Saturday, January 14th, 2017

Led Kaapana Is Back – and He Has a New CD

It’s cold here in Northern California but it’s about to get warmer at our house. Led Kaapana is featured at the annual Southern California Slack Key Festival along with a roster of great artists, then he heads to Walnut Creek to begin a NorCal tour to celebrate the release of his new CD, a solo `ukulele extravaganza titled Jus’ Press Vol. 2. I’ll be opening at these shows and hope you’ll be able to join us for some big Hawaiian music fun.

Thursday, Jan 19 – 6:30PM
Sacramento, CA

Saturday, Jan 21 – 7:30PM
The Cue
Concord, CA

Wednesday, Jan 25 – 7:00PM
Kuumbwa Jazz Hall
Santa Cruz, CA

Saturday, Jan 28 – 7:00PM
San Luis Obispo Museum of Art
San Luis Obispo, CA

Friday, Feb 3 – 8:00PM
Martinez, CA

Saturday, Feb 4 – 7:30PM
Pacifica Performances
Pacifica, CA

Friday, Feb 10 – 7:30PM
The Old Steeple
Ferndale, CA

We’ve been enjoying our preview copy of this new CD and it’s a treasure. Led pulls so much music out of his custom `ukulele you need to see it to believe it. I hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to see a master at work.


Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Slack Key in Ferndale, CA – February 12, 2016

We’re hitting the road tomorrow, headed up 101 to the Victorian village of Ferndale, CA. We’ve been invited by the folks at The Ferndale Music Company to perform at The Old Steeple venue. Check out some of the other performers on their calendar! Little Ferndale gets some top flight talent.

We’re looking forward to a great road trip, see some new sights, try new restaurants, maybe find some trails since some members of our group have turned into compulsive walkers.

If you’re in the neighborhood I hope you’ll join us for the show.


Sunday, January 17th, 2016

Ledward Kaapana Covers the Mainland

For those of us putting up with freezing rain, blizzards, and big heating bills it might seem a little silly to leave Hawai`i to tour around the mainland, but Ledward Kaapana is determined to share his slack key, `ukulele, and singing talent with us once again and I for one sure do appreciate it.

He starts with the 9th annual Southern California Slack Key Festival on Sunday, January 17, where he performs with Cyril Pahinui, John Keawe, Kawika Kahiapo, Jeff Peterson, Jim West, Patrick Landeza, Napua Greig, Mike Kaawa, nathan Nahinu, Peter Moon Jr., and Jeff Au Hoy.

Next he’ll head to Northern California for a visit to Walnut Creek where we’ll visit local restaurants, play lots of music around the house, and play a few gigs. I’ll be opening at these shows:

Friday, January 22
The Cue
Concord, CA
7:30 PM

Saturday, January 23
St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church
Los Osos, CA
7:00 PM
If you don’t have tickets for this one you may be out of luck, though, I hear they’re sold out.

Thursday, January 29
Sacramento, CA
7:00 PM

On Wednesday, February 3, Led will appear with Kupaoa and Patrick Landeza at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.

Then he’ll join George Kahumoku and Jeff Peterson for an extensive tour around the US, extending through the middle of March and including visits to Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Ohio, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and Arizona before heading back to California. Check the tour schedule at George’s website for details.


Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Led Kaapana Touring NorCal, I’m Opening

Here we are back in Kaleponi after a sweet month in Kailua, O`ahu. Tomorrow Led and Sharon will arrive from their Southern California tour and we’ll settle down to the serious fun of playing slack key all day and night. We will interrupt our jam session to play some shows, too!

Friday, August 21 we’ll be at 142 Throckmorton in Mill Valley. Show starts at 8 PM.

On Sunday, August 23 Led will perform on the Municipal Wharf in Santa Cruz at the 23rd annual Aloha Races and Polynesian Festival. Led is scheduled to play from 3:30 to 5:00 PM.

Wednesday, August 26 we’ll climb the Santa Cruz Mountains again to play at Don Quixote’s in Felton. That show starts at 7:30.

Thursday, August 27 we’re off to Sacramento where we’ll play at Harlow’s. Doors open at 5:30, show starts at 7:00 PM.

Finally, on Friday, August 28 we’ll head down to quaint Morro Bay where we’ll perform at the Coalesce Bookstore. That show will start at 7:00 PM.

I’m looking forward to the fun of these shows with Ledward. Naturally a big part of the fun is watching the audience enjoy the inimitable Mr. Ledward Kaapana in action. I hope you’ll be able to join us.


Friday, July 25th, 2014

Mr. Presley, Please Get in Touch

I was contacted via the contact form on this website by Mr. Roy Presley, who purchased one of my CDs at the recent benefit concert in Palo Alto where I performed with Led Kaapana. Mr. Presley reported that the CD would not play successfully and requested a replacement, which I am happy to provide.

