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Hapa

Biography

When Keli'i Kaneali'i and Barry Flanagan met each other in 1983 neither could have predicted that just 10 years later they'd have released the top-selling Hawaiian album of all time and won six Na Hoko Hanohano awards for their self-titled debut. At the time, Kaneali'i, who had trained as a singer in the local church choir, was dancing hula and performing with artists like Martin Pahinui. Barry Flanagan was an aspiring guitarist whose imagination had been captured by Hawaiian slack key guitar on this serendipitous vacation. Soon after that trip, Flanagan moved to Hawaii, and the duo soon found their musical rapport transcended anything either had ever experienced. Melding traditional Hawaiian influences including oli (chant) and mele (song) with folk and ballad forms, the group's contemporary fusion sound took the islands by storm in 1993. Flanagan tailors his gentle guitar work to Kaneali'i's equally gentle singing.
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