The tour begins October 15th in Chicago, then moves to Northern California the next day, followed by a stop in Southern California and then up to Seattle – or as Kale says, “traveling 10,000 miles in 7 days”! (See the poster for complete tour information.)
The group began in 2007 as a collaboration between two talented musicians - Kale Hannahs and Matt Sproat – who were looking to create a fresh, new sound in Hawaiian music after many years on the Hawaiian music circuit. In 2011, Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner David Kamakahi joined the group, adding a fullness to Waipuna’s already-distinctive sound.
Kale is a veteran of the music scene, earning a reputation as a steady bass player and vocalist. A former vice president of the Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) and founding member of the award-winning group 'Ale'a, he has played and recorded with many of Hawai'i’s talented musicians including Napua Grieg, Robi Kahakalau, Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole, Weldon Kekauoha, Sean Na'auao, Cody Pueo Pata, Aaron Sala, Hoku Zuttermeister, Holunape, Maunalua, Nā Palapalai, and more.
Although born and raised on O’ahu, Matt is from the famous Sproat family of North Kohala on Hawaiʻi Island. He began his music career playing Hawaiian music in Waikiki and on the cruise ship S.S. Independence, and in 2003 won the Big Island falsetto competition and was featured in the “Aloha Festivals Falsetto Winners Volume 5” CD. He, too, has performed with some of the best musicians Hawaiʻi has to offer, and has dedicated himself to mastering his craft as a Hawaiian musician specializing in the art of falsetto singing, continuing his family’s tradition of perpetuating the Hawaiian culture through music.
A master ʻukulele player, David’s ʻukulele and his vocals add a richness to Waipuna’s music, and his addition to the group created a fullness that added even more depth to what was already a unique, exciting sound. Like Kale and Matt, David is a Kamehameha Schools graduate, where he won the Pono Beamer Award for Excellence in the field of Hawaiian music. He studied with ʻukulele grand master Eddie Kamae, and was a featured artist and vocalist on a number of albums from the age of 15. He, too, has performed and recorded with many of Hawaiʻi’s greats, including his late father Rev. Dennis Kamakahi, and Mike Kaawa, Herb Ohta, Jr., Jon Yamasato, and many more. He won a 2005 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for his debut solo album “Paʻani”.
Waipuna released their first album ("Mana’o Pili") in 2009 as a duo. David’s addition to the group in 2011 helped add that extra something to the group’s sound that contributed to the recognition their second album ("E Ho’i Mai") received at the 2012 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, where they took home three awards, including Group of the Year. Their 2012 single “Merry Christmas Darling” was awarded Single of the Year honors, and their 2013 EP “Nāpili” garnered two more awards. They released their third full-length CD "E Mau Ke Aloha" in 2014.
The trio is in great demand by various hula hālau (groups) all over Hawai’i (and Japan) to perform at events such as the prestigious annual Merrie Monarch Festival and the Keiki Hula Competition, and they travel frequently to Japan to perform for thousands of loyal fans all over that country. Their prowess in performing Hawaiian music, as well as their beautiful harmonies, make them instant fan favorites wherever they go, so if you live near any of the cities where they’ll be performing on this tour, don’t miss your chance to see them live!
Here is a video of them performing "Kamehameha Trilogy" – an instant hit from their “E Ho’i Mai” album - from an appearance on Maui in 2013.