Kuana Torres Kahele (born September 7, 1978) is a Hawaiian musician, vocalist, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and educator from Hilo, Hawaii. Known primarily for his original acoustic compositions, Kahele arranges traditional Hawaiian music as well, performing and recording with instruments such as ukulele, guitar, ipu, and bass. The majority of his lyrics are written and performed in the Hawaiian language. After learning kane dancing and mele writing in his teens, in 1995 Kahele co-founded Nā Palapalai, a Hawaiian music group that has released seven albums. Several have charted in the top five on the Billboard Top World Albums chart, and the group has won a large number of Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, including Group of the Year. Kahele released his first solo album, Kaunaloa, in 2012, which reached No. 2 on the Top World Albums Chart and won Kahele five Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year. He has released several charting solo albums since, and in 2014 released two volumes from his Music for the Hawaiian Islands series. Also in 2014 Kahele voiced the lead character in Lava, an animated short film by Pixar. Kahele regularly teaches cultural workshops and other classes, and operates the Na Lei Lanakila O Ni'ihau halau on the island of Ni'ihau. In Japan he runs the Kuana School of Hawaiian Music & Culture, teaching approximately 200 combined students in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.
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