For 40 years, the Makaha Sons have committed themselves to perpetuating traditional Hawaiian music throughout Hawai‘i and around the globe. In 1976 the Makaha 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. Eventually, the Makaha Sons 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. After the passing of John Koko in 2012 and the retirement of Louis “Moon” Kauakahi in 2014, the group has started afresh.
The members include:
Founding member of the Makaha Sons, Jerome Koko on 12-string guitar and prominent Hawaiian musicians: Mark Yim on 6-string guitar and Kimo Artis on bass.
Mark Yim has been the musical director for Tihati Productions for 27 years, former member of the Hawaiian group, Olomana, and former member of the legendary group, The Peter Moon Band.
Kimo Artis is an award winning singer/musician/composer/producer. He is a member of HARA, BMI, (Songwriter/Publisher) & NARAS, (Composer/Songwriter). Moving to Hawai’i in 1992, he helped form the award winning group Kanilau. Currently, he is co-band leader of the award winning group Kapala and is serving as President of Kapala Music Group, LLC.
Kimo and Mark have traveled extensively to share their passion for Hawaiian music. Their travel includes: Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, California, Seattle, Oregon, Utah, Montana, New York and Washington. They have also graced the stage with many of Hawai’i’s stars: Melveen Leed, Genoa Keawe, Raiatea Helm, O’Brien Eselu, Palani Vaughn, Karen Keawehawai’i.
Today, the Makaha Sons is considered to be one of Hawai‘i’s premiere Hawaiian musical groups. They continue to perpetuate that vibrant sound, full and rich, with harmonies that only they can create. Their incomparable vocal arrangements and delightful stage presence is filled with comical antics which have won the hearts of thousands of fans worldwide.
In commemoration of the group’s 40th Anniversary, the Sons reflect back to the times and places they have had the privilege and honor to have been a part. Their performances have taken them to such prestigious places as Carnegie Hall in New York City, Washington, D. C., and here in Hawai‘i, with performances for both the President and Vice-President of the United States. They have also appeared in the movie, “North Shore” and have been featured guests on shows, such as, “The Captain and Tennille Show” and NBC’s “Today Show” with Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric. Here 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 of “Loggins and Messina” fame.
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 the Hawaiian culture through their 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, thus far. Their award-winning compilation, titled “Heke Wale No – Only the Very Best of the Makaha Sons,” features songs from their last five recordings from 1994 to the present. In 2007, they were the first group to receive a Na Hoku Hanohano award for "Best DVD." In 2010, they received the "Lifetime Achievement" award and to top off the year of 2013, they were inducted into the “Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.”
Currently, Jerome Koko has released his debut CD, Makaha Sons Memoirs with 6-time Grammy Award winner, producer, and songwriter, Daniel Ho. This CD serves as a tribute and commemoration to the group’s journey, thus far. Launched in early October 2015, the alluring harmonies and enchanting melodies of the magical sound that makes the Makaha Sons so memorable is captured in this highly acclaimed recording.
Ever mindful of the future for both the music and the culture of Hawai’i, Jerome Koko of the Makaha Sons continues 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. Jerome is honored to continue to carry on the foundation’s incredible efforts. He is ever-so thankful and overjoyed to see a whole new generation of young Hawaiian artists spring to life.
Let the legacy of Hawaiian Music continue…