Born on the windward side of O`ahu, Kawika finds a never-ending source of inspiration in the breathtaking Ko`olau mountain range, lush, green valleys and the magnificent ocean views. His interest in music began at an early age, when, inspired by his father, he spent many hours practicing guitar alone. Some of his fondest memories are of their “garage” jam sessions, when “Pops” Gabby Pahinui would show up at their house to play, further igniting his passion for ki-ho`alu, Slack Key guitar. At age17, Kawika entered the professional music scene and has since contributed to more than 84 recording projects and performed with numerous artists both on stage and as a studio musician, and is a regular at slack key festivals.
Kawika’s most recent solo releases won 2 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Hawai‘i’s “Grammy”) in 2015 – one for Best Slack Key Guitar for Ku‘u ‘Āina Aloha, the other for Best Island Music for Ho‘omaluhia. Kawika is also featured on George Kahumoku’s compilation CD Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol 2 which won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Hawaiian Music Album. As part of the band Kaukahi, he won 3 Na Hoku Awards in 2007, including one for Song of the Year for his title composition ”Life in These Islands”.
A recording artist and an ordained minister, Kawika also serves on Boards, including the Kokua Hawai'i Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports environmental education in the schools and communities of Hawai'I, and PBS Hawai‘i, for which he composed their current theme song.
“Love for the islands, its people, `ohana, and Ke Akua (God), are what inspires me, while staying committed to perpetuating ‘true’ Hawaiian music, the culture, and the art of ki-ho`alu.”
For more information on David, visit his website: www.kawikakahiapo.com
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