Unfortunately the message that came to me does not include a valid email address or other contact information, so I am unable to respond to Mr. Presley. Roy, if you are reading this, or if anyone knows Roy Presley residing presumably on the SF Peninsula or nearby, please try again to get in touch. I’m very sorry for the inconvenience and would appreciate any assistance in resolving this.



Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Opening for Ledward Kaapana, June and July of 2014

OK, I am one lucky guy, and believe me I’m grateful for all the good fortune that comes my way. I have a lovely and supportive wife, lots of terrific friends, and plenty of sweet guitars. But my feeling of of good luck really overflows when I get a chance to go on tour with the ever amazing Mr. Ledward Kaapana. I get a chance to share my love of Hawaiian music with friends around Northern California and I get one of the best seats in the house for Ledward’s performances. I hope we’re playing somewhere that’s convenient for you and that you’ll join us for some good old slack key style.

We’ll have an extra special guest with us at the Mystic Theatre in Petaluma, the charming and talented Faith Ako and her trio will add their talents to the bill.

In addition to these shows Ledward will hold a workshop at the legendary Gryphon Strings in Palo Alto on Saturday, July 5 at 11 AM and I’ll tag along to help in any way I can. This is a great opportunity for folks looking to learn slack key from a master, taught in the old Hawaiian way.


Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Slack Key Duet – Which One is the Evil Twin?

I visit the Acoustic Guitar Forum regularly to keep up on the latest news and gadgets and to enjoy the performances posted there. The forum is full of talented players in a wide variety of styles and has an active section of folks showing their stuff. Lately one of the posters started a thread asking for music from movies and TV shows, so I immediately thought of The Descendants and the slack key tunes they chose. I found a gorgeous self-duet version of `Imi Au Ia `Oe by Keola Beamer and set out to come up with my own arrangement. (more…)


Saturday, August 3rd, 2013

Paliokamoa (Pali O Ka Moa) Tutorial

I’ve given slack key workshops at a number of local Aloha Festivals over the years. Several times I preceded or followed Hiram Bell and his always compelling `ukulele workshop. I was invited back this year, and coincidentally a friend expressed an interest in learning the lovely old North Kohala song, Paliokamoa. My friend had seen the version I did last year. I decided to create a tutorial on the song in the form of a video and tablature. (more…)


Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Warm Slack Key Sounds in Winter – Touring Northern California with Ledward

I feel pretty silly complaining about the weather, because I know plenty of folks have it a lot worse than we do here in Northern California but this has been our first Christmas and New Year at home in several years, and it has seemed unrelentingly chilly.

Things are looking up, though, even if the thermometer stays on the cool side. In just a few weeks we’ll be getting a visit from the inimitable Mr. Ledward Kaapana and I’m sure he’ll be bringing some warm island feelings along.

In case you’re just tuning in I should mention that Ledward has been a major force in Hawaiian music for over forty years, won numerous Na Hoku awards, been featured on three Grammy winning CDs and had two of his own CDs nominated. His most recent recognition came in the form of a National Heritage Award in 2011.

Ledward is featured in a newly released DVD which he’ll have available for sale on this tour. I’ll be opening the shows around the area, I hope you’ll have an opportunity to join us.

January 22 Don Quixote Felton, CA 7:30 PM
January 24 Harlow’s Sacramento, CA 7:00 PM
January 27 Rancho Nicasio Nicasio, CA 8:00 PM
January 31 Sweetwater Music Hall Mill Valley, CA 8:00 PM
February 1 Freight & Salvage Berkeley, CA 8:00 PM
February 2 Club Fox Redwood City, CA 8:00 PM
February 15 The Cue Concord, CA 8:00 PM
February 16 The Dance Palace Pt. Reyes Station, CA 8:00 PM


Monday, July 30th, 2012

Sonny Lim – Slack Key Inspiration

It’s been a couple of weeks now and I can’t stop thinking about the weekend I spent at the Spirit Hawaii Cultural Retreat in Lafayette, CA. Here’s an article at SFGate telling the story of the event. The two days were filled with chant, hula, music, history, cultural insights, food, and friendship, another example of the rich current of Hawai`i oriented events flowing around us here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

As much as I enjoyed the whole experience, I was most enthralled and inspired by the remarkable Elmer “Sonny” Lim, Jr. Lynn and I met Sonny and his family a number of years ago when we visited Hawai`i Island. It’s a meeting we often think about and talk about, we felt so warmly welcomed by this charming and talented family. Since then I’ve looked forward to my next meeting with Sonny, but somehow the opportunity has never presented itself until now. (more…)


I have recorded a CD called Kaleponi, all solo acoustic slack key instrumentals, mostly traditional pieces, a few originals.


You an buy a copy of the CD or download the tracks at CD Baby.

If you prefer, you can download individual tracks or the whole album from iTunes as well.

The complete liner notes and back cover notes of Kaleponi are available here.