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Island Mele

Kamanawa’s first is made to last

Updated on  August 17, 2017 at 6:50 pm
Blaine Kia and Kalei Kahalewai started working together as Kamanawa in 2008. After nine years together they’ve made the move from live performance to the recording studio. Read More

‘Makawalu’ makes Napua front-runner for Hoku Award

Updated on  August 11, 2017 at 6:48 pm
With the recent release of “Makawalu,” Napua is a front-runner to win the Female Vocalist of the Year category at next year’s Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. Read More

Beat-Lele’s ukulele use makes for unique Beatles tribute

Updated on  August 4, 2017 at 7:24 pm
What would the Beatles have sounded like if they played ukulele instead of guitar? Beat-Lele, a Beatles tribute band, provides an answer to that question. Read More

Slack key veteran Lance Takamiya releases his first album

Updated on  July 27, 2017 at 7:40 pm
Under slack key master Ozzie Kotani’s mentorship, Lance Takamiya made a transition from self-taught hobbyist to serious slack key guitarist, and the efforts have been put forth on the debut album “Aloha, This Is Who We Are.” Read More

Landeza’s new works honor his teachers and heritage

Updated on  July 21, 2017 at 4:28 pm
The “California-born Hawaiian” puts out a new album and book that are a welcome addition to any collection of Hawaiian music, and he shares some reflections along the way. Read More

Grimes’ versatility shines on ‘Assorted Chocolates’

Updated on  July 13, 2017 at 5:11 pm
Steve Grimes has made a name for himself as an adroit songwriter, singer and recording artist, and continues the trend on his latest album. Read More

Aldo Rays’ album is a return to the ’50s

Updated on  July 7, 2017 at 2:51 pm
The rock ’n’ roll style of the 1950s continues to attract new generations of musicians including The Aldo Rays. Read More

Documentary profiles musician Martin Pahinui

Updated on  June 30, 2017 at 4:31 pm
“Martin Pahinui: The Golden Voice,” a documentary film released in 2015 and currently available on DVD, is an excellent look at the life and unique career of Hawaiian musician Martin Pahinui, who died in May. Read More

Isle band courts rockers with gritty, heartfelt EP

Updated on  June 23, 2017 at 5:50 pm
Uncompromising straight rock is the Granite Saints’ contribution to Hawaii’s vibrant music scene. Read More

Local metal rock artists shift to Hawaiian, hapa-haole styles

Updated on  June 15, 2017 at 6:25 pm
Power players in the local metal music scene make a successful — and sudden — switch over to another genre. Read More

Ho‘okena’s ‘3.0’ has strong vocals and instrumentation

Updated on  June 2, 2017 at 5:22 pm
Ho‘okena earned three Na Hoku Hanohano Awards — Group of the Year, Traditional Hawaiian Album of the Year and Most Promising Artists — in 1991 for its aptly titled debut album, “Thirst Quencher!” Read More

Well-done remake opens Lava’s debut

Updated on  April 27, 2017 at 4:43 pm
Doing remakes of mainstream Top 40 “oldies” almost never turns out well for local recording artists. That makes the decision of this local group to open its debut album with a remake of a 1966 Billboard Top 10 hit look like a bad idea — until you play the CD. Surprise, surprise, Lava pulls it off with amazing finesse. Read More

Chris Lowe makes his debut with a tribute to the Great White Way

Updated on  April 14, 2017 at 5:23 pm
Born in Massachusetts, raised in Hawaii, Chris Lowe grew up listening to Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, the Miracles and the Temptations. Read More

Kanekoa brings creativity to contemporary local music

Updated on  March 29, 2017 at 10:47 pm
Kanekoa is a quartet with the potential to bring something creative and new to local music. Read More

Island Mele: Cyril Pahinui visits a waterfall; Mark Saito, love

Updated on  March 23, 2017 at 10:45 am
The song “Hi‘ilawe” has been associated with the family of Gabby Pahinui almost from the time he first recorded it in 1946. Read More

Kaimana Band offers fine debut

Updated on  March 8, 2017 at 9:04 pm
With credits going back more than a quarter-century, multitalented Rodney Bejer provides a solid foundation for any contemporary local group. Read More

Kahumoku covers almost 40 years of making Hawaiian music

Updated on  March 2, 2017 at 5:15 pm
George Kahumoku Jr. presents a retrospective on his work as a songwriter with this recently released CD. Read More