Photo courtesy by the Daily Republic

 

Six and a half albums and fifteen years later, it appeared that the Hapa story that had actually begun with such commitment to success was ending. Creator Barry Flanagan parted relations with his 2nd Hapa partner Nathan Aweau. Aweau had an interest in a solo profession. Charles Ka’upu, Hawaiian chanter, and culturalist whose tradition-rich presentations provided the group with a deep cultural authenticity had died suddenly at the age of 53.

Motivated by his better half Leslie not to let go of Hapa, Flanagan has actually discovered himself re-energized by a brand-new collaboration that is, in reality, an old one. Flanagan’s new partner in Hapa is singer/songwriter Ron Kuala’au, who was among Flanagan’s inspirations and coaches in the early days of Hapa in the 1980s.

Flanagan indicates his new partner Kuala’au as the man who initially influenced him to “contemporize” Hawaiian music. It was Kuala’au, he stated, who first blended Hawaiian music to a sound that reminded listeners of James Taylor or Kenny Rankin.

 

Special Friendship Rekindle

Newest Partner Ron Kualaau with Barry Flanagan

Newest Partner Ron Kualaau with Barry Flanagan

 

“A lot of the early tunes were in fact made up at Ron’s home in Lahaina,” stated Flanagan, “and there is this long-lasting mark that Ron left on me from the study sessions at his home in the 1980s. I left his home numerous a day recognizing that it was possible to insert all the external impacts of world music– jazz, folk, blues, bluegrass, Latin, flamenco, rock and, in later years, Uilleann pipelines and slam poetry– into the Hawaiian music pantheon.”

 

Since the break with Aweau and the death of Ka’upu the group’s longtime mainland supervisor and press agent, Santa Cruz’s Tim Brattan had withdrawn to a part-time function. Flanagan discovered his method through his doubts, and he and Kuala’au have actually been holed up together practicing both old and brand-new product. Flanagan still believed in his commitment to success.

Nathan Aweau and Barry Flanagan

Nathan Aweau and Barry Flanagan

Working The New Lineup

The brand-new line-up got a bolt of nationwide prominence when Hapa appeared in an episode of the CBS upgraded series “Hawaii 5 O.” And what’s more, the group has induced well-known Hawaiian slam poet Kealoha to generate the Hawaiian-language spoken word aspect that Ka’upu provided for many years. Flanagan intends to bring him in next time the group comes to town.

That is not to state that Charles Ka’upu, known to Hapa fans for his thrilling presentation on Hapa’s reinvention of U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love”) in 1997 is to be forgotten. On the contrary, stated Flanagan, Ka’upu’s voice will be heard in recordings throughout future Hapa programs.

” When we initially began doing this after Charles passed away,” stated Flanagan, “I simply would sob right there on stage. Now,  I can speak about him without simply breaking down like a schoolgirl. I’m delighted he’s still with us.” His mana remains.

Hawaiian Cultural Expert, Master Chanter, Lecturer, Recording Artist, Licensed Kahu

Hawaiian Cultural Expert, Master Chanter, Lecturer, Recording Artist, Licensed Kahu

Hapa with Barry Flanagan & Ron Kualaau and Tuahine

 

 

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