Amy holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Fine Arts from the United States International University. After graduating Amy moved home and spent time with her paternal grandmother, Jennie Nāpua Woodd. Undoubtedly one of Hānaiali‘i’s biggest influences in her life, Woodd – one of the original Royal Hawaiian Girls – or Tūtū as Amy affectionately called her, helped shape the scene of Hawai‘i as a choreographer in Hollywood through many of its motion pictures in the 1930’s and 40’s. While performing at the Lexington Hotel in New York City, Tūtū met Hānaiali‘i’s grandfather, Lloyd B. Gilliom, himself a musician who played trumpet with Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye, Tommy Dorsey and other notable bands of the era.

While Hānaiali‘i received years of formal musical and theatrical training, it was Tūtū Jennie who ultimately inspired her to grow in Hawaiian music. Recognizing her natural vocal abilities, Tūtū arranged for a meeting between the legendary Genoa Keawe and her granddaughter. It was Aunty Genoa that introduced Amy to the ha‘i falsetto music. Amy’s talent of ha‘i brought a new found appreciation for the art of Hawaiian female falsetto style for which she is known today, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, after 10 albums, Hānaiali‘i remains Hawai‘i’s top-selling female vocalist. The artists for whom Amy has opened are legendary and include Carlos Santana in Gemany, Willie Nelson, Joe Cocker, Wayne Newton, Arlo Guthrie, The Beach Boys, Ernie Watts, Boz Scaggs, Earth, Wind and Fire, Sergio Mendes and many more. Hānaiali‘is has toured extensively on the East and West Coasts of America, Germany, China, Tahiti and she often frequents Japan, where she captivates and expands her fan base along the way.

Hānaiali‘i’s success as a recording artist speaks for itself and is evidenced by the multitude of awards and acknowledgements including three GRAMMY® nominations for Best Hawaiian Music Album. Amy’s albums have also garnered 15 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards (Hawai‘i’s equivalent to the GRAMMY®), including the prestigious Female Vocalist of the Year (4 times), Hawaiian Album of the Year (3 times), Song of the Year, Group of the Year, most recently Contemporary Album of the Year and even Christmas Album of the Year. These diverse awards provides a clear recognition by Hawai‘i’s music community and by Amy’s fans that her music’s appeal is broad and contains an even more varied depth. Amy is officially Hawai‘i’s Music Ambassador as proclaimed by Hawai‘i’s Governor Linda Lingle.

Hānaiali‘i’s second album, “Hawaiian Tradition” placed her on the World Billboard Charts, a first for an album written solely in the Hawaiian Language. Pacific Business News also acknowledged Amy with their coveted “40 under 40” Business Person of the Year Award, recognizing not only Hānaiali‘i’s talent, but also her business acumen needed to market her talent.

Amy Hānaiali‘i has come full circle back to her extensive roots in Hawai‘i, with a new focus on tradition, culture and family. Hānaiali‘i resides on the Island of Moloka‘i with her daughter Madeline (3) and her fiancée John Austin. In her “spare” time, Amy helps to run their shrimp farm – producing the best pure and natural shrimp in Hawai‘i.

KAUMAKAIWA KANAKA`OLE

Kaumakaiwa, a five-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winner, is the eldest son of Kekuhi Kanahele, the eldest grandchild of Pualani Kanaka‘ole, great grandson of Edith Kanahele Kanaka‘ole, and great-great grandson of Mary Keali‘ikekuewa.

Since birth, Kaumakaiwa has dedicated his life to his family’s practice and passion – the art of hula. As a 15-year ‘olapa (dancer) of Hālau O Kekuhi, he has been able to experience all aspects of hula, oli, haku mele and choreography. These qualities are nurtured well within the family and the hālau. The past seven generations and beyond have been maintained within a traditional family lifestyle dedicated to hula and the Hawaiian culture.

As an ‘olapa of Hālau O Kekuhi, Kaumakaiwa has been involved with the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival since he was 12. He has also appeared on stage and in film productions such as Holo Mai Pele by the Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation and Hālau O Kekuhi; Kamehameha Pai’ea; Kilohi: Nā Akua Wahine; and Hānau Ka Moku, a collaboration with the Tau Dance Theatre.

These staged productions have spanned some ten years of his life, and continue to advance with each new inspiration that hula has to offer.

In Spring 2003, Kaumakaiwa released his debut album, Ha’i Kupuna, which earned him his first Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for Haku Mele category. This award—one that is revered by many in the Hawaiian community—is a prized honor, and is rarely given to someone so young.

Kaumakaiwa’s second album, Welo, was by no means a follow-up album or a sophomore release, but rather another verse to the greater mele, or song, with which he honors his kupuna. It garnered two Hōkū awards in 2006, for Hawaiian Language Performance and Hawaiian Album of the Year. Welo stood for the lineage from which Kaumakaiwa comes, the contemporary native Hawaiian that he is as a product of his environment, and the ancestral memory that he must pass to the generations of his family to come.

His third album, Kaumakaiwa, released in August 2008, though still another verse in that greater mele, is Kaumakaiwa’s affirmation that he has come into his own as a phenomenal world artist. With Kaumakaiwa, he finds himself setting the pace, raising the bar and pushing the standards—yet again—challenging not only himself but his contemporaries as well. At the 2009 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, Kaumakaiwa was honored in the Hawaiian Language Performance category and named Male Vocalist of the Year.

Accompanied by a passionate, unmatched love of his culture and the power that lies within his lineage, Kaumakaiwa is blazing a new trail in the 21st century while paying homage to those who have come before him, a theme that resonates with this, his third album.

Kaumakaiwa Kanaka‘ole, only 27, is the voice of Hawai’i’s new generation.

DANNY KALEIKINI

Danny Kaleikini was born in 1937 on the slopes of Honolulu’s Punchbowl crater. Besides criss-crossing the mainland with the Ray Kinney group, this six-foot cosmopolite (Hawaiian-Korean-Chinese-Irish ancestry) has done some pretty hectic Island-hopping throughout his young career. In 1959 Danny appeared in Cuba and Puerto Rico with Sterling Mossman’s Hawaiian show and recently returned from Tahiti where he was guest of honor at the Papeete Festival.

Prior to his years at the Kahala Hilton Hotel, Danny joined Haunani Kahalewai at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on a full-time basis. Later he accepted the role of emcee at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel Hawaiian shows and luaus. In 1967 Danny Kaleikini commenced a long-run at the Kahala Hilton Hotel, a stay that lasted nearly 30 years. He remains active in entertainment at special events as well as continuing with many contributions he makes to the people of Hawaii.

PALI

With over twenty years invested in his musical passion, Pali Tuan W. Ka’aihue has had the honor to experience music in all aspects of the industry. Beginning with the earliest memories, contacts with the local music industry have included the opportunity to compose, produce, engineer, and record.

On the music front, Pali has garnered numerous Nā Hōkū Hanohano nominations and won the Contemporary Hawaiian Album of the Year award for the group’s TRIBUTE Album in 2007. In addition, the band has also won numerous Hawai`i Music Awards and Pali composed one of the selections on the 2009 Grammy-nominated CD, Slack Key Kings Vol. II.

Outside of music, Pali wears a number of hats. Pali is the owner and President of Hawai`i’s largest locally owned Internet Solutions Provider, LavaNet, and the co-creator and co-host of the television and web series, Doko Ga TV! Seen online via www.oc16.tv or www.dokoga.tv, and here in Hawai`i on OC16 (Digital 96/HD 1016). As a way to help fellow musicians share their music to the rest of the islands and world, Pali created the concert web streaming series, Pakele Live! Folks from all over the globe can view a weekly concert online at www.pakelelive.com, as well as be a part of the studio audience each week. Pakele Live! is also a TV series on OC16 as well. Finally, Pali is the Vice President of the Hawai`i Academy of Recording Arts and on the Board of Directors for the Hula Preservation Society.

KU`UIPO KUMUKAHI

Ku’uipo Kumukahi is a true artist of Hawaiian music. From her family comes deeply rooted traditions, knowledge, and values, which she presents with the voice that has made her known throughout the State of Hawai’i, the continental United States and abroad. Ku’uipo is “The Sweetheart of Hawaiian music.”

Ku’uipo has premiered in notable concerts and special events across the state, the nation and abroad. Ku’uipo has appeared in special performances such as: the Aloha Festivals; the Merrie Monarch Hula Festival; the Mokihana Festival and the Waiki’i Music Festival. Other prestigious concerts include the Na Wahine O Hawai’i Concert featuring select female artists, the Bank of Hawai’i Ki Ho’alu (slack key) Concert featuring select slack key players, the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Concert, and the Honolulu Festival.

Ku’uipo regularly appears on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel and on Fridays at Duke’s at the Outrigger Hotel Waikiki On The Beach

Ku’uipo’s first effort as a musical artist earned her a single nomination in the annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (the “Grammy’s” of Hawaiian music) and named her the most promising new artist. Her solo premiere recording gave her 9 nominations and an astounding five awards which included the Female Vocalist of the Year and Traditional Hawaiian Album of the Year. Her second album, after a four-year rest, earned her 3 nominations and an award for the excellence use of the Hawaiian language in a musical composition. In 1999, the Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts nominated Ku’uipo as Female Vocalist of the Year. That year, Ku’uipo obtained the Traditional Hawaiian Album of the Year by the Hawaii Music Awards.

Ku’uipo is a self-taught musician influenced by family songs, Hawaiian singers and her parents. She learned to play the ‘ukulele at a young age and through encouragement learned to play the guitar and bass. Formal music training occurred later when she privately studied voice lessons. Her musical education also continued in college.

Aside from performing Hawaiian music, Ku’uipo managed the Diamond Head Center for the Association for Retarded Citizens of Hawai’i in 1994, where she worked with persons with mental illness and mental retardation. In 1995, Ku’uipo decided to pursue her college degree. She completed her necessary classes with a focus in music, Hawaiian language, and education. Ku’uipo received her Associates of Arts degree from Kapi’olani Community College and her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Chaminade University. She intends to continue her studies in pursuit of a Master’s Degree.

Besides being a student and performer of Hawaiian music, Ku’uipo also conducts lectures for administrators of the Department of Education on topics such as “the values of a Hawaiian family.” She has also guest lectured for the Kamehameha Schools’ post-high scholarship recipients focusing on the value of Ho’omakaukau (to be prepared).

As an entrepreneur, Ku’uipo, along with two business partners, created a new Hawaiian Heritage and Culture learning center. In addition, she has created her own recording label and production and performance company. Ku’uipo Kumukahi’s mission is to produce, preserve, perpetuate and promote quality in Hawaiian music as well as the music of Hawai’i and its performance, which includes the use of Hawaiian language, and the use of artistry, mannerism and values that are unique to Hawaiian music and hula.

HŌKŪ ZUTTERMEISTER

Hōkū Zuttermeister was born and raised in Kāne‘ohe, Hawai‘i, to parents Carl and Susan Zuttermeister. He attended Windward schools – from Benjamin Parker Elementary to King Intermediate and Castle High. Hōkū has 3 siblings: sisters Tiffany and Hone, and brother Makana. At a very young age, Hōkū started dancing hula, and in intermediate school, progressed to teaching himself how to play the ‘ukulele, guitar and bass. Hōkū comes from a Hawaiian family dynasty that encompasses both the hula and music communities. His great-grandmother, Kau‘i Zuttermeister penned the beloved song, “Nā Pua Lei ‘Ilima,” and his great-aunt is Kumu Hula Noe Zuttermeister.

As Hōkū grew into his musical abilities, he and his friends found an innate desire to play the music that their kūpuna listened to and performed; the music of the Hawaiian renaissance as broadcast on the old KCCN 1420AM. As these friends grew closer, they honed their musical skills, and during Hōkū’s senior year in high school, Kāna‘e was born. Ioane Burns, Marcus Ontai, Kekoa Kaluhiwa and Hōkū formed this singing group in 1992, at a time when traditional Hawaiian music was faltering in its popularity and Jawaiian music filled the airwaves. They realized that they were the only young group of musicians performing the nahenahe style of Hawaiian music. The music of Linda Dela Cruz, Genoa Keawe, Sam Bernard, Darrell Lupenui, Kekua Fernandez, The Brothers Cazimero and many other Hawaiian music artists shaped Kāna‘e’s, and in turn, Hōkū’s musical style. Through the years, the group has changed its lineup, but Hōkū and Ioane still play together as Kāna‘e to a large following of fans that seek them out whenever they perform. It is from this following that word of Hōkū’s talent started to spread throughout the islands, as well as the Mainland US and Asia.

After high school, Hōkū continued his growth as a musician by performing with such Hawaiian music greats as Ku‘uipo Kumukahi, Jerry Santos, Sean Na‘auao, Raiatea Helm, Nā Palapalai, Mahela Ichinose, Ho‘okena and Side Order Band. It is from these musicians, and others too many to name, that Hōkū learned the intricacies of starting and maintaining a musical career. Hōkū credits all of these influences as the pieces that have come together to form his musical style; a style that he describes as being “Hawaiian, but with a more contemporary flair”.

Hōkū continues that his music is “more about the heart and feel of the song more so than the notes and chords”. Some of the songwriters whose compositions Hōkū enjoys playing the most include Frank Kawaikapuokalani Hewett, Kawena Puku‘i and Maddy Lam, among many others. Hōkū takes their songs to heart and re-interprets them with his own style and has created a signature sound that will become instantly recognizable to anyone willing to spend a moment with his music. Hōkū’s voice is deep and resonating, yet when he switches to the crystal-clear highs of falsetto, to the delight of his listeners, he shows the enormous vocal range that he has worked so hard at perfecting. Behind his amazing voice comes the versatility of his instrumentation. Again, many years of practice and performance have helped to shape Hōkū’s guitar, bass and ‘ukulele playing abilities and these instruments form the base of all of his music.

