Chill out to sounds of Hawaiian string music |

Chill out to sounds of Hawaiian string music

Submitted photo


WHO: The Center for the Arts presents

WHAT: Led Kaapana and Mike Kaawa

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, June 8

WHERE: The Center for the Arts

314 W Main Street, Grass Valley

TICKETS: $18 members, $20 non-member

The Center Box Office - 530-274-8384 ext 14

BriarPatch Co-op - 530-272-5333

Tickets online at


Hawaiian string wizard and three-time Grammy nominee Led Kaapana and Hawaii’s 12-string guitar master Mike Kaawa return to Grass Valley for a concert at The Center for the Arts tonight.

Kaapana’s mastery of stringed instruments, particularly slack key guitar, and his baritone and leo ki`eki`e (falsetto) voice, have made him a musical legend with more than 40 years experience.

With easy going 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.

Recognition by his peers earned Kaapana Grammy Award nominations in 2006, 2007 and 2009.

Like so many Hawaiians, Kaapana grew up in a musical family. In the tiny black sand bay village of Kalapana, there were few distractions.

“We didn’t have electricity, no television, not even much radio,” said Led. “So we entertained ourselves. You could go to any house and everybody was playing music.”

While recording for Dancing Cat Records, Kaapana produced a number of solo projects, duets, and a project with Allison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, and other bluegrass legends called “Waltz of the Wind.”

He has worked with Dolly Parton, Chet Atkins and many other Nashville notables.

Back at home, he has shared his talents on recordings with most of Hawaii’s top talents, including Aunty Genoa Keawe, Barney Isaacs, The Ho`opi`i Brothers, Melveen Leed, the Pahinui Brothers, Amy Hanaiali`i and countless others.

In 2008 Led Kaapana formed his own recording company, Jus’ Press Productions, and released his CD, “Force of Nature,” with 12-string virtuoso Mike Kaawa.

The album earned a Grammy nomination in 2009 for Best Hawaiian Music Album and won Kaapana and Kaawa the Favorite Entertainer Award at the 2009 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.

Kaapana tours the U.S. extensively and has appeared in Belgium, Germany, Canada, Japan and Tahiti.

Kaawa is considered Hawaii’s finest 12-string guitar player and one of the best known and highly regarded musicians in Hawaii.

With strong instrumentation and distinct vocal expression, Kaawa has created his own unique sounds. He describes his music as “Hawaiian with an attitude.”

Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $18 for members of the Center and $20 for non-members. They may be purchased at the Center’s box office or at BriarPatch Co-op. For more about Kaapana, visit

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