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Israel IZ Kamakawiwo’ole’s captivating voice continues to regale the world, far beyond his own lifetime, into the next century. His appeal is universal. His probing yet reflective style is spellbinding. IZ exemplifies the global celebration of Hawaiian music.
Piercing vocals, poignant ukulele stylings, and a deep commitment to the people and cultural values of his Hawai’i are revealed in these prime selections. There are also bright flashes of his unbridled humor and wit. His lilting voice challenges you to know Hawai’i and her moods, to embrace her beauty, and to feel this land and her people.
As the decades pass, Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole’s legacy grows stronger. His recordings are always in demand world-wide, and are regularly featured in motion pictures, television broadcasts, and countless advertisements. IZ’s singular Hawaiian voice penetrates the personal complexities of our daily lives and probes our musical passions. "The Best of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole" collects his most iconic and memorable songs that continue to move people around the world. From his iconic rendition of Over the Rainbow to the haunting Hawai’i ‘78, this is a nostalgic revisit of IZ.
GRAMMY® AWARD WINNER SINGER, SONGWRITER AND PRODUCER Kalani Peʻa, a native of Panaʻewa, Hilo, HI who currently resides on Maui has released his debut album featuring seven haku mele (Hawaiian original music compositions) and five of his favorite covers. Peʻa is all about perpetuating Hawaiian language through music and visual arts as he created his album titled “E Walea” which means to come together like birds, be elated, exuberant and enjoy. On August 5th 2016 "E Walea" hit number 1 on the iTunes world music charts and on August 15th 2016 "E Walea" hit number 12 on the Billboard world albums charts.
Through research and planning the start of his debut album, Peʻa took the initiation to contact Dave Tucciarone, a 13 time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-Winning Engineer and Producer based in Honolulu. “I had to travel every weekend from Maui to meet Dave for seven months, collaborate with my musicians, and just sing my heart out,” Peʻa said. Tucciarone said Peʻa totally commits himself to every song and is able to deliver with much passion using his wide vocal range. “I am very pleased to hear how well Kalani Peʻa sings, “he said. One of the songs titled “He Wehi Aloha” features Nani Lim Yap, a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement awardee and award-winning kumuhula. Lim Yap said, “We need a Kalani. The best and no less.”
“His soulful voice showcases his many influences growing up from classical, R&B, and soul, but his ʻike (Hawaiian knowledge) and love for our culture keeps it right where it needs to be,” said Jaz Kaiwikoʻo, producer and radio personality. Kaiwikoʻo said he introduced Kalani to the world with his first two singles. “With Kamakoa Lindsey-Asing and Dave at the helm, one of Hawai’i’s brightest new stars just got brighter,” Kaiwikoʻo said.
It started at age four when Kalani Peʻa was diagnosed with a speech impediment according to his mother Pua Leonard who lives in Hilo. “I introduced my son to singing and music helped him pronounce his words. Speech therapy in preschool didn’t work for him,” Leonard said. “He started with his first song at age four singing I Feel My Savior’s Love.” Leonard and Peʻa’s father Arthur (Ata) Peʻa who comes from a musical family encouraged Kalani to take vocal lessons, choir, and entered him in numerous talent and karaoke competitions. Peʻa at age 8 won numerous talent competitions statewide. At age 18 he won Brown Bags to Stardom winning first place in the National Association Teacher’s of Singing Competition in Colorado/Wyoming chapter, placing first in the men’s category in classical and musical divisions. Peʻa won that competition while he attended Colorado Mesa University (Mesa State College) from 2001-2007 in Grand Junction, Colo. Peʻa received his bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in public relations/news editorial and has background in early childhood education. “From speech therapy to being a college graduate in communications, Kalani can’t stop talking and singing,” Peʻa’s father said with humor. Pe'a also worked on his master's degree focusing on early childhood education.
Peʻa is a 2001 graduate of Ke Kula ‘o Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu, the Hawaiian Language School in Keaʻau, Puna, HI. Peʻa has illustrated and published 5 Hawaiian language children stories from Hale Kuamoʻo at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Peʻa wears multiple hats and uses his proficiencies as a songwriter/music composer, singing anything from classical, musical, ballads, R&B, soul and ultimately Hawaiian music. Peʻa is proficient in publishing news and magazine articles. He worked for two years as an assignment editor at KJCT News 8, an ABC affiliate in Grand Junction. Peʻa speaks Hawaiian for 25 years, starting Hawaiian immersion in third grade, he has been teaching Hawaiian culture with a science focus and creating curriculum for almost 8 years. He was a preschool teacher at Kamehameha Preschools in Kona on the Big Island of Hawai'i for 4 years. He currently works as a Hawaiian resource coordinator at Kamehameha Schools- Kealakūlia on Maui.
Hawai`i Island Mayor Harry Kim proclaims February 18, 2017 Kalani Pe`a Day!
A Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning Female Vocalist Darlene Ahuna from Hilo, HI said she has known Kalani all of his life. She watched Kalani develop and grow as an artist. “His voice will take you to the heavens. His passion for music will have you rockin’ in your seat, “ Ahuna said.
He kuleana ko ka ua kanilehua. He maʻū makamaka ia na ka Moani. He pohu lā ia na ka Puʻulena. He pē ana i ke kai o Hanakahi. Ua honi ke kini o ka Hilo Pali Kū. Mai Puna Paiaʻala i ka hala. Keaukaha ʻo Laehala, i Kona Kai ʻŌpua i ka Laʻi a i Maui Nui a Kama. Eia au....
Josh Tatofi has been making a name for himself as having one of the smoothest vocal styles in Hawai`i Entertainment. He was born and raised around music his whole life.
His father, Tivaini Tatofi is the original 1/3 member of the Legendary group KAPENA, and has been a huge influence in Josh's Career ever since he was young child.
Josh first came into the music bussiness as a island reggae artist, releasing #1 hit songs like "Taken" and "Don't Go", and now has spread himself into Hawaiian Music, "I've learned more about my culture, and myself in Hawaiian Music than I've ever have singing anything else".
He has composed beautiful Hawaiian songs and will continue to sing Island Music as long as hit heart desires. Follow Josh through his journey of music, as he lightens up the world one melodic note at a time.
"Without God, I would not one here, And without my fans, and family, my voice would no be heard, Mahalo to everyone that continues to love me and my music, ALOHA!"
Kūpaoa - Husband and wife duo, Kellen and Līhau Paik have been performing as the duet, Kūpaoa, for about a decade. After meeting while they were attending the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, they became friends, then bandmates, then partners and finally married in 2010.
Kellen Paik - Born and raised in Kilauea, Kaua‘i, Kellen moved to O‘ahu in 1999, after graduating from Kapa‘a High School, to attend UH Mānoa. His love for Hawaiian music led to an interest in Hawaiian language, which became a passion for him. He pursued this passion and received his Bachelors in Hawaiian Language in 2003. After a brief academic break Kellen returned to school and began his Masters in Hawaiian Language, which he completed in 2009.
Līhau Hannahs Paik - Born and raised in Pearl City, but Lihau lived for most of her life in Kaimukī. After graduating from Kamehameha School in 1999, she attended UH Mānoa. While at UH studying for Bachelors in both Hawaiian Studies and Marketing, Līhau met Kellen, with whom she shared many mutual friends. Kellen asked Līhau to start playing music with him, teaching her the bass along the way. Līhau’s musical studies began at the same time as her graduate studies and provided a much-needed outlet from her stressful dual degree JD/MBA program. When Līhau (finally!) graduated and successfully passed the Hawai‘i State Bar exam, she decided to give in to Kellen’s pleas to take music more seriously and Pili o Ke Ao was born.
Through the years, they have been honored to receive multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards for their 4 CD releases including: Most Promising Artist (2009), Best Liner Notes (2010), Island Music Album of the Year (2014), and Best Hawaiian Language Performance (2014). The title track of their most recent full-length album, Bumbye, written by Dr. Puakea Nogelmeier, was awarded the coveted Haku Mele award at the Hōkūs this year and Kellen was also awarded the same prestigious award in 2009 for a song that he composed with friend, Iokepa Badis. As life-long students of Hawaiian language, they enjoy composing and performing their own original songs, in addition to the time-honored favorites that are loved by all.
In addition to the 4 store releases that the duo has under their belt, they also collaborated with a Japanese group, Kaulana, to produce a first-of-its-kind project in 2014 called Nā Pua Mōhala. The 12 song collection has 10 original Hawaiian songs written about either Hawaiʻi or Japan, as well as Hawaiian translations of 2 Japanese favorites: Sukiyaki and Hana Wā Saku (Nā Pua Mōhala).
The pair has also worked for the past several years on producing a collection of limited edition, unreleased albums that they call Hāliu, which they sell exclusively on their website and at live gigs. Unlike their store releases, these projects are comprised of only traditional numbers; songs of their past that they rearrange with Kūpaoa flair. They currently have 3 volumes of these Hāliu CDs, all available for purchase or download on their website.
"So excited to announce the upcoming release of our album, Ho`okele this Fall! This collection of songs is truly special and we can't wait to share it with you all!" - Kellen & Lihau. Kūpaoa's new album "Ho'okele" was released on September 30, 2016.
The duo’s enduring passion and love for Hawaiian music and language informs all that they do, and it is evident in the music that they produce. The word Kūpaoa describes a lasting, permeating fragrance and it is the couple’s hope that their music will linger with you, infusing your heart and mind long after their performance is through.