After all these years, and through the support of friends like Jerry Santos, Robert Cazimero, Aunty Genoa Keawe, Les Ceballos and many others, it was apparent that the time had come for Hōkū to step into the spotlight and record his first solo album. Hōkū’s highly-anticipated debut album, “‘Āina Kūpuna”, was released on March 27, 2007, to brisk sales and glowing reviews. In the April 6, 2007 edition of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, John Berger says “Hōkū Zuttermeister’s long-awaited album lives up to the high standards expected of it. A welcome addition to the relatively short list of traditional Hawaiian releases in recent months, it is a perfect showcase for Zuttermeister as a solo artist and would represent Hawaii quite well at the Grammy Awards next spring.” From the Honolulu Advertiser, Wayne Harada exclaims “This is the kind of auspicious debut that evokes admiration and endorsements, and ultimate stardom. Simply put, this is Hawaiiana at its best and an early contender to sweep the awards next year.”

Hōkū is a young man in his early 30’s, but he has been a part of the Hawaiian music industry for a very long time. The way he keeps his outlook fresh is by keeping one thing in his heart…friendship; it is friendship that brings meaning to all of his music and keeps the music ‘fun’. Hōkū’s outlook toward the future includes sharing his music and experiences and he hopes to provide a platform for future generations of Hawaiian musicians to stand on and to help guide them on a road that is sometimes rough and filled with twists and turns, but whose reward is the knowledge that they will be bringing the past forward to a very bright future.

Hōkū’s album, “‘Āina Kūpuna”, won six 2008 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards including Hawaiian Album of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Hawaiian Language Performance, Most Promising New Artist and Liner Notes.

JAKE SHIMABUKURO

Alhough some still have trouble pronouncing his last name and the instrument he plays, Jake Shimabukuro (she-ma-BOO-koo-row) is recognized as one of the world’s most exciting and innovative ukulele (oo-koo-LAY-lay) players and composers.

Jake’s latest release is Live, his first full-length CD since 2006’s best-selling Gently Weeps. After taping dozens of U.S. and overseas performances Jake chose these tracks as representing “the best of the best” of his live playing. Every track reveals a different side of the ukulele: soft and sensitive at times, other times cheery and playful, occasionally dramatic, and, once in a while, hard and aggressive. The 17-song CD, released on April 14, includes 12 Shimabukuro originals (Nine versions of his best-known compositions, plus four brand-new tunes) and five covers (including a jaw-dropping version of J.S. Bach’s “Two-Part Invention No. 4 in D Minor”; an amazing interpretation of “Thriller,” the Rod Temperton song made famous by Michael Jackson). Of course there’s a live version of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” which might be Jake’s best-recorded version yet!

Renowned for lightning-fast fingers and revolutionary playing techniques, Jake views the ukulele as an “untapped source of music with unlimited potential.” His virtuosity defies label or category. Playing jazz, blues, funk, classical, bluegrass, folk, flamenco, and rock, Jake’s mission is to show everyone that the ukulele is capable of so much more than the traditional Hawaiian music – or corny showbiz routines — many associate it with.

Jake’s mother gave him his first ukulele lesson when he was but four years old. “When I played my first chord I was hooked,” says Jake, “I fell in love with the instrument.” That love grew into a deep passion to create and innovate. Experimenting with various techniques allows Jake to create sounds never thought possible on the tiny four-string, two-octave instrument. A true showman, his performance captivates audiences with intricate strumming and plucking, electrifying high-energy grooves and smooth, melodic ballads.

From a modest beginning performing at a local Honolulu café, Jake has gone on to play renowned and popular venues and festivals across the U.S., Japan, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere. And this summer Jake will perform in Europe (festivals in Stockholm, Pori, Nice, San Sebastian) and Brazil for the first time. Occasional tours with Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band have broadened Jake’s experience, regularly exposing his virtuosity and charming stage presence to crowds of up to 50,000. Speaking of large audiences, Jake has also performed on national television shows such as NBC’s The Late Show with Conan O’Brien, The Today Show, and Last Call With Carson Daly, as well been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition and World Café, Public Radio International’s The World, The Bob Edwards Show (XM Satellite Radio) and others.

Selection as the spokesman – three years in a row – for Hawaii Tourism Japan’s (HTJ) campaign to market Hawaii to Japan, as well as his frequent tours of the island nation, has made Jake Shimabukuro a household name in Japan. “Rainbow,” a track from Walking Down Rainhill, was selected as HTJ’s theme song as well as the official Honolulu Marathon theme song in 2004. In 2006, the Gently Weeps track “Beyond the Break” was selected as the Marathon’s theme song and was played as Jake crossed the finish line upon completion of his first marathon run.

In his spare time Jake often visits schools to talk with and play music for the children of Hawaii, hopefully inspiring thousands to put their energy into learning about and playing music. In fact, Jake is the key spokesman for the “Music is Good Medicine” foundation, which uses community outreach programs – and visits to schools, senior centers, and hospitals – to emphasize the importance of a healthy life and mind as well as promoting music and the arts.

Jake’s collaborations and special projects are varied. He’s toured with Bela Fleck & the Flecktones and recorded on their Little Worlds (2003) album. Jake was also featured on Ziggy Marley’s Grammy-Award winning Love is My Religion (2006). Since Jimmy Buffet made Jake a semi-regular member of his Coral Reefers band Jake has appeared on three of their CDs as well as two DVDs. At the end of 2008, he was a guest artist on Yo-Yo Ma’s holiday album,Songs of Joy and Peace. Their collaboration on the John Lennon/Yoko Ono tune “Happy Xmas [War is Over]” will be part of Jake’s forthcoming album of Beatles covers, Across the Universe (the title track of which features Cyndi Lauper).

In addition, Jake is making a name for himself as a film composer. His work with Buffett led to his contributions to the soundtrack of the Buffett-produced film, Hoot. Shortly afterward, Jake scored the hit Japanese independent film Hula Girls (the soundtrack album was released in the U.S. on Hitchhike Records in 2007). Jake also recently completed writing and recording the score for the Japanese version of the film Sideways.

Energy, imagination, and innovation have been Jake’s keys to success. He plans to continue recording, performing, collaborating, and staying happy. “I love what I do. I’m forever thankful for music.”

ANUHEA

Rylee Anuheake’alaokalokelani Jenkins (Anuhea) was born in December 1985 on the island of Maui.

A self-taught guitarist and song writer, Anuhea began showcasing her talents while boarding at Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu. “We would print out guitar chords to Bob Marley and Jack Johnson songs then skip water polo practice to go back to the dorms and jam them. Once I got the basic idea of guitar I then started writing my own songs.” Anuhea enjoyed the spotlight. She was the head anchor for the daily campus-wide news, hosted a variety of TV shows for local television stations, and acted in school musicals.

Receiving numerous scholarships for her acheivements in film production, she attended film school in Orange County California. Spending a year there Anuhea realized she wasn’t heading in the direction she was most passionate about, music. So she traded her formal education for a real-life one and embarked on a soul-searching odyssey backpacking to Australia for three weeks. Returning to the islands she immediately got into the scene, performing at local coffee shops and restaurants.

In 2006 Anuhea competed for a crown in the Miss Maui Scholarship Pageant, the preliminary to the Miss Hawaii and Miss America Pageants. Not the pageant-girl cliche by any means, Anuhea walked away from the competition with a trophy for Miss Congeniality and 2nd Runner Up. “”I ran for Miss Maui for the challenge. I thrive off of challenges. I had hit a point where I was pretty stagnant, and I had some student loans I really wanted to pay off. Plus you see pageants on TV and stuff as a kid, and I just always wanted to try to be that girly girl for once in my life.”

” Anuhea’s musical and performance skills improved with every show, and successes came steadily and deservedly. She eventually put a band together using friends from around the island, all the while working 40 plus hours a week as a cocktail waitress and barista. She took the initiative to market herself as a musician, and until this point has acted as her own manager, booking agent, music producer and distributor. Anuhea even took recordings from a live taping for a public radio station and turned them into her first real demo CD “Rough Cuts” which through her Myspace page got her discovered by manager/record label co-owner Warren Wyatt.

With a delicate blend of fragility, strength and sass, Hawaiian born singer/songwriter Anuhea blends engaging lyrics with acoustic soul, pop and reggae into a style that has earned her a reputation as Hawaii’s newest rising star. Her signature guitar flow, sultry vocals and honest song writing weave acoustic soul, R&B reggae and jazz with pop appeal reminiscent of a female version of multi-million selling Hawaii based Jack Johnson.

Anuhea’s debut album released to the U.S. on April 21st on the One Hawaii label and is simply titled “Anuhea” –her name which translates to “a cool breeze of the heavenly rose”

A naturally gifted songwriter, Anuhea’s word choices are a clever balance of emotions where each song tells a unique story, each story a lesson learned. “My inspirations absolutely come from real life experiences, I don’t make stuff up to write about. When you write a song you’re empowered because it’s like you’re giving validation to the feelings that you’re having.” Influenced highly by R&B and Soul, Reggae Hip Hop and Funk, Anuhea’s instrument is the acoustic guitar. “I tend to write most of my songs during the craziest parts of my life. I’ll write pages and pages of words and sentences in my notebook, then I go back with my guitar in my hands. That’s how most songs start for me.” Fluent in Hawaiian Anuhea is proud of her island roots and plans to honor her heritage by utilizing her growing acclaim for the betterment of the people of Hawaii. Anuhea wants to be a part of a new generation melding the melodic traditions of her island upbringing with modern beats and influences.

Anuhea’s debut album scheduled for release March 24th on the OneHawaii label is simply titled “Anuhea” –her name which translates to “a cool breeze of the heavenly rose” Anuhea’s label heads introduced her to Producer Drew K of Angelhouse Studios, and together they took on the challenge of creating a sonic identity for the new artists’ debut. Using a blend of organic elements with influences from hip hop, jazz, funk and soul, “Anuhea” is full of engaging lyrics over a polished production of acoustic and electric guitar, turntables, deep groovy bass lines, funky key leads and elegant harmonies. “I am so proud of what we did in the studio. It was my first time, and it was important for me to remain true to my roots while creating the produced versions of my songs. All and all we were able to make music that represented me and my acoustic guitar but with a full, fresh, groundbreaking style that I know fans of all genres will appreciate.”

Music has been in Anuhea’s family for generations, so it was inevitable that her seeded passions would reflect the same. Anuhea’s father is from the North Shore of Oahu in the surfing culture of Haleiwa. His younger sister, Nalani is part of the award winning contemporary Hawaiian music trio, Na Leo Pilimehana. Anuhea’s mother, an Oregon native, comes from a musical family as well, her father is a country guitarist.

The future is bright for this Maui songbird. Anuhea’s determination, passion, optimism and raw talent are the foundations for the success that is to come. “I just feel lucky that I’ve found my dream and am able to pursue it. My main goal as a music-maker is to help people find theirs, whatever it may be.”

MAkAHA SONS

For 30 years, the Mākaha Sons have committed themselves to perpetuating traditional Hawaiian music throughout Hawai‘i and the World. In 1976 the “Mākaha Sons of Ni‘ihau” began its professional career with five members as an opening act in a small nightclub known as Uptown Yokos. Throughout the years the group has reorganized several times; from members seeking other professional careers, to the untimely passing of two key members of the original group. The Sons have since evolved into a trio, consisting of members Louis “Moon” Kauakahi on 6-string guitar, John Koko on upright acoustic bass and Jerome Koko on 12-string guitar.

Today, the Mākaha Sons, considered to be one of Hawai‘i’s premiere Hawaiian musical groups, continue to perpetuate that vibrant sound, full and rich with harmonies that only they can create. Their incomparable vocal arrangements and delightful stage presence filled with comical antics have won the hearts of thousands of fans worldwide.

In commemoration of the group’s 30th anniversary, the Sons reflect back to the times and places they have had the privilege and honor to have been a part of. Their performances have taken them to such prestigious places as Carnegie Hall in New York City, Washington, D. C., and in Hawai‘i, with performances for both the President and Vice-President of the United States. They have also appeared on the movie, North Shore and have been featured guests on shows as The Captain and Tennille Show. NBC’s Today Show with Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric. Locally they have appeared on shows such as Island Music, Island Heart, Emme’s Island Moments and have had the honor of performing alongside with one of America’s musical icons, Kenny Loggins.

The Sons have also received numerous proclamations and awards, both here and in the continental U.S. for their continuous and undying efforts in perpetuating Hawaiian culture through music. Their peers in music have also acknowledged their efforts by awarding them countless “Na Hoku Hanohano Awards” for their timeless recordings and steadfast commitment to the music of Hawai‘i. They have released 21 CD’s, their latest compilation titled Heke Wale No – Only the Very Best of the Makaha Sons, with songs from their last five recordings from 1994 to present.

Ever mindful of the future for both the music and culture, the Makaha Sons have recently formed the “Makaha Sons Foundation”, which have generously supported a variety of organizations, from helping some of Hawai‘i’s officers of the police department, families afflicted with illnesses, to providing scholarships each year to a deserving high school graduating senior. The Mākaha Sons: Moon, John, and Jerome are ever-so thankful and overjoyed to see a whole new generation of young Hawaiian artists spring to life. The legacy of Hawaiian Music continues through the efforts and recordings of such performers as Raiatea Helm, Natalie Ai Kamauu, Hōkū Zuttermeister, Barry Kimokeo, Nā Kama, and many, many others.

KALAPANA

Kalapana is a Hawaiian group that performed pop and soft rock music. They are best known for their two singles, “Naturally” and “The Hurt”.

In 1973, childhood friends, David John (DJ) Pratt and Carl James Malani Bilyeu, auditioned at the Rainbow Villa for the newest popular duo, Cecilio & Kapono. Malani was performing solo at the Oar House in Hawaii Kai and DJ was downstairs at Chuck’s in Sunlight with Kirk Thompson. They got together in DJ’s grandfather’s garage with Bryant Mackey Feary, who was another solo act, at the Oar House. They wrote a few songs, rehearsed, and there was a discussion about the meaning of Kalapana. The literal translation is “sprouting money”. Kirk said the meaning was “beat of the music”, but he wanted “Dove” anyway. DJ thought it meant “Black Sand”. They emerged as Kalapana, playing their first gig at Chuck’s in Hawaii Kai.

