Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole
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Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole

Wailuku, Hawaii, United States | INDIE

Wailuku, Hawaii, United States | INDIE
Band World Acoustic


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Ha'i Kupuna



...exquisite chants, mele and stories, all told in the native Hawaiian tongue, but eloquent and inventive in execution...an inspired primer on preserving and perpetuating things and themes Hawaiian, with surprises and treats galore.... --Wayne Harada, Honolulu Advertiser

A remarkable and riveting performer, Kaumakaiwa Kanakaole has been on the stage since he could walk. Not yet 30 years old, he now has five N Hk Hanohano (Hawaiian Grammy) awards to his name, and a growing reputation as the voice of Hawaiis new generation.

His roots are in the hula of the esteemed Kanakaole Family of Hawaii Island, whose hula and Hawaiian cultural practices have been passed down through seven generations and beyond. Great-grandson of Edith Kanakaole, who was one of the leaders of the Hawaiian renaissance of the 60s and 70s that brought hula, Hawaiian art and culture, and Hawaiian language back into the active life of the islands; grandson of Pualani Kanakaole Kanahele, kumu hula (hula master) and cultural leader and educator; and son of Kekuhi Kanahele, also a leader in hula and cultural practice and a singer, Kaumakaiwa was raised in a family of strong Hawaiian traditions. And he was grew up on the slopes of the volcano Mauna Kea, regarded as a family ancestor, its primordial power a daily influence. He was brought up speaking Hawaiian as well as English, listening to Hawaiian music and all types of Western music, educated in Hawaiian tradition and in Western culture.

The result is a powerful and charismatic performer who can easily and confidently navigate between cultures and bring the delighted audiences with him.
His range from baritone chant to Hawaiian falsetto singing is nothing less than impressive. During the course of a performance, he will perform with pahu (Hawaiian drum) for traditional chant and with his guitarist Shawn Pimental in his contemporary work; most are original compositions by Kaumakaiwa. For clips of his music, please go to http://www.mountainapplecompany.com/kaumakaiwa/. He has toured throughout Hawaii, to Japan, and across the United States.

What Kaumakaiwa brings to the stage is an immense talent as a singer, chanter, and dancer as well as a deep understanding of his Hawaiian culture and his place as a modern Hawaiian in this contemporary world. And so his performances and music seamlessly meld Hawaiian culture and modern sensibilities. They draw from ancient oli (chant) traditions, modern melodies, and original mele (songs), in a powerful mix of music that speaks to the heart and to the soul.

Pronunciation a challenge? Kaumakaiwa Kanakaole: [Kow-mah-kah-ee-vah Kah-nah-kah-oh-ley]