The first time Alx grabbed an Ukulele, he held it left handed but kept the strings tuned right handed. That was the start of a very upside down journey in to the music world…
Born and raised on the island of O’ahu in Hawai’i, Alx has enjoyed a successful career as a singer-songwriter and producer for more than 15 years. He currently tours Japan, Hawai’i, and the US mainland as a solo artist as well as with his family band, MānoaDNA, and has released 6 total albums with over 40 original compositions. Many of his songs have been played on international radio and used in commercials, TV, and feature films. Alx has produced and written songs for NHK Japan, Suntory Beer Japan, McDonalds of Hawai’i, and Hawai’i Tourism Authority to name a few.
In 2014, Alx made the move to Los Angeles to pursue music opportunities with some of the best musical minds in the world such as Grammy Award-Winning producer Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac – Rumours), vocal coach to the stars Michele Gruska (Colbie Caillat), and producer Eric Berdon (Point Break/Dolphin Tale 2). Currently, Alx continues to write and produce music for himself as well as other artists and publishers and still enjoys touring and sharing his love for music around the world.
Maunalua has been sharing their version of "aloha" for over 15 years. Hawaiian music has taken these local boys all over the globe.
Formed in 1993, Maunalua (Bobby Moderow, Jr., Kahi Kaonohi, and Richard Gideon) released their first album in 2000 - and promptly won the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award (the Hawaiian Grammy®) for “Hawaiian Album of the Year.” Their second album, released in 2003, brought Nā Hōkū awards for both Group and Favorite Entertainer of the Year. Their third album was released in 2007 and won yet another Nā Hōkū Award (Group of the Year). They released their fourth album "He Inoa" to great acclaim in 2015.
All strong vocalists, the group is known for its tight harmonies accentuated by Moderowʻs falsetto and prowess with slack key guitar. Long a favorite with audiences all over Hawaiʻi, as well as a number of foreign countries and the continental U.S., their always-entertaining performances range from fun, high energy songs to sweet and soulful ballads, interspersed with banter between the three group members and with the audience. Whether performing for hundreds at inauguration festivities for the newly-elected President Obama in 2009, or for a few dozen people at a backyard paʻina (party), Maunalua never disappoints.
Chad Takatsugi is known for his days as the vocalist of the band ‘Ale’a, the Hawaiian band formed by those who went to the prestigious Kamehameha School. The band immediately came into the spotlight at the time of their debut, and won 4 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, Island Contemporary Album of the Year, Group of the Year, Most Promising Artist of the Year and Haku Mele in 2001. ‘Ale’a was not only popular in Hawaii, but had many fans in Japan.
Chad, a former member of ‘Ale’a, released his first solo album Ahuwale in October 2015. In this album, featured artists include Kale Hanaz, a former member of ‘Ale’a who has now joined Waipuna, Ryan Gonzalez, also a former member of ‘Ale’a, Kuana Torres Kahele, Ikaika Blackburn and Imua Garza. This was Chad’s first release since 2004, a long-awaited album for many of his fans.
Born and raised on the island of O’ahu, singer/songwriter Blayne Asing began playing ʻukulele at age eight; singing in the Kamehameha Children’s Chorus at age nine; playing guitar at age 14; and playing percussion in the Kamehameha Schools marching, concert, and pep bands from age 12 to 18. Although he grew up loving the music of popular Hawai’i artists such as Ernie Cruz, Jr., Brother Noland, Gabby Pahinui, Olomana, Kalapana, Cecilio and Kapono, Country Comfort, and the Kaʻau Crater Boys, his own music is heavily influenced by country and folk music artists such as James Taylor and Jackson Browne.
Asing had no formal music training. He had a couple lessons in 4th grade learning the basics of the ‘ukulele, but nothing beyond that. And when he first picked up the guitar in high school, he taught himself how to play by watching YouTube videos. He credits his ability to play with having a natural ear for learning.
In addition to his expertise in playing a variety of instruments, Asing is a prolific songwriter. His original songs range from country/folk to Hawaiian and island music, but he also loves performing the music of his favorite Hawaiian legends. He released his debut album “Young, Old Soul” in 2015. Of the 10 tracks, six are original songs. Three of the songs from the album are currently in heavy rotation on one of the largest and most popular radio stations in Hawai’i, landing there after the station’s program director happened to hear Asing at a live performance.
In addition to his solo career, Asing has worked with childhood idols such as Ernie Cruz, Jr. He plays guitar for Brother Noland, with whom he performs on a regular basis, and he has been invited to sit in with other award-winning artists such as Mike Ka`awa. He has also performed with a variety of popular younger artists, including Ian O’Sullivan, The Voice’s Duncan Kamakana (Osorio), and former Pure Heart lead singer Jon Yamasato.
However, Asing says his absolute favorite thing is getting an invitation from the legendary, multiple award-winning slack key guitarist Ledward Ka`apana to come play in Ka`apana’s garage for one of his infamous huge jam sessions.