Contemporary Hawaiian musicLike the Hawaiian Islands themselves, HAPA's Pan-Polynesian music is an amalgam of influences ranging from ancient genealogical chants to the strummed ballads of Portuguese fisherman, Spanish cowboys, and the inspired melodies and harmonies of the traditional church choirs of the early missionaries. Add to this a dose of American acoustic folk/rock, and you have what has been described as the “most exciting and beautiful contemporary Hawaiian music the world knows!”… (Maui Times).
These disparate ingredients blended together musically in the Pacific emotes the unique flavor of what Hawaii and HAPA music is: “beautiful, fragile, spiritual, powerful”… (L.A. Times).
Often encapsulated as the “Sound of Maui”, HAPA’s music evokes a place that many people at different times have referred to as heavenly. The overriding quality of their music is one of beauty and serenity, found in the majestic tones of the oli (chant), mele (song), the elegant movements of the sacred dance known as hula, and the exhilarating innovative sounds of virtuoso slack key guitar. HAPA’s self entitled debut cd released in 1993, swept the 1994 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Hawaii’s equivalent of the Grammy’s), becoming the biggest selling CD by a group or duo in the history of recorded Hawaiian music. The group’s ground breaking music has established them as the most recognized name in Hawaiian music internationally since their debut release, with sold-out shows from Tokyo to New York.