Kupaaina

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Kupaʻāina, means simple island people or citizen of the land. The genesis of Kupa`āina’s style is its common love and respect for traditional Hawaiian music and the people and culture(s) of Hawai’i; their lives, sunlight and shadows; trials and tribulations. This expanded into creative explorations and inspirations from Polynesian, rock and roll, reggae, funk, Latin, ska, hip-hop and other influences. While eclectic, Kupa`āina’s music remains rooted in Maoli music; true to the indigenous and local experience, history and culture of Hawaiʻi. Kupaʻāina’s self-produced seminal 2004 album, Kupaʻāina: Simple Island People released to critical, local and national exposure and acclaim. The release was perfectly timed with the crash of conventional Hawaiian music industry when most distributors went bankrupt. Tired of the “music business” Kupaʻāina remained and continues to gather formally and informally to play music at private and public events and at least once every third Thursday evening at Da Cove in Kapahulu. Kupaʻāina today comprises of Mr. Chang, Fiercely Fly (Kalama Cabigon), Uncle Stanley Tibayan (bass & guitar), Alastar (guitar) and Miwa (keyboards) McNeil, Nakana Wong (upright bass), Jay Santos (drums) and Babatunji Heath (percussion).

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