The popularity of Kalapana grew and with farsighted management, they moved on to be the regular band at a new club called, “The Toppe Ada Shoppe”. They opened concerts for Earth, Wind & Fire, Batdorf & Rodney, The Moody Blues, Sly & The Family Stone, and Cecilio & Kapono, released their first self-titled album, Kalapana which included, as sidemen: Michael Paulo on sax and flute; and Alvin Fejerang on drums.

The band has all local record charts & having Billboard magazine do a review of their work, inspiring musicians and groups then and to the present day.

The overwhelming success they experienced held through to a three concert event, at the Waikiki Shell, on June 25-27, 1976, where a record 25,000 attended.

In 1977, they took part in selecting the entrants for the “Home Grown” album project which showcased Hawaiian talent.

The next big achievement was to win several Nani Awards, the predecessor to the present day Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. They were nominated for four categories and received “Best Performance by a duo or group”, and “Best Male Vocalist” for Mackey, who had split from the group and joined up with Billy Kaui (Country Comfort).

By this time, the group reorganized to include Randy Aloya, replacing Mackey, ( who, was pursuing a solo career and released two albums: “The Mackey Feary Band” & “From The Heart”), DJ, Malani, Kirk, Michael & Alvin.This re-organized group, now including Kimo Cornwell, formerly with the group Beowolf (and currently with Hiroshima) on keyboards, toured in Japan and released “Kalapana Live In Japan” (Sun Plaza), “Northbound” and “Kalapana Alive at Yokohama”. DJ, as Kalapana, also released “Hold On” and a solo LP “Branded”.

In Hawaii, Mackey & Malani regrouped and recorded “Kalapana Live Reunion” from concert at the Waikiki Shell. The group members interchanged over the next few years while each pursued solo and duo efforts.

Malani released a solo album “Islands” which contained the tune “Molokai Sweet Home”, that has become his signature.

The band’s current members are Mackey, Malani, DJ, Kenji Sano, a bassist and Gaylord Holomalia, a keyboardist.

1986 marked the start of a wave of album releases starting with “Hurricane”, that exemplifies the new Kalapana style – a hybrid of using pop, folk, country and heady Hawaiian jazz with the latest colorful, contemporary music technology.

They presented the album at a gala album release party at Rascal Discotheque in Waikiki. The invitations were sent out with singles from the album and roses and T-Shirts at the door. The event echoed what Kalapana had done almost a decade earlier: leasing the Roxy in LA, sending out invites with pineapples and giving out leis, orchids, and T-Shirts at the door.

The “Hurricane” concert, at the Waikiki Shell, presented them in colorful, stylish suits. A nostalgic number “Living Without You”, brought them out in white, zoot suit, dinner jackets with large, red velvet bow ties. Kenji, Mackey and Malani danced to new choreography and, even DJ danced….with his guitar, on his famous outstanding solos.

They released “Lava Rock” in 1987, performed with Hiroshima (an LA based fusion band that Kimo had joined), and Anri (of Japan), played at the grand opening of the Hard Rock Cafe in Honolulu, performed in the Philippines to a crowd of 10,000 per night, at two sold-out concerts, toured Japan, the West Coast US, Tahiti, Samoa, Guam, Saipan, and outer islands and taped their first feature length video of the Lava Rock Concert, at the Waikiki Shell. They concerted and toured Japan with Michael Paulo, who was currently with Al Jarreau’s band, and Tris Imboden, the drummer for Chicago. This tour skyrocketed their popularity in Japan, securing a five album deal with Pony Canyon Records.

They are touring and recording in Japan and the West Coast. The releases, to date, on Pony Canyon are: “Back In Your Heart Again”; “Kalapana Sings Southern All-Stars”; and “Walk Upon the Water”. The fourth LP, “Full Moon Tonight”, was released at the time of the royal wedding in Japan, in the month of June 1995, and included a new version of “Hawaiian Wedding Song” done in a finger-snapping R & B groove. Their latest album on Pony Canyon Records, “Captain Santa Island Music”, consists of songs written for a clothing line in Japan. Each of the albums contain new arrangements of Kalapana classics, hosting an array of guest talent and also has lots of new songs.

Kalapana released the Hawaii version of “Captain Santa Island Music” with liner notes by international radio DJ, Kamasami Kong. More recently, Kalapana released in Japan a new CD titled “The Very Best Of Kalapana”, which includes 20 of their hit songs. Kalapana will be going on tour this summer to the Mainland as well as Japan. Kalapana has been seen on Japan television stations in commercials for the “Captain Santa” clothing line over the past two years.

Mackey Feary died on March 6, 1999.

During the summer of 1999, Kalapana released “Love Under the Sun” , the title song for FM Nagoya’s compilation CD, which was used for FM Nagoya’s Summer Campaign. Also, they recorded the theme song for the Asahi Super Cup, a series of sailboat races held off the coast of Oahu. Both recordings were done at Tetsuya Komuro’s new world class recording studios in Hawaii, TK Disc Studios.

November 5, 2002 – release of new CD. The blue album contains new songs, including two songs featuring Maurice Bega on vocals. Guest artists included the group Chant singing background vocals on “Ten Years After”, which was written by mega Japanese recording artist/producer Tetsuya Komuro, Tris Imboden from the band Chicago on “Another Lonely Night”, Michael Paulo on sax, Pauline Wilson and Garin Poliahu on drums. James Studer, our Kailua bruddah, appears throughout the CD with his arrangements and keyboard work.

Kalapana continues to be the symbol of inspiration and positive direction for Contemporary Hawaiian music and musicians today.

MAILANI

Mailani, best known as a member of the Na- Ho-ku- Hanohano award-winning duo Keahiwai and more recently the trio Mighty J, steps into the spotlight as a solo artist displaying the depth of her talents on her self-titled new album, Mailani. This album presents innovative yet respectful interpretations of Hawaiian standards, as well as several original compositions in both Hawaiian and English. Mailani blends the contemporary and the traditional in ways that will delight aficionados of both genres.

Mailani’s original compositions hold true to her belief in holding ‘ohana, community and tradition close to her heart. Her sweet distinctive voice and honest emotions are portrayed in every song, making her one of Hawai‘i’s most endearing rising stars.

Mountain Apple is extremely proud to welcome Mailani to its already impressive list of great female vocalists, which include Nina Keali‘iwahamana, Emma Veary, Teresa Bright, Amy Hanaiali‘i, Raiatea Helm and Kekuhi Kealiikanaka‘ole.

CYRIL PAHINUI

Cyril Pahinui, the son of musical legend, Gabby Pahinui, is, in his own right, one of Hawai‘i’s most gifted guitarists and singers. Cyril has twice played at Carnegie Hall, has contributed to two Grammy Award-winning albums, received several Hoku Hanohano Awards, and recorded on more than 25 Hawaiian musical releases. As a slack key guitarist, Cyril’s technical virtuosity, rhythmic adaptations, and instrumental harmonics impart the soul of Hawaiian music, and his beautiful, emotive, and well-recognized voice renders an intimate picture of his Pacific island home. Cyril-Pahinui-Grammy-Winner

I was born on April 21, 1950, and grew up in Waimanalo at the foot of the Ko‘olau Mountains on the windward side of Oahu. I started playing music from the time I could hold an ukulele, began learning slack key at age seven, and performed on stage for the first time when I was 12. I grew up with four sisters and five brothers, and we all learned music in the traditional way, by listening and watching my dad and other musicians. 

In those days, we didn’t get music lessons, and most of the musicians I knew didn’t read music. We really had to work hard to learn. My dad would slack all of his strings and hide his guitar in the closet at night because he knew we would sneak in to try and figure out his tunings once he was asleep. He could always tell when someone had been in his guitar case. That was the style in the old days; if you really wanted to learn, you had to listen. Once I began to learn, I would get up at 4:00 in the morning and make my dad breakfast so that he would spend time with me before leaving for his job—just me, one-on-one with my dad. When he had shared something new, he would expect me to practice, and the next time I played, I could tell he was listening to see if I had mastered it. Then he would share something else. 

Our home in Waimanalo attracted many well-known musicians, including slack key masters Leland “Atta” Isaacs, Sonny Chillingworth, and Ray Kane, along with David “Feet” Rogers, Joe Marshall, and ukulele virtuoso Eddie Kamae. Weekends at the Pahinui home were a continuous jam session, as we hosted dozens of musicians, both young and old, who came by to jam with “the Master.” With a welcoming pot of beef stew and rice always on the stove, our home became the perfect setting for a rejuvenation of Hawai‘i’s musical traditions. As my dad’s fame grew, attendance at the weekend jam sessions mushroomed—sometimes hosting a hundred or more musicians and fans. The jam sessions would begin early on Friday morning and continue straight through to Monday morning. 

My dad and his many musician friends always encouraged me and my brothers to participate and to add something to the music. When I was 15, my dad invited me to join his group, The Gabby Band.  One day he just asked me, “Son, would you like to earn a little money?” For me that was like receiving a Grammy—just to know that he recognized my commitment and considered me to be on his level. I also think that was the day that I knew I would continue my music. After that, my dad would ask me every morning, “Son, are all the instruments tuned?” Tuning the instruments became my responsibility and my next level of training.  Because my dad had a perfect ear, he could be somewhat impatient, so I had to train myself to be more precise. Now, I am now so grateful for his strict discipline. My training taught me to tune and play by ear, and that is what I still do, even today. 

Music was my dad’s life, and in many ways he was ahead of his time. He loved classical music, and liked jazz and Mexican music. As his children grew to share his love of music, he always told us, “Play whatever you feel, whatever makes you happy, but always respect Hawaiian music and keep it in your heart.” 

I shared my generation’s passion for rock-and-roll, from Fats Domino and Little Richard to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but that was never a roadblock to playing slack key. My father loved the Beatles, too; his favorite Beatles song was Hey Jude. In fact, sometimes my dad would ask me to play familiar Beatles and Stones riffs as introductions to traditional Hawaiian songs. Most people probably don’t realize it, but some of these intros and my arrangements are the distinguishing parts of my dad’s renditions.

I continued to play with my dad throughout my teens, and during this same time, my older brother Bla and I started a rock band, called The Characters. I joined a rock group called Sam and the Samlins. In 1968, I made my first album with Sunday Manoa, and after returning from two years’ service in Vietnam, I rejoined my dad, brothers, Sonny Chillingworth, Atta Isaacs, and others in the Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band.  I arranged songs and played a variety of instruments on all five of my dad’s albums on the Panini Label. During this same period, I worked with Palani Vaughan, on his Ia`oe E Ka La albums, which chronicled the music and times of King David Kalakaua.

In 1975, I formed my own group, The Sandwich Isle Band. From there, I went to The Peter Moon Band, which also included my brother Martin. With The Peter Moon Band, I played and sang on four albums, including Cane Fire, which received seven Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in 1983, including Album of the Year, Group of the Year, and Song of the Year. Throughout the 1980s, I also played with steel guitarist Greg Sardinha, my brother Bla, and others, and continued to expand my musical horizons.”

In 1988, I recorded Cyril Pahinui, an album of traditional and contemporary songs, which won the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for Best Contemporary Hawaiian Album and Best Male Vocalist. In 1992, at the urging of my mother, and accompanied by session heavyweights Ry Cooder, David Lindley, and Jim Keltner, I joined my brothers Martin and Bla for the Pahinui Brothers album. Recorded on Maui, this album included two traditional songs associated with my father, Henehene Ko Aka and Panini Pua Kea, and a cover of John Lennon’s classic, Jealous Guy. 

In 1990, I began recording for Dancing Cat Records. My first Dancing Cat release, 6 & 12 String Slack Key, won a Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Instrumental Album of the Year in 1994. I then recorded Night Moon—Po  Mahina in 1998, which featured a version of Hi‘ilawe. In 1999, I recorded a third Dancing Cat release, a duet album with Bob Brozman, Four Hands Sweet & Hot, which won the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Instrumental Album of the Year in 2000. Brozman has so much energy; he doesn’t hold back anything when he plays. When we were recording this album, he kept getting cramps in his fingers because we were playing so fast. I remember George Winston of Dancing Cat Records laughing, because he had never seen Bob Brozman get cramps before.

In 1993, I participated in a slack key/country and western crossover, when I played on a Randy Travis release, Wind in the Wire. Beginning that same year, and for seven years running, I also participated in the annual Chet Atkins Appreciation Society guitar convention in Nashville. My dad had been good-friends with Atkins, and they were planning to do an album together. When my dad passed away, Chet recorded the song Pu‘uanahulu in his memory. When Chet found out that I was Gabby’s son, he invited me to attend his convention. As we were getting ready to play, Chet would say, “Cyril, what tuning are you in?” and I’d say, “Chet, this is an open C.” His eyes would open wide, and he would say, “What is that?” Not being a slack key player, he had never heard of that tuning.

Over the years I have also had the opportunity to record with the Makaha Sons, Teressa Bright, Fiji, Frank Hewitt, and have laid a few other guitar parts here and there for friends. I have toured to Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Japan and across the U.S with Ledward Kaapana and Dennis Kamakahi.       

In the late 1990s, I had the good fortune to participate in the historic Hawaiian music concerts at Carnegie Hall. My father always told us, “One day my sons’ time will come.” When I walked onstage at Carnegie Hall for the first time, I said, “Dad, we made it.” I could feel him there with me, his ears on my every note and I played as though he was the only one listening.

These days, I am still recording and performing, but I have given up the nightclub thing in favor of colleges and theaters. In my younger days, I used to close the bar, and before I’d know it, the sun would be out. Today, I have to put it in low gear and take it slow.

