Ryan Kamakakehau Fernandez – a Great Evening for Santa Cruz

  • 27 June 2014 6:30pm

Kamakakehau (Kamaka to friends) hails from Maui and is in the middle of a California tour.  A BRILLIANT leo ki’eki’e (falsetto) singer and úkulele player, and he is COMING TO OUR HOUSE!!!

If anyone could be described as having “Hawaiian heart and soul,” it would indeed be Ryan Kamakakehau Fernandez. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, this 6 week old African American infant was adopted by Robyn Naeʻole and brought to the shores of Maui, Hawaiʻi. It is here that his new family and home shaped “Kamaka” into one of Hawaiʻi’s newest and most refreshing talents.

Kamaka’s education played a huge part in his love and appreciation for the Hawaiian culture and music. He is a graduate of the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (Kula Kaiapuni, King Kekaulike High School) and is proud to be a fluent speaker of the Hawaiian language.

As he studied – and lived – Hawaiian culture and language, a new-found love emerged from within as he became enamored with the ʻukulele and the art of leo kiʻekiʻe (falsetto) singing. He was the 2003 winner of falsetto legend Richard Hoʻopiʻiʻs Falsetto contest, (part of the annual Aloha Festivals celebrations) and from that point on, Kamaka continued to astonish audiences with the range of his voice, the strum of his ʻukulele, and his heart…which is truly Hawaiian. As Kamaka states… “I love my mom, my ‘ohana, my friends and this wonderful culture that I was lucky enough to be immersed in. Hawaiʻi is my heart and soul.”  Kamaka he worked with multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano (Hawai’i’s version of the Grammys) award-winning producer Dave Tucciarone on his debut solo album “Wahi Mahalo,” for which Kamakakehau won a 2013 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award!  Kamaka will have CDs for purchase and he will be happy to sign them if you wish.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see and hear Kamaka “üp close and personal” at Pono.  He will be joined by a bassist, a guitarist and perhaps a steel player – more info coming soon.

As is the custom at Pono, there will be no cover charge, but a $10 “donation” will be encouraged at the door, for we must reward this remarkable musician.