Na Palapalai Turns 15 With Album No. 4

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - November 04, 2009
Na Palapalai: Kehau Tamure and Kuana Torres Kahele

They’re back!

After a four-year break, Kuana Torres Kahele and Kehau Tamure of Na Palapalai just released their fourth album.

Long-awaited and overdue, the release of Nanea isn’t the only thing that’s got this group’s gears moving full blast. Na Palapalai also celebrates 15 years of aloha-ing the world with its rich vocals and unbeatable falsetto harmonies.

“Everything just worked out,” says Kahele. “At first our focus was just the CD, and after we started for talk about the concerts, then I realized that this year we make 15 years.”

The group that swept the 2003 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards with five wins marches back on the music scene minus their former bassist and vocalist, Keao Costa.


“When it was just me and Kehau we were getting all these questions about how is Na Palalapai going to do it with just two people,” says Kahele, “but it’s always been the two of us because we’re the founders.

“Keao Costa wanted to do a solo album, so that’s what he was doing. And as a matter of fact, just this past Friday we did a gig with Keao. So we’re still very much good friends. And the future is uncertain - you never know, we might get back together.”

Besides the buzz behind the anniversary and album, there’s still more to celebrate. This marks an exciting time for the group. As they pounce on the scene, everything is now on their terms.

“What makes this so special is that this album is self-produced and we are no longer in contract,” says Kahele. “We did it all Na Palapalai, so we were given the chance to do what we wanted to do. So that’s why this time around the album is lovely. I love this album.”

The album’s creation was a gradual work in progress and allowed Na Palapalai to truly uncover what they love about music. The result is a piece that is very Na Palapalai - fresh old-Hawaiian songs that Kahele says “is a change for the better.”

“What I mean by that is that our past albums were great reflections of Na Palapalai, but I would say that this time around because we had no limitations.”

Since their break a few years back, Kahele and Tamure have moved back to their hometown of Hilo. And while they agree that Na Palapalai’s home is Hilo, they spend a huge chunk of their time commuting to Oahu for gigs such as their regular appearances at Chai’s Island Bistro.

To celebrate their album, anniversary and independence, Kahele and Tamure have a few Oahu engagements coming up. The first is a 15th Anniversary Concert Nov. 5 at the Hawaii Theatre with special guests Keali’i Reichel, Kupaoa, Melvina Liufau and Mark Yamanaka. Tickets cost $25 and $5 general, and $125 VIP and are available at

Next is a CD Release Party at Chai’s on Friday, Nov. 13, at 6 p.m., followed by their second CD release party Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Ala Moana’s Pakele Lounge and filmed for Pakele Live.

“Pretty soon music going be full time for me again, but for Kehau it always has been,” says Kahele, who is currently teaching in Hilo. “With the release of this new album and everything being so busy again, I figure I gotta stop work.”

Lots to celebrate, lots to do and lots of aloha - welcome back, Na Palapalai! ...

Helping out our neighbors and extended ohana is the true meaning of aloha here in the Islands. Clear Channel Radio Hawaii understands that and has stepped in to stage a four-hour “Kokua For The Pacific” fundraiser for the victims of recent natural disasters across the Pacific.

The concert, which will air live on KSSK, Island 98.5, Oceanic 16, KITV, KGMB, KHNL, KHON and on the Web, is happening Sunday, Nov. 15, from 1 to 5 p.m. at The Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace.

All proceeds from ticket sales, raffles and phone bank collections will go to the victims of the tsunami in Samoa, the typhoons in the Philippines and the earthquake in Indonesia.

“We want to send a loud message to our neighbors across the Pacific that their friends in Hawaii are here to support them in their time of need,” said Chuck Cotton, vice president and general manager for Clear Channel Radio Hawaii. “And to do that, we’re bringing together Hawaii’s best entertainers for an afternoon of songs, laughs and inspiration.”

Offering their kokua are Henry Kapono, Amy Hanaiali’i, Ten Feet, Makana, John Cruz, Micah G, Robi Kahakalau, Rebel Souljahz and Brother Noland, to name a few.

Tickets are available online at or can be purchased at the door. Cost is $5 for adults; free for children age 12 and under.

Scheduled television air times vary by station and are as follows: KGMB will air live from 1 to 5 p.m., KITV will air live 2-5 p.m., K-5 will air live from 1 to 5 p.m., KHON will air one hour of the live telecast and OC-16, and Clear Channel Radio Hawaii will air live on the Web. In addition, KSSK 92.3 FM, KSSK AM 590 and KDNN 98.5 will broadcast the event live.

For more information, contact any Clear Channel Hawaii radio station or visit ...

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