Among the guest artists are: composer and kumu hula Cody Pueo Pata, performing a chant at the end of "E Ho'i Na Wai", originally a water pule (prayer) or chant he wrote in 2001; Nathan Aweau, debuting a song about a journey along the Ko'olau mountains written by his cousin, the late Rev. Dennis Kamakahi, in memory of Dennis' great grandfather (James Ho'olulu Aweau); singer-songwriter (and kahu) Kawika Kahiapo performing Jack Hayford's "Majesty"; and Grammy® nominee, kumu hula, and Maui resident Kamaka Kukona singing a song by Alice Namakelua about Maui's famous streams and other well-known Maui features.
Waipuna also features a special mele inoa, or name song, written by composer Puakea Nogelmeier; several songs written by band member Kale Hannahs; and additional guest appearance by Aaron Sala (piano), Sean Carroll (percussion), Greg Sardinha (steel guitar), and Kale Chang (background vocals). The liner notes include comments by various composers about the songs they wrote, including Tony Conjugacion and Kawaikapuokalani Hewett.
Waipuna began as a duo in 2008 when Kale and Matt, both of whom had extensive music backgrounds (Kale was a founding member of the multiple award-winning group 'Ale'a, and Matt is a member of the famous Sproat family of musicians) joined forces. While working on E Ho'i Mai, the follow-up to their critically-acclaimed first album Mana'o Pili, they brought David in to record several songs - and liked the sound so much that they asked him to join the group. The combination works - each of the group's releases (four albums and a single) have been honored with Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards - Hawai'i's Grammy® Award, and they have loyal fans all over the world.
Scheduled to hit store shelves April 24, Waipuna was produced by Lea Uehara, Kale Chang, and Waipuna, and recorded at Chang's 'Auwa'a Studios. The album will be available at local stores and online at Me Ke Aloha. Listen to a few clips from the album below.