Hawaiian supergroup Hapa returns


:: Hapa :: Boulder Theater :: April 7 :: 


By Karen Schneider

Aloha! The dynamic Hawaiian super group HAPA (Barry Flannagan and Nathan Aweau) continues to be as dazzling as their homeland. After bringing home four Na Hoku Hanohano awards (including Album Of The Year and Contemporary Hawaiian Album Of The Year) for their breakthrough album Maui, HAPA returns to Boulder for their third annual spring luau.

“We have a really nice following in Boulder. I think it will be a great, really hang loose night.” Barry Flannagan told The Marquee in a recent interview.

Flannagan’s roots run deep in Boulder. After all, it was in Boulder that he was first introduced to his love of Hawaiian music. Rae Dryzmala, a good friend of Flannagan, introduced him to the slack key mastery of Gabby Pahinui, and Flannagan has been hooked on the islands ever since. Soon after his introduction to the music, Flannagan made the move to Hawaii to begin his journey into Hawaiian music.  

HAPA’s newest release It’s A Slack Key World is a self-produced compilation with solo music from both Flannagan and Aweau, and featuring guest artists such as Gaylord Holomalia and Ernie Cruz Jr.

“Slack key records are really the only thing that seem to be noticed by the Grammy foundation, concerning Hawaiian music,” Flannagan joked. “So we figure that we’ll put one out every couple of years. We got help from Pat Simmons (Doobie Brothers) and his son.”

Also recently released was HAPA Maui, the pair’s first DVD project, hosted by Peter Fonda and originally aired as a local Hawaii PBS special.

Some unique features of HAPA’s live shows are chanter, hula teacher, storyteller and (most importantly) jokester Charles Ku’upu and, of course, the hula dancers. The band travels with two professional full-time hula dancers, former and now returning HAPA dancer Naomi Pi‘ilaniho‘omalamalamaokalani Klein, and 2002 Miss Aloha Hula winner Malia Ann Kawailanamalie Petersen.

In addition to the Hawaiian theatrics, Flannagan said that family is a central theme in Hapa shows.

“It’s hard for me to think of people as fans,” Flannagan said. “We tend to have a lot of personal relationships. Every city, one of us either has a family member or somebody that they are really close to. That really kind of sets the stage every time we play.” 

This year’s spring show will be especially meaningful for Flannagan. After living in Hawaii for many years, the friend that first introduced him to Hawaiian slack key music has moved back to Boulder. Now, Flannagan will be performing that same kind of Hawaiian music before said friend, just a few blocks away from where he heard it for the very first time.

This year’s luau will also include leis available fromLittle Grass Shack, which can be pre-ordered at www.spreadingaloha.com, or they can be purchased at the Theater on the night of the show.

:: Hapa ::

:: Boulder Theater ::

:: April 7 ::


Spectate if you Gravitate:

• Gabby Pahinui

• IZ

• Hawaiian Style Band


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1 Comment

  1. Kumu Hula Iolana Kaimikaua on

    Aloha Barry, May 22, 2009

    I am a Kumu hula, Iolana Kaimikaua, in California, we have chosen to dance your beautiful song “lei Pikake” with my Halau for the 2009 Ehula Mau hula competition in long beach california, on the week end of the 5th and 6th of September 09. This event is somewhat equivlent to the Merry monarch in Hawaii. We bring together many halaus from around the U.S.

    Usually the judges during pre competition Begin with lots of questions as part of their competion on language dance etc.

    My choice of your song “lei pikake” will attract many questions concerning the lovely Princess Kaiulani. Our girls and musicians and I will guarantee you we will do justice to this song.

    One of their key questions will most likely be centered around the background that inspired you to write this beautiful melody.

    I would certainly be appreciative if you can help me out here and give me your background on this subject.

    Mahalo for your consideration

    Iolana Kaimikaua
    email candyk11@verizon.net
    Tel 310 214 8276

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