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date: 15 November 2019

Makaha Sonslocked

  • Jay W. Junker

Extract

Hawaiian instrumental and vocal group. Blending harmony vocals, acoustic instruments, and a relaxed, inclusive stage presence, the Makaha Sons have enjoyed great popularity since their first album, No Kristo, in 1976. It bore the inscription E Malama (Iana) Pono O Ka ‘Aina E Na ‘Opio (The traditions of the land are perpetuated by its youth), which has been translated by the group into a diverse repertoire of classic and newly composed Hawaiian-language songs, English-language songs about Hawaii, and even some humorous material performed with a great flair for comedy.

They began as teenagers in 1975 when Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole (‘ukulele/vocals) met Jerome “Boogie” Koko (guitar/vocals) on the beach at Makaha. Israel’s older brother Skippy (guitar/vocals) assumed leadership with Louis “Moon” Kauakahi (guitar/vocals) contributing arrangements and Sam Grey playing pakini (washtub) bass. Their original name was Makaha Sons of Ni‘ihau honoring the place they lived and the small island on which the Kamakawio‘oles had family roots. After several changes, the group solidified as a quartet with Skippy and Israel, their cousin Mel Amina, and brother-in-law Moon....

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