Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In the Name of Love: Hapa and "Mele A Paku`i/Ho`okumu"

Mele A Paku`i/Ho`okumu [Instrumental] by Hapa on Grooveshark

We go to Hawaii for today's random tune by Hapa. The name Hapa means "half," and indeed one of the members, Barry Flanagan, is a white guy from New Jersey who is currently paired up with native Hawaiian Ron Kuala'au. Flanagan has been with Hapa for 30 years, though his partnership has changed. Hapa started as a duo consisting of Flanagan and Keli'i Ho'omalu Kaneali'i. Flanagan later joined Nathan Aweau who eventually left for a solo career. Flanagan then partnered with Hawaiian chanter Charles Ka'upu, and Hapa's goal was described by Ka'upu as helping revive the Polynesian language and to totally change the way the world perceives Hawaiian music. Unfortunately, Ka'upu died suddenly and unexpectedly in 2011 in his early 50s. However, in its new incarnation Hapa continues to draw from jazz, folk, blues, bluegrass, Latin, flamenco, rock, Irish music and slam poetry as well as traditional Hawaiian music. Hapa's debut CD in 1995 became the biggest selling album ever by a Hawaiian group, and they have since released eight albums. Mele A Paku`i/Ho`okumu can be found on their 2002 album In the Name of Love.