Over the last three years, I have performed on three compilation albums, Masters of Slack Key, Volume 1 and Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar—Live from Maui, both of which won Grammy Awards for Best Hawaiian Music Album, and Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar.  

My most recent album, He‘eia, was recorded on the Dancing Cat label and released in September 2007. The title song, which was originally composed as a chant for King David Kalakaua, was one of my dad’s favorites. All of the tracks on He‘eia are completely solo with no effects or overlays—just.  So far, the album has met with a pretty good response and has been nominated for both a Na Hoku Hanohano Award and a Grammy. 

I am currently performing in The Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Concert Series on Maui. This is a very nice venue, we get a good crowd, and I really enjoy what I’m doing. I do the best I can to be natural and honest, to let the music say it all. I am still shocked and amazed that my playing sometimes makes people cry—not just women, but men too. When someone tells me this, I usually say, “I’m sorry that I made you cry, brother, but that’s how it is, straight from the heart.”

I have also started a series of workshops called He Huaka‘i e pana ai ke ea, A Journey to Bring Pulse to the Living.  The workshops were inspired by longtime family friend, Uncle George Na‘ope. Uncle George was there in the early days with my family and working with him reminds me of my dad, very old school, with attention to protocol. That’s something that you don’t see too often anymore. 

The first workshop in the series was built around the song, Hi‘ilawe, which was probably my dad’s signature. He didn’t compose it, but after hearing someone sing it on Moloka‘i, he fell in the love it. He recorded it seven different times and always included it in his performances. My brothers and I have also played and recorded the song, so it has become kind of a family trademark.  One of the special things about the new workshop project is that it opened the way for me to travel to the Waipio Valley and to bring my students there. Even though I have performed the song Hi‘ilawe in concerts all around the world, I had never actually seen its namesake waterfall until I started this project. To be there with the students, singing and teaching the song with the waterfall above us and hula dancers and taro patches surrounding us, was truly one of the most awe-inspiring experiences of my life. I could feel the spirits of the ancestors listening and their love for that place flow though my fingers and ring out through the steel strings and tones of my guitar. 

Next year’s workshop will focus on He‘eia, the title song on my most recent album. I have already visited the beach several times to take photos for the album and to video and am now researching the song’s composer and historic context. My new passion is to really get to the depth of the material and to share that with my students. It means so much more than just learning the chords and the words for the song. I am also trying to learn more Hawaiian language. In our family, we learned what we used in our music, but we were not allowed to converse in Hawaiian. Today, students can earn college degrees in Hawaiian language. I am anxious to see what this generation does with music composition. To be able to understand the language and culture enough to really compose is something I can only imagine.
Teaching with workshops was something that my dad didn’t do for us. With him, it was all eyes and ears, just watching and listening. It was difficult, but it paid off. By paying attention and listening, I can now share the music with others. I feel so grateful for all I learned from my dad. I can always feel his presence when I play, and he is still my inspiration and the soul of my music.

KEALOHA

Kealoha is the founder of HawaiiSlam, Youth Speaks Hawai`i (2-Time International Champions), and First Thursdays (the largest registered slam poetry competition in the world with an average attendance of 600+).  In the 7 years that he has represented Hawai`i at the National Poetry Slam, he has performed on the finals stage 4 times, finishing 8th individually out of 350 of the world’s best poets in 2007.  Kealoha has served as Hawaii’s SlamMaster since 2003, and has been on the Artists in the Schools roster since 2005.  He has featured at major venues throughout the world including the Nuyorican poets cafe (New York City), the Bowery Poetry Club (New York City), the Green Mill (Chicago), the Schiffbau (Zurich, Switzerland), the Rokerij (Amsterdam, Netherlands), the Bienal do Ibirapuera (Sao Paulo, Brazil), and the 2007 NFL Pro Bowl halftime show.

In 2009, Kealoha was featured on HBO’s Brave New Voices series presented by Russel Simmons.  He is the poetic vocalist for Henry Kapono’s “Wild Hawaiian” project (nominated for a Grammy).  In the literature world, his poetry has been published by Bamboo Ridge, Wordstew, and the Honolulu Weekly.  His poetry performances have also been recorded on albums such as Hapa’s “Maui” (winner of 4 Na Hoku Hanohano awards and the Hawaii Music Award for “Album of the Year”), the Mana Maoli compilation (featuring Jack Johnson and John Cruz), and a full-length spoken word CD entitled Kealoha.  He has been featured 4 times on the “World’s Greatest Poetry Slam” DVD series (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008) and starred in the movie “Hawai`i Slam: Poetry in Paradise.”  Kealoha has made dozens of television appearances, including the State of Hawaii’s “Can’t Fool the Youth” anti-smoking campaign that he wrote, performed, and co-directed.

Kealoha has shared the stage with Jack Johnson (Multi-Platinum Recording Artist), Ben Harper (Multiple Grammy Winner), Willie Nelson (Multi-Platinum/Multi-Grammy Winner), Damian “Junior Gong” Marley (Multiple Grammy Winner), Jason Mraz (Grammy Nominee), Michael Franti (Spearhead), Don Carlos (Reggae Legend), Medusa (Grammy Winner), and countless numbers of slam poetry superstars.  He has also collaborated with local pioneers such as Henry Kapono (Grammy Nominee), Hapa (Multiple Na Hoku winners), Makana (Slack Key Virtuoso), Willie K (Grammy Nominee), and Jason Scott Lee (Actor).  Finally, he has conducted workshops at over 100 schools, libraries, prisons, and community centers throughout his career (including a Master’s Workshop at the Bamboo Ridge Writer’s Institute) alongside literary leaders such as Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Lee Cataluna.

Beyond poetry, Kealoha co-wrote and played the lead role in a hip-hop theatre production entitled Chase, which sold out on every night of its original and encore runs.  He also co-directed a sold out 1,400-seat show of the Vagina Monologues at Hawaii Theatre (featuring luminaries such as Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Nora Okja Keller, and Joy Harjo).  Kealoha graduated with honors from MIT with a degree in Nuclear Physics, served as a business consultant in San Francisco, and played around as a surf instructor prior to becoming a professional poet.

FRIENDS OF ADAM

“My dad told me, ‘Nobody wants to hear that music here,’” says Campania. “But I’m going to play what touches me.”

Play they do. From “Crossroads” and “Little Wing,” the soul of Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers, to a blistering rearrangement of Robert Johnson’s “Me and the Devil,” and their own originals, Friends of Adam speaks to a genre where Guitar Player is a musician and not a computer game

Can three, young Filipino men play the blues? John Heckathorn, editor of “Honolulu Magazine” wrote: “When Campania picks up his guitar, he channels Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.”

John Hart, confidant of the late guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan exclaimed “they are as for real as anything you will see on Sixth Street in Austin, Texas.

The band has recently opened for Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer, AEROSMITH, at The Blaisdell Arena, multi-Grammy-Award winner, Sheryl Crow, at the Waikiki Shell, and 70s pop sensation, Pablo Cruise at the Aloha Tower Waterfront. They also have recently played a show at the world famous Pipeline Cafe with Darby Slick, of Great Society fame, writer of Somebody to Love by Jefferson Airplane.

The “Honolulu Star Bulletin” stated: “If you like your blues hard and electric, you might look for these guys.”

NA LEO

NA LEO PILIMEHANA, which in Hawaiian means the “voices blending together in warmth”, is the most popular, most award-winning and biggest selling female Hawaiian group in the World. Na Leo consists of three childhood friends, Nalani Choy, Lehua Kalima Heine and Angela Morales. These three Hawaiian women run their own record label; compose, record and perform music; they do volunteer work; play sports and they’re moms. They are real women with real lives sticking close to their ideals and putting their friendship first.

THE BEGINNING… Angela and Nalani met in the first grade, and six years later, both met Lehua in the seventh grade at Kamehameha Schools. All three shared a love of music and became members of the concert glee club. They had their first hit as seniors when they entered Hawaii’s talent contest, “Brown Bags to Stardom” in 1984 with their original song, “Local Boys.” The tune, “an ode to the bronzed and buffed,” as local writer David Choo says, blasted onto the charts and ruled at #1 for months. Stoked by the response, they put out their first hit album, also entitled “Local Boys,” which included three other original compositions. The next year, the hit single “Local Boys” won the prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano Award (Hawaii’s version of the Grammys) and it became the best selling single in Hawaii’s history, a record that still stands today.

THE GAP…Despite the mega success of their first album, the trio didn’t make a dime. Discouraged about music as a way to make a living, they decided to get on with other things, like college, jobs and marriage. About 8 years later, they missed singing together…writing songs…the fun they had composing and playing. And, a producer dangled the idea of another album.

AND BACK! In 1993, they released “Friends,” another Hoku-award winner and a huge hit. So much of a hit that Attorney General Janet Reno had to weigh in when the Hawaii Department of Education tried to ban students from playing the tune at graduation because it made reference to “God.” Since 1982, they’ve released 19 CDs, won 22 Hoku Awards, have been in the top 20 AC charts nationally, and made music that’s part of our lives. 2009 marks their 25th Anniversary with a CD of collected favorite Na Leo tunes.WHAT’S NEXT? The question now is what’s on the horizon for Na Leo? Most groups don’t last 5 years let alone 25. The answer…more music! The ladies are going back to their roots with hula tunes, composing more hawaiian lyrics, and reaching more people…not only in the United States, but Asia and Europe!

JOHN CRUZ

From the time he was a young boy growing up in Palolo Valley on Oahu, John Cruz knew he was destined to play music.  Whether inside or outside the home, his earliest memories were filled with song.  His Hawaiian grandmother had a beautiful voice and sang in church.  His mom loved the Motown sound and had an extensive record collection.  His dad played country music and taught John to perform live shows at a very young age.  His brothers and sisters were all musically inclined and, along with numerous aunties, uncles, cousins, neighbors and friends,  they have surrounded John with the gift of music for his entire life.

Although John grew up in Hawaii, it wasn’t until he moved to the East Coast in 1983 that he developed his own style as a singer songwriter.  During his 12 years in the Northeast, John cut his musical teeth in subways, coffeehouses and bars in New York’s Greenwich Village, as well as in the clubs and local haunts from Martha’s Vineyard to the Boston area.  While attending the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, John ventured in to acting and dancing, which strengthened his command of the stage.

He spent six years in theatre and dance companies, performing everywhere from Lincoln Center to Washington D.C.  As a member of the prestigious New World Theater, John played the lead role in “The Dance and the Railroad,” by Tony Award winning Broadway playwright,  David Henry Hwang, of M. Butterfly fame.  John’s outstanding performance was nationally recognized in the finals of a collegiate drama competition.

John returned to Hawaii in 1995 to help his brother Ernie record his album.  At the time, Ernie was in the immensely popular band, the Ka’au Crater Boys.  He invited John to play bass with them and to play his own songs during their shows.  The exposure to large crowds gave John’s music a substantial fan base before it was even recorded.  When his first album, Acoustic Soul was released in 1996, it made an artistic and commercial impact like few other recordings in Hawaiian musical history.

Acoustic Soul to date has sold about 100,000 copies in Hawaii alone.  John produced the album himself and released it on his own label, Lilikoi Records.  It spawned the radio hits “Shine On,” “Sitting in Limbo” and “Island Style,” which has become a local anthem.  Most songs from the album still receive daily radio airplay and can be heard on numerous compilation CDs, in hotels, airports, shopping malls, school music classes, commercials and just about everywhere else music is played within the state.  Acoustic Soul won two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in 1997 — one for Contemporary Album of the Year and one for Most Promising Artist.

In 2005, John added the Grammy Award to his list of honors.  His original song “Jo Bo’s Night” was featured on the compilation CD Slack Key Guitar Volume 2, which won the first Grammy ever awarded for Hawaiian music.

Over the years, John has attracted some stellar fans.  Stars like Jack Johnson, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett, Lisa Loeb, Trey Anastasio and others, have shown their support in various ways.  John co-wrote a song with Trey called “A Case of Ice and Snow,” which was released on the Phish frontman’s solo CD, Bar 17. World Champion surfer Kelly Slater featured three of John’s songs on his DVD, “Letting Go,” in 2006.   Jack Johnson has released “Island Style” on several CDs and plays it frequently in concert.  John joined Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, along with other quality singer songwriters,  on the WMVY radio compilation CD, Fresh Produce Volume 4, with his hit song “Missing You.”

In October 2006, a documentary film on his life, “Made of Music – The Story of John Cruz,” debuted at the Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival in Honolulu.  A few weeks later, it was honored with the Aloha Visionary Filmmaker Award at the Molokai Film Festival.  It features John’s signature candor and wit, as well as a personal story that tugs at the heartstrings, and music that will delight and inspire.  Jack Johnson, Jackson Browne, Kelly Slater and Jake Shimabukuro add color and insight to an already powerful story.

John is the official spokesman for Sprint Hawaii’s Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which donates free ukuleles to school music programs in need.  He visits classrooms and gives surprise performances to inspire kids to achieve and believe in themselves.

John’s recent touring has included stops at the massive Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Summerstage in New York’s Central Park, Carnegie Hall and prominent national venues up and down both coasts. He headlined four galas during Barack Obama’s inauguration and played 14 shows at the prestigious SXSW (South by Southwest) music festival in Austin, Texas in March 2009, as one of the first Hawaiians ever invited to showcase there.

John has distinguished himself as one of the most talented artists that has ever come from Hawaii and was named the Best Singer Songwriter by Hawaii Magazine in 2008. After a classic hit first album, this well-earned reputation became even more solidified when he released his long-awaited second album, One of These Days in 2007. After its debut week, the album landed firmly at #1 in Hawaii, #2 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart for the Pacific Region and #6 on the Billboard World Chart.  Critics described it as “brilliant” and “one of the year’s finest albums, local or otherwise.”  The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts gave the CD its highest honor in 2008, by awarding John the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Contemporary Album of the Year.  It delivers more of the warm, heartfelt melodies and passionate, soulful vocals that John’s fans have grown to know and love.

