A master of the slack-key guitar, Led Kaapana has been one of Hawaii’s most influential musicians for four decades. His mastery of stringed instruments, exceptional picking style on slack-key guitar and ukulele, and extraordinary vocal range (from baritone to leo ki`eki`e, or falsetto) have made him a musical legend. With easygoing style and kolohe (rascal) charm, he has built a loyal corps of “Led Heads” from Brussels to his birthplace on the Big Island of Hawaii. In 2011, he was honored with a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for his artistic excellence and his contributions to the country’s traditional arts heritage.
Mike Kaawa is Hawaii’s finest twelve-string guitar player and one of its most highly regarded musicians. Known as “The Hawaiian Boy,” Kaawa describes his music as “Hawaiian with attitude.” He started performing at a young age and briefly flirted with rock and roll before committing himself to Hawaiian music. He is a regular at Hawaiian slack-key festivals and other popular venues. A captivating performer, Kaawa has created his own unique, robust sound in his playing, with a distinct vocal expression that comes straight from the heart. Often teaming up with Led Kaapana, they released Force of Nature in late 2008, which earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Hawaiian Music Album.
Ledward Kaapana is a master slack key guitarist.
—New York Times
[Led Kaapana is] friendly, generous, self-effacing, a little kolohe (rascally) and a flat-out genius at just about any stringed instrument that can be finger-picked.