Led Kaapana and Mike Kaawa [2 Full Sets]

Ledward Kaapana

2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship Recipient, Ledward Kaapana is Hawaii's premier master Slack Key guitarist. His inventiveness and fluidity, his versatility in multiple tunings, and his playfulness on stage, make him the leading master of this art, now recognized nationally by America's most prestigious award for the arts.

Led has been a professional musician for over 40 years. His mastery of stringed instruments and extraordinary baritone and leo ki`eki`e (falsetto) voice have made him a musical legend. His easy-going style and charm have made him a favorite of audiences throughout the world.



Led grew up in a musical family in the tiny village of Kalapana, there were few distractions and everyone played music.
It was at the frequent family gatherings that Led learned to play in the old style, watching, listening, then imitating. Chief among his teachers were his mother, Mama Tina Kaapana, and his uncle Fred Punahoa.

As teenagers, Led and his twin brother Ned and cousin Dennis Pavao formed the Hui `Ohana, one of the hottest groups of the 70s and 80s and now legendary among Hawaiian musicians. The 70s saw the blossoming of the Hawaiian Renaissance, and Hui `Ohana was a key part of that return to traditional Hawaiian culture and music. Young Hawaii Sings Old Hawaii, the title of their first recording, was also their statement of purpose. 

The group produced 14 best-selling albums and made countless hundreds of live appearances, proudly sharing Kalapana's musical traditions. 



Led later formed another trio, I Kona, releasing 6 albums with that group, including Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner, Jus' Press. He has also released solo albums, including two Na Hoku Hanohano Instrumental Album of the Year winners, Lima Wela and Black Sand, the latter of which was recorded on George Winston's Dancing Cat Records. Led also recorded Led Live, Waltz of the Wind, Kila Kila Meets Kihoalu, and others on Dancing Cat..

In 2006, Led's Kiho'alu-Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar was nominated for the 48th GRAMMY Award for Best Hawaiian Music Album and won the 2006 Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Instrumental Album of the Year. Led was featured on three compilation CDs winning Grammy Awards for Best Hawaiian Music. His solo Grandmaster Slack Key and Force of Nature (with Mike Kaawa) received Grammy nominations and Force of Nature also earned Led & Mike the Favorite Entertainer Award at the 2009 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. His newest recording is The Legend.

Led tours the US extensively. When home in Hawaii, he can be found on Sunday evenings at Kona Brewing Company in Hawaii Kai or once a month on Maui playing at George Kahumoku's Slack Key Show.

Mike Kaawa

Mike Kaawa's music career has spanned nearly 4 decades participating in several prominent musical groups of their time, including Na Keonimana (Kelii Taua, Alan Pokipala, the late John Kekuku), Anuenue (Moe Keale, Imaikalani Young, Paul Martinez), Hokulea (Kelii Taua, Roland Cazimero, Dwight Hanohano, Kalani Whitford), Mike Kaawa Trio (Imaikalani Young, Eddie Palama), Brown Company (Chucky Boy Chock), Par Three (Darryl Gonzales, Joe Barinobas/Jensen Richards), The Native Hawaiian Band, Na Oiwi (Dennis & David Kamakahi, Jon Yamasato).

Fran Guidry

After playing old time rock'n'roll for 20 years, Fran experienced a musical rebirth when he turned on the TV in a Waikiki hotel room. He saw and heard Keola Beamer playing slack key, and he fell in love with Hawaiian music at that moment. Since then Fran has immersed himself in slack key and Hawaiian music. He has collected CDs and LPs, attended concerts, studied books and videos, taken lessons, and played slack key guitar nearly every spare minute. He has performed at various venues around the San Francisco Bay Area, in solo shows and as an opener for Hawaiian music stars like Dennis Kamakahi, Cyril Pahinui, and Patrick Landeza. He has also played with masters like Ledward Ka`apana, Mike Ka`awa, and Kevin Brown on his trips to Hawai`i.

Slack key guitar is a folk style that demonstrates the beauty and power of simplicity. Created over 150 years ago by Hawaiian cowboys herding cattle on volcanic slopes, it has endured and grown, inspiring new devotees generation after generation. Now this charming music seems to have transcended the boundaries of its island home, with slack key guitarists blossoming all across the mainland of the United States, in Japan, and in Europe.

Slack key seems to capture listeners like magic. The stresses and strains of the fast paced modern world fade as the ebb and flow of slack key transports them to that idyllic island paradise locked in their imagination. Like the traditional Hawaiian songs, Fran's originals are inspired by personal relationships, joyous life events, and the wonders of the world around us.

$22 adv / $25 day of show

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Led Kaapana and Mike Kaawa [2 Full Sets] with Fran Guidry

Sunday, June 9 · Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM at Club Fox