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Ledward Kaapana - Led Live: Solo

Dancing Cat Records

Ledward Kaapana - Led Live: Solo

MP3 Album $ 8.98 Add to Cart
WAV Album $ 11.98 Add to Cart

Born in 1948, sixth of ten children, Ledward Kaapana grew up in the remote village of Kalapana on the extreme south shore of the Big Island of Hawai`i. "We didn't have television or even much radio," Led says, "so we entertained ourselves. You could go to any house and everyone was playing music. Even today when I play ki  ho`alu (Hawaiian Slack Key guitar), I picture all the `ohanas (families) getting together and sharing their songs and their aloha." 

Led's family produced many excellent musicians, including his father George, his mother, the noted singer Tina Kaapana, and his uncle, one of ki  ho`alu's true legends, Fred Punahoa (you can hear the late Fred Punahoa’s two recorded tracks, Slack Key Instrumental # 1 (aka Punahoa Special which Led also recorded on his album BLACK SAND [Dancing Cat Records]), and Slack Key Instrumental # 2 (aka Mauna Loa Slack Key, which Led also performs on this album), on the compilation album THE WAIMEA MUSIC FESTIVAL [Panini Records], which also has live performances by The Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band, Sonny Chillingworth, Peter Moon with The Sunday Manoa, Na Leo O Nu`uanu [Slack Key guitarist/ composer Dennis Kamakahi’s first band], and others. Led began experimenting with music at an early age. At around six, he began playing guitar and `ukulele, then added autoharp, bass and steel guitar. "Back then," he says, "no one would tell you what to do. You had to catch on by example." This very traditional Hawaiian method stresses nana ka maka (observe with the eye), ho`olohe ka pepeia (listen carefully), ho`opili (imitate someone who has mastered what you wish to learn) and pa`a ka waha (don't interrupt your teachers, concentrate on what they're showing you).  

Ledward exemplifies the ideal end result of this time-honored instructional method. A strongly motivated musician with an excellent ear, great fluidity, a thorough knowledge of his instrument, a distinctive style and a clearly communicated, highly contagious love for what he does, Ledward Kaapana has been one of Hawai`i's hardest working and most popular guitarists. He began his professional career in the early 1970s with his acclaimed family group Hui `Ohana, which featured his twin brother Nedward on bass, and cousin Dennis Pavao on rhythm guitar, also one of Hawai`i's premier leo ki`eki`e (falsetto) singers. Hui `Ohana traveled extensively throughout Hawai`i and French Polynesia, and recorded many albums into the 1980s. Led went on to record four albums with his trio, I Kona (named after the song by the same name which has become Led’s signature song), and also two Slack Key albums. 

Led increasingly takes his music around the world, and for the past several years has gone on the Masters of the Steel String Guitar tours sponsored by the National Council for the Traditional Arts. "I love to travel," Led says, "especially to share Hawaiian music and to hear other styles of music." He remains steadfastly committed to the style and spirit of na kupuna (the elders) who instilled in him a deeply felt love for ki ho`alu. "I play from within." Led explains. "I feel the music and try to make people happy. Sometimes I think I'm enjoying myself more than the audience. I'm having a heck of a time laughing and talking story. That's the way I learned to do it."  LED LIVE-SOLO, his first solo recording, will please his many fans and will introduce one of Hawai`i's most gifted musicians, his songs and, perhaps more importantly, his aloha to a whole new legion of admirers.  


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