Ledward Kaapana: Grandmaster Slack Key

This is how you play with aloha....

If you’re one of the worldwide contingent of “Led Heads”, of course you already have your tickets for Ledward Kaapana‘s only Southern California appearance this Sunday as part of the Kala Koa “Wire and Wood” solo acoustic guitar series.  Everyone else? Here’s your chance to see the multiple Grammy-winning slack key master who was instrumental in the Seventies Hawaiian Renaissance and has played with Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Sonny Landreth, Chet Atkins, Leo Kotke, Taj Mahal, Ry Cooder and Tal Farlow, among others.

Yes, the man is a living legend.

Now celebrating his 47th year as a performer, Kaapana spent his formative years (musically and otherwise) in a black sand bay village on the Big Island with no electricity and very little radio.  The entertainment void was filled with days-long backyard parties of continuous music in the Hawaiian tradition of ohana (family) with musicians taking over as their fellow players took breaks.

Oh, to have been a fly on those palm fronds…..

Immersed in this world of all music, all the time, Led became proficient in steel guitar, ukulele, autoharp, and bass guitar as well as slack key and  started performing professionally at 14 with his mother, Mama Tina Kaapana, and his uncle Fred Punahoa, a rarely recorded slack key master.   Led also became renowned for his leo ki`eki`e (falsetto) and baritone voices and famous (infamous?!) for his kolohe (rascal) charm.  ‘Cause really, who can resist a charming rascal?

As a teenager, Led’s occasional experimentation with rock ‘n roll riffs was viewed with amused tolerance and encouragement to “play what you feel and play with aloha”.

It’s such a good idea to listen to your elders.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Ledward Kaapana

Fran Guidry (SF Bay Area) opens

Sunday, October 3 @ 6:30PM

(Doors open at 5:30)


68 Pier Avenue

Hermosa Beach  90254

(310) 376-4412

$20, $25, $28

For tix: http://kalakoa.tix.com/

For further info: http://wire-and-wood.com/

For food and drink info: http://sangriahermosa.com/

(NOTE: Food and drink not included in ticket price)

2 Comments Add yours

  1. margaret says:

    Interesting. But I think they need to come up with a better name than slack key master. Sounds so judgmental

    1. Yes, but Margaret, who are we to to question the many years of Hawaiian tradition…?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s