The musical talents of Henry Kapono has been embedded into the hearts of Hawai’i Locals for nearly 5 decades. His Hawaiian & Island contemporary music creations has received numerous Na Hoku Hano Hano Awards including Male Vocalist of the Year, Song of the Year, Single of the Year, and Album of the Year. Henry Kapono is also an award winning and Grammy nominated singer/songwriter.
Henry Kapono Ka’aihue of pure Hawaiian; Kanaka Ma’oli, is a native of Oahu, raised just outside of Waikiki from an area called Kapahulu. Known by most simply by “Kapono”, the the Hawaiian word for righteous.
Growing up, Kapono’s athletic abilities earned him a baseball scholarship to the highly regarded Punahou Academy in Honolulu. He graduated high school in 1967. After high school he earned a football scholarship to the University of Hawaii and dreamed of having a career playing professional football. Injuries prevented him from fulfilling his dream as a football player, in a profound way it moved him toward his passion for music and allowed him to fully realize his potential as an artist.
Kapono started singing in a children’s church choir at the young age of 5. As a youngster, his dad introduced him to the ukulele. Watching one of his friends play the guitar, Kapono picked up the guitar, learned a few chords and has been hooked playing the guitar ever since. Like many other Hawaiian musicians Kapono had no formal musical training, he taught himself how to play by listening to records, radio and watching other guitarists play.
Kapono’s professional career started as a solo artist in little joints around Waikiki. This led to a short stint playing rock in a local island group called “Pakalolo.” The group played the islands and the far east, Vietnam and Thailand.
Returning to Hawai’i Kapono met a man named Cecilio Rodriguez on the North Shore of Oahu in 1973. An impromptu jam session led to perfectly blended harmony. The rest was history, “Cecilio & Kapono” became an instant phenomenon that took Hawaii by storm. Blending together their distinctive and individual talents, they gave contemporary and folk rock a new perspective. Within eight months Cecilio & Kapono had a recording contract with Columbia Records, a first for a Hawaii group, crowning them the largest recording artists to come out of Hawaii.
Cecilio & Kapono [C&K] is one of Hawaii’s most successful music duo’s. Together they have released more than a dozen full-length albums which have incorporated various genres including Top 40 pop, modern soul, funk, disco, rock, and traditional Hawaiian.
In 1981 Kapono pursued a solo career featuring an incredibly broad range of musical expressions through 17 solo albums (to date).
Complimenting his musical talents and career Kapono is a proprietor of an island nightclub named Dukes.