On The Scene
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LEDWARD: Slack-key master Ledward Kaapana was surrounded by family, friends and loyal "Led-Heads" Saturday as he celebrated his 60th birthday with four hours of music and ono Hawaiian food at Kona Brewing Co. in Hawaii Kai. Among those helping Led celebrate his "Big 6-0" were Lehua Kaapana Nash, left; Lei Kaapana Aken; family friend and party planner Judy Barrett; Trudy Kaapana Kuilipule, seated; Led's wife, Sharon Kaapana; and Rhoda Kaapana Keoua. The musical highlight came when Led joined his four sisters onstage to entertain the crowd with several family songs.
UH-Manoa musicologist Jay Junker, left, talked story with Eric Keawe at the media table. More than 50 invited guests arrived early to make sure they would be there in time to greet Led when he arrived at 5 p.m. Those who lagged later in getting to the Hawaiian buffet had a long wait in the chow line.
Led Kaapana welcomed Alika Odom, left, and Mel Cabang to the party. Odom and Kaapana were two-thirds of the Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning trio Ledward Kaapana & I Kona. Ryan Tang, the bassist on their 1986 Hoku-winning album, also attended the party. Kaapana has won six Hokus as a solo artist, as the leader of I Kona and as a member of the reunited Hui Ohana in the late 1980s.
David, left, Dennis and Marlene Kamakahi and Bobby Ingano congregated around the Kamakahi ohana table after the guys played a short set that got the party started. Dennis, a slack-key master and Hoku winner, congratulated Kaapana on his birthday and his accomplishments as a musician, then led the crowd in a short prayer (Marlene helped her dad and brother with the sound gear).
Led greeted Peter Moon Jr., center, and Cyril Pahinui when they arrived after sunset. With Cyril representing the Pahinui family, Eric Keawe attending on behalf of the Keawe-Aiko ohana, and Dennis and David Kamakahi performing, three of Hawaii's great multigenerational music families were in the house to share their aloha with the Kaapanas. (Led opens a Sundays-only 6-8 p.m. engagement at Kona Brewing Co. on Sept. 7.)