KONA

Kona was born and raised in Waimanalo, Hawaii. A place where music is a way of life. Growing up in his grandfather’s church, Kona was blessed with the love of music. He’s the youngest of seven, born into a family who not only embraced music but also love to play it. With his cousins Israel Kamakawiwo’ole and Melvin Amina from 3 scoops of Aloha (well known Hawaiian recording artists) jamming at the beach with friends and family, the smell of food on the grill, keikis(children) running around and everybody’s playing music backyard style, you’ll find Kona right in the middle of it all soaking in the atmosphere.

Kona started out as a drummer for a succussful local group in Hawaii called “Tropical Knights” at the age of 13. Recorded 3 albums, performing all over the island, outer islands, Seattle, Las Vegas, Guam, and California.Through out the years with the group, Kona has discovered his passion for other instruments besides the drums and has become an accomplished guitar, ukulele, keyboard and bass player, as well as his love for singing and writing music.

On his debut project “Changed” and now his brand new album “Acousti-me”, Kona and his unique and refreshing voice along with his songs will definitely leave you wanting more, it’ll grab your attention as soon as his music hits your ears. Kona performed all of the guitars, bass, drums, percussion, and vocals on both cd’s “Acousti-me” & “Changed”. Kona and his songs are lyricly & musicaly melodic, a feel good vibe, honest, addictive, very organic, poetic, and for all who enjoy music.

With Kona’s new release “Acousti-me”, Kona branched out even further and produced, engineered, mixed & mastered the new album. He built his own recording studio, started his own label “Linekona Records llc”, produces jingles for various clients including Power 104.3 and Fm 100.3 (Coxradio stations Hawaii), and produces other musicians as well.

With 20 years in the music industry, singer/ songwriter Kona, with his Hawaiian roots alive and well in his heart and soul, through his original songs, his voice, and his unique sound will show the place and the people he loves the most in his home state of Hawai’i, and around the world his god given talents and diverse style of music. Aloha…

REV. DENNIS KAMAKAHI

Dennis David Kahekilimamaoikalanikeha Kamakahi, (Born: March 31, 1953 – ), multiple Grammy winner (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences), multiple Na Hoku Hanohano winner (Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts), 2009 Inductee into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame, Hawaiian slack key guitarist, recording artist, and music composer. A prolific composer of the Native Hawaiian music genre.

Dennis David Ka-hekili-mamao-i-kalani-keha ( The Distant Thunder In The Highest Heavens ) Kamakahi was the oldest child of Kenneth Franklyn Kamakahi and Clara Aweau Ing and was born on March 31, 1953 in Honolulu, Hawai’i. At the age of 3, he started to play the ukulele and was taught by his Grandfather, David Naoo Kamakahi, the art of slack key guitar playing at the age of 10 years old.

At the age of 20, His father Kenneth became the youngest member in the Royal Hawaiian Band to hold first chair in the trombone section. Kenneth also played the cornet, euphonium, double bell euphonium, and baritone. Dennis could be found at most of the Band’s rehearsals and concerts sitting in the trombone section, on his father’s trombone case, listening to the music being played around him. [edit] Music Education

Dennis began his serious study of music while attending Aliamanu Intermediate School studying music theory and learning to play the trombone with the school band under the direction of William Kaneda. At the age of 14, he entered the Kamehameha Schools as a freshman and continued his study of music theory, band arranging, and composition under the guidance of David Lorch and, after 4 years with the high school band, became the band’s drum major and student band conductor in his senior year. It was at the Kamehameha Schools that he became friends with two fellow classmates who would themselves become Hawaii’s exponents of Hawaiian Music and Culture, Dr. Kalena Silva, Professor of Ethnomusicology and Director of the Ka Haka ‘Ula O Ke’elikolani,College of Hawaiian Language at the UH Hilo Campus, and former Royal Hawaiian Bandmaster Aaron Mahi. It would be after graduating from the Kamehameha Schools that these three close friends would each play an integral part in the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance of the early 1970s.

After graduating from Kamehameha Schools in 1971, he became a student of Hawaiian language and poetry under Dr. Mary Kawena Pukui. Under her guidance, he would launch his music career into the writing of poetic Hawaiian songs similar to the styles of Queen Lili’uokalani and Sam Li’a Kalainaina, a Hawaiian language poet and songwriter from the turn of the 20th century.

He entered Leeward Community College majoring in advanced music theory and orchestration under Charles Brennan, with a minor in sociology and psychology. He left college in the summer of 1972 to pursue a professional musical career and became a member of a Hawaiian music group known as Na Leo O Nuuanu, whose members included Aaron Mahi, Cyril Pahinui, Danny Akaka Jr., Kaipo Asing, and Bruce Spencer. He worked with the Hawaii Visitor’s Bureau as a musician promoting Hawaii in 1974 traveling across Canada. Upon his return to Hawaii he was employed with the Public Relations Department of Aloha Airlines, working as part of a music promotional team. During that year, he was called to join the “(Sons of Hawaii)” replacing slack key guitar legend, Gabby Pahinui. [edit] Professional Music Career

Dennis’s first recording with Na Leo O Nu’uanu was an album entitled ‘Ia ‘Oe E Ka La Volume 1 on the Nakahili Productions label with Palani Vaughan. It was the first of a series of albums based on the life of King David Kalakaua. The second recording of the group in 1974 would become historic in the Hawaiian music genre, the album was recorded live at a music festival in Waimea, Hawaii called The Waimea Music Festival[1]. It was the Hawaiian Woodstock of the 1970s and featured many of Hawaii’s popular entertainers of that time including Gabby Pahinui, Fred Punahoa, The Sunday Manoa, and Genoa Keawe.

It was his tenure with (Eddie Kamae) the (Sons of Hawaii) (1974 – 1995) that would lead him to become one of Hawaii’s most prolific songwriter in the Hawaiian language, composing 500 songs. Many of his songs became Hawaiian classics, including Pua Hone, Wahine ‘Ilikea, E Hihiwai, Koke’e, Golden Stallion, Selamoku, Hualalai, Kou Aloha Mau A Mau, Na Makani ‘Eha, Na Ali’i Pu’olani. In 1974, Dennis recorded with the Sons of Hawai’i for the National Geographic Society’s Music of the World series. It would be the beginning of seven albums under the Hawaii Sons label and the recording of many of his music compositions. In 1978 he became a member of the American Society of Composer, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and created Naukilo Publishing Company, a music publishing firm. [2]

From 1988 until 2004, he continued to work with Kamae recording soundtracks for several Hawaiian documentary films, LI‘A: The Legacy of a Hawaiian Man, LISTEN TO THE FOREST, THE HAWAIIAN WAY: The Art and Tradition of Slack Key Music, WORDS, EARTH & ALOHA: The Source of Hawaiian Music, LUTHER KAHEKILI MAKEKAU: A One Kine Hawaiian Man, HAWAIIAN VOICES: Bridging Past to Present, SONS OF HAWAI‘I: A Sound, A Band, A Legend, HAWAIIAN SON: The Life and Music of Eddie Kamae, and KEEPERS OF THE FLAME: The Legacy of Three Hawaiian Women, all produced by Eddie and Myrna Kamae as part of the Hawaiian Legacy Foundation series.[3]

Dennis launched his solo career in 1996, releasing his first slack key guitar CD, co-produced by Howard Johnston and pianist George Winston, under the (Dancing Cat Records)[4] label entitled Pua’ena (Glow Brightly). In 1998 he released his second slack key guitar CD for Dancing Cat Records together with son David Kamakahi on ukulele. The CD was called ‘Ohana (Family). It was soon followed by another Dancing Cat Records release entitled “Hui Aloha” (Play Together) featuring both Dennis and David Kamakahi, George Kuo, and Martin Pahinui.

In 2003 under his own recording label, DENNIS KAMAKAHI PRODUCTIONS[5], he released a second album with son David entitled “The Gift of Music – From Father to Son”. The CD included narratives between each song selection to explain the meaning of each song. The year 2003 found both Dennis and David involved with the Walt Disney Studios to provide vocal and instrumental the animated sequel – (Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch) (released in August 2005) along with a CD – Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch – ISLAND FAVORITES featuring Dennis singing the lead vocal to the movies main theme song – “ALWAYS”. It was also at this time that Dennis became a member of SAG Screen Actors Guild.

Dennis produced an album featuring David in 2004 called “PA’ANI (PLAY). The CD was the first solo ukulele effort of David and garnered a Na Hoku Hanohano Award from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts for Contemporary Album of the Year in 2005. At that same Award Ceremony, Dennis was honored with the Na Hoku Hanohano Kiho’alu Award (Slack Key Award) by the (Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts).

On August 29, 2005, The Walt Disney Studio released (Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch) DVD featuring Dennis and David Kamakahi on the film soundtrack along with the (Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch) CD – Island Favorites – featuring Dennis and David Kamakahi singing and playing the full length theme song “ALWAYS” of (Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch).

At the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, CA on February 11, 2007, Dennis received his first (Grammy Award) for Best Hawaiian Album on a slack key guitar compilation CD entitled Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, part of the recorded live concerts at Kapalua, Maui at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Dennis received his second (Grammy Award) (Hawaiian Music Category) in 2008 at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, CA for the slack key guitar compilation CD entitled Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, part of the second recorded live concert series at the Napilikai Resort Hotel in Kapalua, Maui. He also joined (MTNA) (Music Teachers National Association) that year to continue the teaching and advancement of music composition to students.

Dennis was nominated for his third (Grammy Award) in 2009 with the slack key compilation CD entitled The Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, a third recorded live series at the Napilikai Resort Hotel in Kapalua, Maui. The CD did not win a Grammy Award. However, he did receive his first gold Grammy Nominee medal as a record producer.

Perhaps the two most prestigious awards in his music career, both given in 2009, were the Lifetime Achievement Award from the (Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts) as a member of the Sons of Hawaii and his induction into the Hawaiian Music Hall Of Fame. Dennis continues to perform in live concerts in Hawaii and abroad and currently teaches Hawaiian slack key guitar, the History of Hawaiian songs and their meaning, and songwriting workshops in both Hawaii and the U.S. Mainland.

KAWAIKAPUOKALANI HEWETT

I was raised in Käne’ohe by my parents Alexander Kapilialoha Hewett and Alice Pualeilani Käna‘e Hewett in the home of my maternal grandparents, Frank Ka‘aiali‘i Käna‘e and Eva Wahineali‘i Rowan Käna‘e.

My grandmother was my first inspiration in the learning the hula. She loved to sing and she loved to dance. I was her punahele and I went every where with her tugging at her mu‘umu‘u. Her signature song at all family events as well as when she performed in public was, “Mauna Loa.”

‘Ölelo Häwai‘i was spoken regularly in our grandparents home especially by my grandmother’s sisters and brother. When I began to compose poetry, it was my grandmother who first scrutinized my mele to make sure all was done correctly.

My grandmother encouraged me to pursue formal training of the hula and in 1972 I became a student of Kahuna Emma deFries. Aunty Emma was a practitioner of the healing traditions of la‘au kähea, la‘au lapa‘au, ho‘oponopono and lomilomi. Aunty Emma also went through the ceremony of ‘uniki with the renowned hula master Keaka Kanahele. I trained with her for nine years in the healing traditions and the hula until my own ‘uniki with her in November of 1980.

In 1977 Aunty Emma introduced me to Gerry Santos and Robert Beaumont of “Olomana.” That day I danced for them the song, “Mele O Kaho‘olawe,” written by Uncle Harry Mitchel. That was the beginning of a relationship that would last 28 years. I became a part of the “Olomana,” family as a featured soloist and continue to perform with them regularly at the Hilton Häwai‘ian Village at the Paradise lounge.

Besides performing regularly with Olomana for the past 26 years I have also performed with Aunty Genoa Keawe. It was Aunty that first took me to perform with her in Japan over 10 years ago. Both Aunty and I traveled to Siberia in Russia to be the first Häwai‘ians to perform the mele and hula on Russian National T.V.

While performing with Olomana in the late 70’s and early 80’s at the Tropics at the Ala Moana Americana Hotel, I also performed nightly in the same hotel in the Ali‘i Room with Palani Vaughn. Ironically, the same time that I became Olomana’s hula soloist, I also became Palani Vaughn’s. I was doing then, four shows a night, two with Olomana and two with Palani Vaughn.

Between the years of 1972 and 1977 I performed with a group known as, “E Ho‘oHäwai’i Käkou,” based out of Kona Häwai‘i. I performed with the ‘Ä‘ala and Mikahala Roy. We performed solely Hula Kahiko. “E Ho’oHäwai‘iKäkou was instructed and mentored by Hula Master Iolani Luahine.

In 1975 I attended the University of Häwai‘i at the Hilo Campus. It was there that I became acquainted with Aunty Edith Kanaka‘ole. Aunty Edith became my kumu for ‘Ölelo Häwai‘i and tutored me in poetry. I also learned Hula and Chanting from her. I graduated in 1977 with a degree in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on the Häwai‘ian Culture.

A highlight of my hula career was when I was asked to perform for Mikhail Barishnokov. He came to Häwai‘i to perform and a special dinner was arranged for him at Black Point. There was a large crowd of people there and everyone was busy talking as I performed the hula. No one was really paying attention to us at all. He walked in and immediately placed his chair directly in front of me. He spoke to no one but intently fixed his eyes on me as I danced. The people stopped talking, everyone sat down and all became silent following his example.

At the end of our performance he gave me a standing ovation which again everyone followed. He told me then that I was the most spiritual and captivating dancer that he had ever seen. I told him that I was a great fan of his dance. He replied that now he was a great fan of my dance.

