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Biography

Ledward Kaapana is a Hawaiian musician, best known for playing in the slack key guitar style. He also plays steel guitar, ukulele, autoharp and bass guitar, and is a renowned falsetto singer.

Led grew up in a musical family living in a small black sand bay village of Kalapana where he states there were little distractions. "We didn't have electricity, not television, not even much radio, so we entertained ourselves. You could go to any house and everybody was playing music." At fourteen, he began performing professionally with his mother, Tina, and his uncle, the rarely-recorded slack-key master Fred Punahoa.

His professional breakthrough came a few years later, when he was a part of Hui 'Ohana, with his twin brother, Nedward Kaapana, and his cousin Dennis Pavao. Hui 'Ohana released fourteen albums, each of which was a commercial success. Kaapana left the group eventually, then released six albums as the leader of another trio, I Kona, and performed with the Pahinui Brothers, Aunty Genoa Keawe, David Chun, Barney Isaacs and Uncle Joe Keawe.

His first solo album, Simply Slack Key, was released in 1988 on Paradise Records; the album won the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for "Instrumental Album of the Year" in 1989. He released Led Live in 1994 on Dancing Cat Records. He has performed and recorded with acoustic lap-steel player Bob Brozman, and released several more albums on the Dancing Cat label from the late 1990s onward.

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