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Solo Spotlight on Kuana Torres Kahele

December 29, 2011
The Maui Weekly

Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC) will begin a new round of its popular Solo Sessions concert series on Thursday, Jan. 12, by spotlighting a Hawaiian music performer who is new to the solo artist stage.

Kuana Torres Kahele, who was born on the slopes of Mauna Kea in Hilo, began composing, arranging and playing traditional Hawaiian music at an early age. Coming from an impressive lineage of musicians, including Victor Kala, the Lim Family and George Holokai, Kuana seemed destined for a life as a Hawaiian music performer. At age 15, he was inducted by renowned Kumu Hula Johnny Lum Ho as one of the permanent musicians for Halau Ka Ua Kani Lehua.

In 1995, with Kehau Tamure, Kuana formed the multi-award winning duo, Na Palapalai. They soon gained critical acclaim for reviving Hawaiian music classics as well as for their original compositions. To this day, Na Palapalai has maintained a prominent presence in both local and international hula and Hawaiian music scenes.

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Kuana Torres Kahele will be the featured performer at the popular Solo Sessions concert series on Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Still in his early thirties, Kuana has over 15 years of professional experience in the industry. Fans know him for his incredible vocal range, while fellow musicians seek him out for his songwriting and arranging skills. In 2009, he co-founded Hulu Kupuna Productions, an independent record label devoted to producing original Hawaiian music.

This summer, Kuana released Kaunaloa, his first solo record. For Kuana, this has been a project that has taken his lifetime to create, featuring 13 songs that map the journey of his life. His compositions tell stories of lost loves, world travels and life in small town Hilo.

Kuana said, "For me, this album is my voice in the collective of Hawaiian culture we continue to advance today. It speaks to the individuals that I have been fortunate to learn from and to love. It honors my lineage and the places from where my 'ohana has come: the great valleys of Waipi'o and Waimanu, the last Hawaiian fishing village of Miloli'i."

Learn more about Kuana Torres Kahele, a rising star in Hawai'i's music scene, at the MACC's next Solo Sessions' concert in the casual setting of the McCoy Studio Theater.

Tickets are $45 for VIP seating with a post-show meet-and-greet and $25 for standard seating. Call the Box Office at 242-SHOW (7469) or go online to



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