Got into recording way back in the 70’s when Teresa Bright and I at the request of K.C.C.N. disc jockey Braddah Kelly asked us to come into the studio and do a couple of demo tapes. With Teresa on the guitar, Mapuana Ringler on the wash tub base and I on the ukulele we recorded “Lehua Makanoe,” Ka Moaÿe,” and a medley of traditional songs. The recordings became very popular and that was the beginning of my recording career. Between then and now I have recorded 7 CD’s and have made guest appearances on several others to include John Cruz, Tommy Tokioka and Malia Rosa.

My newest release is titled, “Ulu Kau,” or “Unexplained Knowledge.” It was released in December of 2004. This CD is dedicated to all the entertainers in Häwaiÿi who have recorded my music over the years. The list includes, Aunty Genoa Keawe, Teresa Bright, Del Beazley, Olomana, Gerry Santos, Haunani Apoliona, The Brothers Cazimero, Palani Vaughn, Loyal Garner, Israel Kamakawiwoÿole and the Makaha Sons of Niÿihau, Melveen Leed, The Lim Family, Lorna Lim, Three Scoops of Aloha, The Peter Moon Band, The Makaha Sons, Ellsworth Simeona, Raÿiatea Helm, John Cruz, Hawaiÿian Heart, Aleÿa, Keola and Kapono Beamer, Kawai Cockett, Sonny Chillingsworth, Sean Naÿauao, Kamalani Kia, Hoÿokena, Kuÿuipo Kumukahi, Leilani Rivera Bond, Mele Ohana, Kunia Galdeira, Agnes Kimura, Maki Inouye, Antion, Tommy Tokioka, Malia Rosa, Lydia Bliss, Lau Loa and Koji Hirai.

KAMUELA KAHOANO

Kamuela Kahoano, 29, (Kamuelamusic.com) is a traveling singer/songwriter/award winning producer/Iolani grad from Honolulu, Hawaii with 1 goal in mind…bring light to the limelight. Son of famed MC Kimo Kahoano and brother to Ikaika Kahoano (of Making the Band fame), Kamuela is in demand, with 800 gigs under his belt in only 3 years. Kamuela has also written, and co-written (with artists from all over the US), a total of over 200 songs/musical poems. Dubbed the happy music maker as a symphonic composer in college (UH Manoa), Kamuela has since grown considerably in his performance variety (Solo ukulele, Slack Key Guitar, Hawaiian Falsetto, Alternative, and Rock/Reggae) to create a rich and full musical experience for any listener. Kamuela also currently serves as frontman to up and coming local rock band Analog (called “Analogic” on itunes). Producer/production credits include: Green Light Go – Green Light Go CD (2006), Kamuela Kahoano – She’s Grumpy It’s My Fault (2007), Katana – Kaotica (2008), Analogic – Analogic EP (2010), Kamuela Kahoano – Stream Dreams (2010), Don’t Know Why music video (2007), Lenny And the SKIM music video (2009).

NĀ PALAPALAI

Nā Palapalai was formed in 1995 by original members Kehau Tamure and Kuana Torres Kahele in their hometown of Hilo, Hawaii. The duo were raised around traditional Hawaiian music and polished their skills playing local shows and backyard pa`inas. As the band evolved, new talent joined and left the duo including: Wailau Rider, Akoni Malacas and Keao Costa. All helped to form the 18 time nominated, 7 time Na Hoku Hanohano Award Winning, Nā Palapalai.

The band brings a raw energy and enthusiasm to traditional Hawaiian music rarely seen today. Makani `olu`olu, the groupʻs 2003 debut album was applauded by critics and fans alike. They continue to receive praise for their ability to take traditional Hawaiian songs and magically rearrange and revive them for both young and old to appreciate today.

The group followed with two more acclaimed releases: Ke`ala Beauty and Ka Pua Hae Hawaii. All three albums have become veritable soundtracks for halau dancing hula world wide. Valued for their original compositions and heavenly falsetto harmonies, the duo has made a significant contribution to the legacy that is Hawaiian music.

Kuana and Kehau are trendsetters in leo ha`I ha`I, the Hawaiian falsetto sound. Their passion for the music shows in every performance. They continue to deliver powerhouse performances to sold out crowds world wide.

NATHAN AWEAU

Nathan was born into a musical family, his grandparents could play various instruments as well as performing with a band, his mom a piano player and his father for many years taught music and was a choir director as well as a Polynesian music teacher at various high schools. Nathan’s early years consisted of piano lessons, learning the guitar and ukulele and having the natural ability to sing. From grades seven through twelve his main instrument was the saxophone…he once thought that this would be his lifetime passion. In college he performed in the jazz ensemble as a bass player and the wind symphony as a percussionist. By this time his passion for the electric bass made him decide that this would be his main instrument.  In 1983, during his college years, he started his professional career accompanying performers such as Gabe Baltazar, Henry Kapono, Loyal Garner and Nohelani Cypriano to name a few.  He was a member of the Hoku award winning group, Ka’eo,   as well as with the award winning group  The Ali’i’s.  He also did a 16 year stint with the legendary Don Ho.  He’s done various high school and college level seminars, covering subjects from writing, arranging and sequencing to computer music. 

For a few short years, Nathan was a music teacher at various schools in Hawai’i. He’s even done a project with students from Campbell High School. The students had a chance to see the workings of what goes on in producing a song and recording it.     Other than being a stage musician, Nathan has performed on commercials for Windward Mall, Meadow Gold, JCB credit card co., etc.  He’s done background music for various T.V. shows for the Travel Channel, and has done music beds and liners for various radio stations.  

In 2001, Nathan released a c.d. called “E Apo Mai”, which garnered him a couple of awards. One was for “Male Vocalist of the Year”, “Song of the Year” and “Contemporary Hawaiian Album of the Year”. A few years after, he released a Jazz c.d. called “Bass Etude”, which focused on the electric bass…this project was honored as “Jazz Album of the Year”.

Currently, Nathan along with renowned writer and guitar extraordinaire Barry Flanagan, make up the group Hapa. In 2005 they released an album called “Maui” which shot up the Billboard Magazine’s World Music chart, and peaking at number 7. The following year Hapa went home with 4 out of 6 Hoku Awards. That very year Nathan was honored as “Male Vocalist of the Year”. This was his second time that he went home with this award which placed him in a small group of gentlemen who has won this award more than once…Robert Cazimero and Keali’i Reichel are the other recipients. In 2006 Nathan yet again was honored as “Male Vocalist of the Year”, his second in a row, three times total. The only male artist to be recognized as such. In December 2007 Nathan released his long awaited follow up to “E Apo Mai”, called “Kane’ohe”. This c.d. focuses on songs which celebrate the place that Nathan calls home. He wrote all twelve songs, played every instrument, sang all the background parts, engineered, mixed and mastered the entire c.d. Wayne Harada, a very well respected music critic once said of Nathan, “Nathan is that distinguished rarity…a jack of all trades, master of a wide domain”.

Awards: 2002 Male Vocalist of the Year “E Apo Mai”. Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Song of the Year “E Apo Mai”. Hawaii Music Awards Traditional Hawaiian Album of the Year “E Apo Mai”. Na Hoku Hanohano Awards 2005 Male Vocalist of the Year “Hawaii Classis Series-Vintage”. Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Jazz Album of the Year “Bass Etude”. Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Album of the Year (Hapa), “Maui”. Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Contemporary Album of the Year (Hapa), “Maui”. Na Hoku Hanohano Awards Graphics and Engineering (Hapa), “Maui” .Na Hoku Hanohano Awards 2006 Male Vocalist of the Year “Hawaii Classic Series-Hula”. Na Hoku Hanohano Awards

Nominations: Contemprary Album of the Year, Entertainer of the Year (1998) “One More Road” Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, Entertainer of the Year (2002) “E Apo Mai” Male Vocalist of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Album of the Year, Entertainer of the Year (2005) “Hawaii Classic Series-Vintage”, “Bass Etude”. Contemporary Album of the Year, Graphics, Engineering, Entertainer of the Year, Group of the Year (2005) “Maui” (Hapa). Male Vocalist of the Year, Entertainer of the Year “Hawaii Classic Series-Hula”. DVD of the Year, Group of the Year (2006) “Maui DVD” (Hapa). Male Vocalist of the Year, Hawaiian Album of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Graphics (2008) “Kane’ohe”.

JEFF DAYTON

Jeff Dayton grew up in the suburban Minneapolis mix of folk, blues, classical, pop, rock and country music. His first guitar was a stringless “air guitar” ukulele at age five.. Jeff’s dad George Dayton was a weekend pro guitarist and his mom Patty played piano and sang, while his stepdad Ruxton Strong played bass, so the house was always full of music. By the time the Beatles and Beach Boys came along, Jeff was hooked and begged his mom to buy his first real guitar at age 9. He soon added drums, banjo and piano and had his first band “the Emperors” on local TV when they were still in grade school.

In between his school hours, baseball, swimming, hockey and football practice, Jeff constantly played guitar and began writing songs in high school. “You won’t get to hear those songs, thankfully,” Jeff grins. Nonetheless, early on he know what it meant to “have your name in parentheses” where the songwriters got credit on records.

College introduced him to both jazz and classical performing. At Southwest MN State, Jeff studied cello with True Sackrison, a prodigious contemporary of Leonard Rose at the Curtis Institute. It’s also where he joined the Jazz Ensemble and got his ears into the genre’s greats. The jazz road would also earn him the guitar job in the University of MN #1 Jazz Ensemble with Dr. Frank Bencriscutto and encourage his interest in jazz arranging with ace arranger Lance Strickland (and later under Dr. Tom Ferguson at Arizona State University). It was while at the U of M that Jeff got to work with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Thad Jones and Phil Woods and make his first international tour to Mexico City to perform for then-President Lopez Portillo.

After paying dues in the steady-working club bands in the upper Midwest, including a notable year with the KO Band (which included Bob Dylan sideman Kevin Odegard, hit producer David Z and Prince drummer Bobby Z), Jeff headed west for Arizona. “I meant to wind up in Austin or LA but the music opportunities and November weather were so good in Scottsdale, I had to stay,” Jeff grins. The Dayton-Privett Band, High Noon and the Jeff Dayton Band soon followed. At Arizona State University, Jeff completed his music degree and graduated with an honors GPA.

Before the end of the decade, Jeff’s bands had won nearly every possible award Arizona had to offer, including the Wrangler Country Showdown and Marlboro Talent Roundup as well as New Times’ Best of the Decade’s Best Award. In addition, Jeff wrote and recorded a song that became his first #1 record at powerhouse KNIX-FM and earned a platinum songwriting award for a George Strait cut.

Thanks to a chance meeting when Jeff was opening for Merle Haggard, the Judds and Alabama, Jeff met superstar Glen Campbell. By coincidence, Glen was a guest at Jeff’s gig the next night in Scottsdale where they staged an impromptu jam session for the thrilled private audience. A couple of days later, Glen called to offer the Jeff Dayton Band the job as his touring group and made Jeff his bandleader.

The next 15 years were an incredible mix of worldwide tours, TV and record dates, celebrity events and a mentorship Jeff is still grateful for. “I learned something from Glen every day. What he taught me as a player, singer, writer, artist and entertainer shows up in my work all the time. He’s so good a guitar player; he can play 36 holes of golf and then pick up an axe and whip most guys on their best days all warmed up.” While Glen’s musical director, Jeff conducted many symphony orchestras and even Les Brown’s Band of Renown. Highlights included shows at the White House, NBC’s Today Show and the Grand Ole Opry stage. “Glen’s gig was a constant who’s who of people we got to play music with: Gene Autry, Willie Nelson, Bob Hope, Vince Gill and dozens more.”

Jeff and his family relocated to Nashville in 2000 to allow Jeff to step up his writing and producing career. Early in 2002, at the same time Glen wanted to “cut back” on touring and reduce his band to a smaller group, Jeff wanted to focus more on songwriting and sessions on Music Row.

Almost immediately after Jeff’s final gig with Glen, Jeff was called to play guitar with Lee Greenwood’s band. For the rest of 2002 he wasa regular member of Lee’s tour.

At the top of 2003, his phone rang again with an offer to fill in with Kenny Chesney’s band for the huge Margaritas and Senoritas tour. From his first night in front of 16,000 in Madison, WI, Jeff knew he was in for a “large” time. Jeff adds, “Kenny’s tour is the best-run show I’ve ever been part of. From the huge sold-out arenas to the awesome crew and band, I loved every minute of it.”

With Chesney, Jeff appeared on Late Night w/ Conan O’Brien and was in the live video “Live Those Songs Again” and Kenny’s documentary “Road Case.” One of Jeff’s favorite benefits of the Chesney tour was songwriting with Eddie Montgomery (Montgomery/Gentry) and his hit writer/keyboardist Eddie Kilgallon.

Jeff returned as a full-time member of Lee Greenwood’s band for the next two years. . “I have never known a more supportive artist than Lee. He works harder at his career than guys half his age and is always hungry to raise the bar. That drive inspires me even more.”

Jeff has a full life with three young children, a son Brenner and twins Kenna and Kessler, plus 20-year old daughter Carrie.“All of the kids are musical and I love that,” Jeff says, “but I don’t encourage them to go into music. If they want it, they’ll find their way there. I like the Earl Scruggs method: he tuned a guitar and left it on the bed and told his boys ‘don’t touch that!’ Of course, they all became stellar musicians! “

Jeff Dayton has had “an awesome musical life so far. All I’ve ever wanted out of this was to grow as a player, writer and a person, create something real and valuable and to share that with others.” It looks like he has a wealth to give away already.

HENRY K. ALLEN

The original Hawaiian Steel Guitarist for the world famous “Hawaii Calls” radio broadcast show. During the early Hawaiian Territorial days, played with local greats such as Alfred Apaka and René Paulo at renown clubs like Trader Vics, the Banyan Court, The Orchid Room, and the Shell Bar. Polishing his jazz guitar talents in Los Angeles in the mist of the swing days of Hollywood, Henry was scouted for the Martin Denny band as lead singer in which the band became the fore front sounds for the exotica ultra lounge craze of the 50’s and swing jazz. Contracted “Big Shows” at the famous Brown Derby, General Lee’s and The Seven Seas. His music encompassed the movie industry in television shows such as “Blue Hawaii” and “Hawaiian Eye”, and was also a featured guests on “Rosie O’Donnell” and NBC’s “The Today Show”. His talents extended even to Las Vegas and the “Greek Theater” in L.A., arranging and producing a 56-piece orchestra opening for the Don Ho show.

The love of the islands returns him to Maui where he produced and stared in his own show room productions in all the major hotels and resorts in Hawaii. He also played a different note and started arranging and producing text books and becoming a music educator for the state of Hawaii. He was then recognized being “The Master Artist” of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar and Hawaiian music by the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts and by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists. Tirelessly, he also made time to book gigs with close friend and international jazz artist, George Benson.

Recent achievements include receiving Governor Lingle’s proclamation for “Henry Kaleialoha Allen day” April 4, 2004, and congratulatory honors from the Hawaii State Senate for outstanding contributions to Hawaiian Music in the State Capitol on April 2, 2004.

Henry’s latest music includes a tropical swing jazz Hawaiian hula CD entitled “A Lei of Stars”, and “Henry, Live in Tokyo!” releasing in his ’04 Japan tour. He was a featured act in the 11th Annual Hawaii International Jazz festival where he received ovations with the 17 piece orchestra playing his own songs that he composed and arranged. Look for Henry soon to be branding his own sounds called “Ultra Cool Tiki Lounge”, a medley of Hawaiian, jazz and swing blend arrangements and original compositions.

CAS HALEY

Cas Haley has spent his life developing a sound that is truly original, combining classic influences from Bob Wills to Bob Marley With a powerfully soulful voice and prolifict talent for song writing.  Cas has spent the last 7 years with his band, Woodbelly. His evolved style compliments a solid funky rhythm section with addictive hooks and age-defying vocal displays that captivate a growing legions of fans and fellow musician.  They have played hundreds of shows from California to New York . Cas has shared the stage with UB40, Burning Spear ,Al Green,Los Lonely Boys, Blues Traveler, soulive, mofro,Jah Roots and many more…

In the summer of 2007, Cas took an unusual opportunity to appear on NBC’s hit show America’€™s Got Talent, and then took the national audience by storm, with his incredible rendition of Stings ”  Walking on the Moon”. Cas continued to gain notoriety with each performance, and finally finished runner-up,  enabiling  Cas to release and promote an independent album with great success.  His self-titled album, released on February 14, 2008, has consistently remained in the top ten reggae albums on the Itunes and on the Billboard charts  , Finishing 2008 as the #8 Billdoard Top selling regggae album of the year.Cas is set to release he’s new album”Connection” Spring 2010

PIRANHA BROTHERS

The Piranha Bros. Band was formed in 1977 by Michael Piranha. Tom Piranha, Jesse Abarca, and Phil Miller. Over the course of two decades they have enjoyed the privilege of making a fine living by rocking their audiences live and recorded, with their great playing and showmanship. Although Jesse and Phil have long since moved on, Michael and Tom have lead the band through three record label deals, years of touring, and over nine thousand live shows and still show up and play with the same intensity that became the band’s trademark 30 years ago. Presenting their music in a deft blend of classic rock and funk, sparkling originals, and up-to-the-minute rock hits, they stand alone in their ability to reach almost every audience member with a sincere shot of that person’s own fave type of music.

The Piranha Bros. Band called Chicago their home from their inception until 1992, when Tom and Michael moved to Honolulu, finally giving in to the dream they spoke of frequently, as they performed in Hawaii on a regular basis. Along the way, they recorded two CDs worth of material for MCA Records, released on Japan’s Alfa label (entitled WIDOWS), and were signed to Jimmy Ienner’s RENDEZVOUS record label here in the US.

They have recorded with, played with, and opened for the likes of WAR, OZZY OSBOURNE, TOTO, BO DIDDLEY, THE KNACK, JAMES COTTON, ELVIN BISHOP, POPA CHUBBY, PAT TRAVERS, SMASHING PUMPKINS, CHEAP TRICK, JEFFERSON STARSHIP, RICK SPRINGFIELD, and others. In an industry about as stable as nitroglycerin and as trendy as a super model’s wardrobe, The Piranha Bros. Band have proven that being great at what you do is only half the battle. Their intense love of the music they make has enabled them to surf every wave of success and hardship that has come their way. They are the very epitome of Rock Warriors. AND…they’re funny as Hell to boot.

In 2000, Michael Piranha’s solo CD SILHOUETTE ARTIST won the Hawaiian Music Award for Best Rock Album. Michael and Tom have recently been the subject of a Bobby Gene Leonard directed – reality show pilot entitled Take Me to the Music, chronicling their three-decade journey through the currents of professional performance and recording. Look for the film to be released soon.

In March of 2008 Tom and Michael were joined by friend and local rock guitar icon Stephen Inglis, a bonafide Hawaiian music celebrity in his own right. It seems to be a fine union of veteran rock friendship and talent. The Piranha Brothers Band have recently signed with Shawn Moseley’s AUMAKUA Records. Stephen is also signed to Aumakua, and is presently recording his 4th solo album.

YOZA

Born on the island of O’ahu, Crystal Yoza, better known as YOZA, has lived a life filled with both weathered hardships and musical prowess.

Like most children in Hawai’i, YOZA is of multicultural decent. She is Okinawan, Honduran, Maya Indian and was raised speaking Spanish.

YOZA took to music early, learning to play the ukulele at age 5. By the time she turned 10 years old, she performed with world renowned ukulele master, Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki. Not being bound by one instrument, she then began playing the saxophone at age 12 with her school’s symphonic orchestra. The two years that followed were filled with many musical accolades which included being chosen for the Hawai’i State Select Band, holding the “first seat, first chair” in her section, as well as being a Gold Medalist in both Solo and Ensemble. It was clear that YOZA was becoming prolific in every aspect of her musical craft. Her accomplishments also led to her being offered a full musical scholarship to Hawai’i Pacific University.

At age 18 YOZA began to teach herself to play the guitar, and by age 19 she began writing her own music. At age 23 YOZA began playing with the group Ho’okahileo, a Traditional / Contemporary Hawaiian group that performed all over the Hawaiian Islands. But being inspired by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Eydie Gormé and India Arie, while in love with both Acoustic Soul and Motown, musically she hungered for more.

Fast forward to 2009, the year that YOZA’s true musical talents debuted. With a sultry rasp and uncanny style, YOZA has turned acoustic music on its ear. With the fusion of Hip Hop, R&B; and Latin influences, she has redefined the sound of “acoustic soul.” From her rich, palpable ballads to her show-stopping upbeat renditions, YOZA truly has a style of her own.

Known for her crowd pleasing live shows, YOZA is currently working on a recording project. Even though she is often found in studio, she still plays the live circuit forever honing her skills.

KEALII REICHEL

Keali‘i was born and raised on Maui, growing up in Lahaina and spending weekends and summers at his grandmother’s house in Pa‘ia on the windward side of the island. His passion for the language and culture of Hawai‘i led him to become the founding director for Pünana Leo O Maui, the Hawaiian language immersion school. He also founded his own hula school, Halau Ke`alaokamaile, in 1980 and has won numerous awards over the years. Keali`i is also recognized as an accomplished chanter.

In 1994 he independently produced and released a collection of Hawaiian traditional and contemporary songs and chants entitled “Kawaipunahele.” His subsequent music releases, “Lei Hali`a” (1995), “E O Mai” (1997), “Melelana” (1999), and “Ke‘alaokamaile (2003) have cemented his place in the Hawaiian music industry. All told, he has been awarded 19 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, and his consistent placement in Billboard Magazine’s World Music and Heatseeker Charts has garnered him international attention.

Keali`i has opened concerts for Bonnie Raitt, LeAnn Rimes, Celine Dion and Sting, and has played such diverse venues as Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, and consistently sells out concerts from Honoka‘a to Honolulu, Seattle to San Diego, Okinawa to Osaka.

Keali‘i retains his initial goal of presenting new compositions in the Hawaiian language for hula students, and works to dispel long-held stereotypes of Hawai‘i’s living culture and her indigenous people.

DAVID PACK

Solo Performer, former Frontman for Ambrosia, and Grammy-winning Producer David Pack has won international acclaim both for his solo work – with his current CD: “The Secret Of Movin’ On”- and his stellar turn as frontman for progressive rock/pop group Ambrosia. He is also renowned as a Grammy winning producer for superstars including Wynonna, Phil Collins, Aretha Franklin and Kenny Loggins, and as a music director/producer of global stage events including both of President Clinton’s inaugurals. His collected works as a performer and producer have sold over 40 million units worldwide.

Artists produced by David include:
Aretha Franklin, Leann Rimes, Faith Hill, Phil Collins, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, Patti LaBelle, Trisha Yearwood, Selena, All 4 One, Wynonna Judd, Brian Setzer, TLC, Brian McKnight, Little Richard, Patti Austin, Linda Ronstadt, James Ingram, Pointer Sisters, Mavis Staples, Andrae Crouch, David Benoit, Take 6, Bruce Hornsby, Branford Marsalis, Chick Corea, Steve Vai, Tevin Campbell, Jerky Boys, Paul Rodriquez, Yakov Smirnoff, Def Jeff, Amy Grant, Chet Atkins, Olivia Newton John, DC Talk, Jennifer Holliday and CeCe Winans.
Classic Hits & Songwriting Highlights
Chief writer of all six Ambrosia albums including the smash singles “Biggest
Part Of Me,” “How Much I Feel,”  “Holding Onto Yesterday” and “You’re The
Only Woman.” (all BMI 2 & 3 Million Airplay “Millionaire” special
achievement award winners).

2006 “Secret of Movin On” CD – wrote both top 10 national hit singles
(smooth jazz & ac radio)
“All I Need” – #1 gold hit for vocalist/actor Jack Wagner (co-written with
Glen Ballard- BMI 2 Million Airplay cited single) for Quincy Jones and
Qwest/Warner Bros. Records
“All The Pretty Ponies,” with Kenny Loggins for Loggins’ 2x platinum Return
To Pooh Corner on Sony
“Prove Me Wrong” for White Nights 2x platinum Atlantic Records soundtrack
“Through The Test Of Time,” a top 5 Billboard hit for Patti Austin (GRP) in
1990
“Key To You,” a #1 AC hit for David Benoit
“Our Love,” “Get the Word Started” & “By Heart” co-written with Michael
McDonald, included on his platinum Greatest Hits album
“Wyld Unknown” for Wynonna’s The Other Side (1997)
Co-written songs for Alan Parsons, Chicago, The Judds, Billy Dean, Take 6,
Vonda Shepherd, Victoria Shaw (Garth Brooks), Manhattan Transfer, and
others.

Selected Music Producer Highlights
· Committed 2 Rock:   Time-Life/BMG Sony special with Dave Matthews, Creed,
Foo Fighters, Moby, POD, 311, Eve 6, Barenaked Ladies and others. (2004)
· The Songs Of West Side Story-Tribute to Leonard Berstein:  All-star pop
tribute with Aretha, Selena, Phil Collins, Trisha Yearwood, Brian Setzer,
Little Richard, Chick Corea and others-certified Gold
· Handel’s Messiah – A Soulful Celebration(1995):   A track with Take Six’s
Mervyn Warren for this GRAMMY and Dove award winner for Best Contemporary
Gospel Album
· Disney: “25th Anniversary Music of Parks” w/Brian McKnight and Cinderella
w/Linda Rondstadt and James Ingram
· Return To Pooh Corner:  Kenny Loggins (1994) 2x platinum
· The Real Me, and Carry On:   Patti Austin, for Quincy Jones/Qwest (1988)
and GRP (1990)
· Ambrosia Anthology:   Warner Bros.’ “best of” retrospective also featuring
three new tracks
· His Gift (1998):   CeCe Winans Christmas albumÑnominated Dove Award
· Blue Obsession:   Michael McDonald (1997), the track “Ain’t That
Peculiar,” Ramp Records
· One Heart At A Time:   Benefiting Cystic Fibrosis research, featuring
Garth Brooks Faith Hill and others

Special Guest Recordings
Vocals and duet w/ Bette Midler for her 3x platinum Beaches movie soundtrack
(1989)
Duet with Wynonna on “Why Now” from her album The Other Side (1997)
Vocals on tracks for Quincy Jones, Mark Knopfler, Chet Atkins, James Ingram,
Kansas, Doobie Brothers, Pat Simmons, Andrae Crouch, Larry Carlton, Don Was,
David Benoit, Patti Austin and more
Featured Vocalist: Tribute To Jeff Porcaro CD w/ Don Henley & Richard Marx
Alan Parsons’ Arista album Try Anything Once: wrote & sang 3 tracks
Guest vocalist on Al Stewart’s legendary “Year Of The Cat”
Legendary Jazz keyboard artist David Benoit’s Top 5 AC hit “The Key To You”

Concert Highlights
· 25 years of touring America & Japan fronting Ambrosia (1975-2000)
· 2005-2006 Headline & Co-headline solo shows throughout America w/ David’s
superband
· 2004 David Benoit/Russ Freeman (Rippingtons) Tour of America (special
guest)
2001 Walk Down Abbey Road U.S. and Japan tours: Tribute to The Beatles
featuring Todd Rundgren, Alan Parsons, Ann Wilson (Heart), and the late John
Entwistle (The Who).
Touring guitarist/vocalist with Michael McDonald, 1987-88, U.S. and England
Leonard Bernstein’s “Mass”; The Who’s rock opera “Tommy”

Film & TV Highlights
· Michael McDonald & Friends: 2004 PBS TV Special & DVD; co-music directed &
performed.
· Roseanne: TV Talk Show for NBC-TV; David was Music Director/scored all
music (2002-2003)
· Beaches: duet and vocals on Bette Midler’s #1 multi-platinum soundtrack
· No Mercy (1986, w/ Richard Gere): wrote end title song “Our Love” with
Michael McDonald
· White Nights (directed by Taylor Hackford) wrote and sang “Prove Me
Wrong,” from the only dance sequence between the stars Mikhail Baryshnikov
and Gregory Hines
· Arthur (platinum soundtrack): performed, with Ambrosia, “Poor Rich Boy,”
by Burt Bacharach.
· Chet Atkins & Friends (HBO, 1988) with Mark Knopfler, Waylon Jennings,
Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and more. Dueted with Atkins on guitar and
performed in all-star ensemble.
· Goldie Hawn’s Wildcats with James Newton Howard: source music and 4 songs
for artists James Ingram, Randi Crawford, Mavis Staples, and Tata Vega

Special Events Producer/Music Director Highlights
President Clinton’s 1993 Inaugural Arkansas Ball: Music Directed “Packman’s
Dream Team All-Stars” for the event, including Kenny Loggins, Bruce Hornsby
and Michael McDonald, seen by 2 billion people
President Clinton’s 1997 Inaugural Arkansas Ball: Pack was asked back by the
President to coordinate all-star event featuring Sheryl Crow, Jewel, Bebe
Winans, Bela Fleck and more.
1992 Aids Project L.A Commitment to Life VI: teamed with Bernie Taupin to
produce/music direct tribute to Barbra Streisand & David Geffen, w/Elton
John, Billy Joel, Eddie Van Halen and more.
1995 Benefit for Children of Bosnia with Fleetwood Mac, Yes, Roberta Flack,
Yanni, Kitaro, Ambrosia, Kenny Loggins and Alan Parsons. 1988: Carnegie Hall
AIDS Benefit “Children Will Listen” featuring Leonard Bernstein and the Boys
Choir of Harlem, David Benoit & Patti Austin
1997: Presidents’ Volunteer Summit in Philadelphia for Presidents Clinton,
Bush, Carter and Ford.
2000: Yamaha’s Michael McDonald Lifetime Achievement Award Show at the L.A.
Shrine with Ray Charles, Patti LaBelle, Kenny Loggins, Boz Scaggs,
Christopher Cross and others
2005: World Aids Day Concert: Produced & performed at event starring
Wynonna, DC Talk, Out of Eden; for “Purpose Driven Life” author/pastor Rick
Warren at Saddleback Church in Orange County.

FIJI

Born George Brooks Veikuso, Fiji is one of the biggest polynesian artists of our time. His golden voice and musical blends have launched him on the world stage as a pioneer of the Pacific Island Sound.

A fusion of classic reggae, Hip-Hop, R&B; and Jazz set Fiji apart as a performer. His unique style defies the idea of categorizing artists into a single genre of music, giving Fiji widespread appeal and capturing his array of musical influences.

For those that love Hawaiian-style Hip Hop, Fiji offers established fans his recognizable energy and remarkable personality. Newcomers to his music embrace his smooth voice and exotic sound.

Previous albums Evolution and Born and Raised brought successful unique island style to the mainstream, launching Fiji as one of the most recognized Polynesian artists in the world. Gratitude included hits like “Smokin Session” and “Sheʻs Da Bomb,” co-written by Fiji, as well as a remake of Otis Reddingʻs “Sittinʻ on the Dock of the Bay,” Songs from the album were heard on Bay Watch Hawaii and MTVʻs Real World Hawaii. Transition carries on his tradition of soulful voices and appealing sounds. His latest release, Independence Day, has made the greatest impact on the pacific and west coast music scene.

Fiji has successfully captured the beauty and allure of the island life through his music. In 1998, he earned the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Male Vocalist of the year and Entertainer of the year, solidifying his place among Polynesian fans and introducing his sound to a wide audience of listeners. Embracing the Polynesian style, he has introduced music lovers around the world to his own take on cutting edge island music. This proved to be a factor when his co-production idea called “Island Warriors” was nominated in the final ballot of the Grammyʻs reggae category in 2001.

His voice is superb, immaculate and never misses a note. Whether its hitting high octaves with his soothing falsetto or mixing it up with his fast-paced Fijian chants and reggae style rap, Fiji does it all and accomplishes it with style and grace. Singing traditional Samoan and Fijian songs is just and added bonus which displays his heritage, his upbringing. He never seems to forget where he comes from.

BEACH 5

Christian Yrizarry and Sani Apuakehau

Christian Yrizarry is one of 2 lead singers of the brand new island music group Beach5. Christian attended the University of San Diego where he met Jared Keo and formed the musical group Ho’onu’a. Ho’onu’a’s first album “Feel Good Island Music” was released in 1997 and instantly became a hit. Two more albums “Have a Good Time” and “Take You to the Jam” came in 2000 and 2003 respectively. Sani Apuakehau makes up the other half of Beach5. Sani’s musical career started with a solo album entitled “Don’t Stop Your Lovin” in 1997. In 1999, he joined the popular band Ho’onu’a as a rhythm guitarist and his eponymous second album soon followed in 2000. In 2001 the pair began performing as a duo across the state. They’re sweet harmony and savvy musical chemistry instantly garnered praise from peers and the public alike. After performing for eight years, they have finally come together to produce the highly anticipated debut album self-entitled, “Beach5.”

MAUNALUA

Our third project grew from the many requests we received throughout the years performing in Hawai’i and abroad. All of the songs have significant meaning to us and our loyal fans. The first two albums were used as a template, keeping Hawaiian music as the core of our music. We try to revise and reevaluate the music in order to give it new and fresh sounds. We perform between 130 and 150 times a year.

We try to get to Japan at least 3-4 times each year.

In Maunalua’s 11 year history, we have reached out to many people and shared Aloha with them through our music. From Tahiti to mainland America: Las Vegas, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Mississippi. To Japan: Tokyo with Hawai’is own Konishiki, Sopporo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Hiroshima and Okayama. Not to mention the many local venues such as Chai’s Island Bistro, Duke’s and Roy’s Restaurant, where Maunalua started and remained for twelve years. From Slack-key festivals, baby lu’au to graduation parties and weddings, our music has been a part of many special occasions. The band has also appeared on various televised specials, such as Hot Hawaiian Nights. They have done a commercial for Pizza Hut.

Working very closely with local clothier Manuheali’i brings the perfect aloha wear to complement our style of music. They are always on the “cutting-edge” with blending classic style and patterns with twenty first centry materials and vision.

Bruce, with over 30 years of performance experience, comes from a wonderful line of musicians and brings with him an extensive knowledge of Hawai’i’s music past and present. He is the mastermind behind Maunalua’s magical harmonies.

Kahi has 20 years within the music realm. His bass guitar playing drives the band with emotion and energy second to none. He also has one of the most “Hawaiian” voices Hawai’i has seen in a very long time.

Bobby, also with 20 years of music experience, was fortunate to have been schooled by the legendary master of slack-key guitar, Raymond Kane. He takes his art very seriously and teaches those willing to carry-on this revered art form. His falsetto is inspired by the late Dennis Pavao. Martin Guitar, an American institution, has worked with Bobby to develop an instrument worthy of the style of Slack-Key; a style that has fascinated, not only the people of Hawai’i, but a worldwide audience.

BIG EVERY TIME (B.E.T)

The New BigEveryTime has added the soulful R&B; flavor with a hint of Hip Hop and Polynesian P Funk of “Daddy P” with Papa T’s unique Jamaican-island style roots-reggae sound, along with a very talented band makes up the smooth Sounds of The New Big Every Time.

Back in studio by popular demand B.E.T. is soon to release their newest CD later this year, reflects a mixture of the well known ever popular sounds of BigEveryTime along with the new fresh sound of THE NEW B.E.T .

KAPALA

DELIMA `OHANA

Kapena, considered one of Hawaii’s premier island bands has twenty cd’s to their credit. Although the band has been through some changes, its founding member Kelly Boy De Lima, is still the band leader. Kapena continues to be a musical institution that embraces what islanders fell in love with when they first heard the unique sound of their “feel good” music.

In 1998, Kelly introduced his fans to the next generation, his three children. Kapena, Kalena, and Lilo who sing, dance, and play multiple instruments. They have played on the Kapena stage in Hawaii and have toured with the band on the US Mainland, Japan and the Islands of the Pacific.

In 2009, the family released their debut album “Kupu A’e” from the DeLima Ohana whose members are Kelly, Leolani (his wife), and their three children. Songs on this album contain some of Hawaii’s most popular songs including Don Ho’s “I’ll Remember You”, Elvis Presley’s “Blue Hawaii” and the classic “Hawaiian Wedding Song”. It is available for sale.

Kelly keeps two bands working hard all of the time. They perform at Dukes at the Outrigger Waikiki, Gordon Biersch at Aloha Tower Marketplace the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel, the Sheraton Waikiki and the Royal Hawaiian in the Mai Tai Bar.

ERIC LEE TRO

Eric Lee is widely known in the music industry as one-third of the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award Winning group, Na Kama. Together, they released four CDs, two of which earned Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards respectively. His creative musical arrangements and awareness to perpetuate the Hawaiian language has contributed to the magical sound of Na Kama from it’s inception through his 10-year journey with them.

Eric has been playing music from the age of nine, venturing through instruments like: ‘ukulele, keyboard/piano, guitar, and electric & upright bass. Eric studied choral music and theory in high school and college, finally recording his first CD with the band The Kanile‘a Collection in 1994. Since then, Eric has been traveling to other islands in the Pacific (ie. Samoa, Tahiti, Rarotonga, Aotearoa), also visiting countries like Guam, China, and Japan. Eric was also a member of the popular island music group, The Ka‘ala Boys, releasing three studio CDs, a Christmas single, and a greatest hits CD.

Eric has also worked as a studio-for-hire musician, playing on (and at times asked to produce) other artists’ projects (ie. Kanilau, Norm, Kwika Regidor, Pai‘ea, Malia Ka‘ai), including a number of commercial products, some of which Eric has composed music for.

In June of 2007, Eric released a CD single, “Camp L‘ahi,” a song he composed for the Camp L‘ahi summer program he works at as music teacher. This single has received great acclaim from the parents as well as the students and staff at Camp L‘ahi. Eric also recorded a Japanese version of this song, catering to the Japanese students who attend the program at the latter part of the summer.

With all of Eric’s experience in musicianship, studio production, and song writing, it has always been an ambition to one day release a CD. With his versatility in playing different genres of music, releasing his solo debut CD, “Crossroads”, was an opportunity to showcase to the public a little of what Eric is all about. Encouraging to his fellow recording artists the release of a studio recording “direct to download” due to the tremendous changes in the CD market sales of today, “Crossroads” is exclusively available for purchase via iTunes and Amazon.com. Liner notes and lyrics to Eric’s recordings are conveniently made available on this website.

Due to the tremendous success of “Crossroads,” already earning the Hawai‘i Music Award for “Contemporary Hawaiian CD of the Year,” this recording is now available in physical CD format, including three original bonus tracks with lyrics/liner notes available in Hawaiian, English and Japanese!

YUNA ITO

Born September 20, 1983. Born in LA, raised in Hawaii. In 2005, she starred as “Reila” in the film “NANA” which is based on this really popular manga(comic) and debuted with the song called “Endless Story” which was a theme song to this movie. This song became a record hit, and on the same year, she received multiple awards.

In May 2006, she released a song called “Precious” which was a theme song to another movie called “Limit of love” and this became another huge hit. In December 2006, she starred in the movie “Nana 2” which was a sequel to “Nana” and sang a theme song again.

In January 2007, she released her debut full length album called “Heart” which went on number one on Oricon Chart (which is equivalent of Billboard Chart in Japan) and in spring 2007, she did the first solo concert which was sold out everywhere.

Short after, she released a collaboration tracks with artists such as “Micro” who is a former Def Tech, Kotaro Oshio, a famous acoustic guitarist and Celine Deion.

Her second album came out on February 20th called “Wish” and she did the guest appearance for Celine Dion’s Japan tour in March. She also was a campaign model for Gap 2009 Winter campaign along with Mira Jovovich, Ashanti and she is about to release another album soon.

EKOLU

It all began back in 1995 where 3 young and talented men of Maui, began their musical journey. Lukela Keala, Akoni Dellomes & Makapu Hoopii attended Baldwin High School and was enrolled in the music class. Day after day they would have little jam session’s but always tried to perfect what they played. As the year went by, their talents allowed them to perform in front of an audience for the first time at Brown Bags to Stardom. Although they took 2nd place to ballerina dancers (Ha Ha Ha!). It didn’t stop them. Former Baldwin High school teacher, Kevin Brown plays a great role in their music history today. He was the ukulele and slack key guitarist teacher but also Lukela’s uncle. He taught them the values of becoming a musician but most important, to be humble. Since then Lukela, Akoni and Makapu strived on to become the entertainers they are today.

‘Down in the Valley’ became their first hit back in 1999. This album made them well-known not only in Hawaii, but also in the Mainland and as far as east coast. Three years later, Ekolu came out with their second debut album called, ‘Shores of Waiehu.’ This album gave Hawaii a little twist of its own unique style. Hits such as ‘Just one Night’ and ‘Shores of Waiehu’ took up a lot of air time on the local radio stations in Hawaii.

Ekolu has traveled to many parts of the United States. They’ve been to Alaska, Seattle Washington, Portland Oregon, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Colorado, Japan, Tahiti, and played in front of crowds up to 15,000 plus people. They enjoy every moment of sharing their music with people all over the world. Every trip they take truly becomes a memorable moment. Ekolu has a lot of achievements in their musical journey in Hawaii. Their main goal is to share their music with the rest of the world.

In this year 2009, Ekolu has made changes and has welcomed Big Island’s own Kamakoa Lindsey-Asing to the Ekolu ohana. His charisma and ambition for music gives Ekolu a new flare. Come and check us out at one of our live shows!