Barry Flanagan returns to The Shedd's Jaqua Concert Hall for Hapa's 5th appearance, joined by Hapa's newest member, Ron Kuala`au. Born in Honolulu and raised in Kailua on the windward side of O'ahu, Ron's earliest memories are of large family gatherings with lots of music and singing. In the early 1980s Ron moved to Maui and began performing professionally, finding audiences who resonated with his soulful vocals and beautifully penned Hawaiian songs. After releasing five full length solo albums, Ron joins Hapa to the delight of founding member and Hapa's songwriter, Barry Flanagan.
"Ron was one of my first Hawaiian music teachers and one of the main influences on the "Hapa sound" that we found in the 1980's," says Barry. "His harmony and guitar arrangements left an indelible mark on me and that inspiration can certainly be heard on our first self-titled Hapa release."
The New York Times calls Hapa "the most successful Hawaiian music troupe in recent history." Often styled the "Sound of Maui", the music created by Hapa evokes a place that many critics have referred to as heavenly. The overriding quality of their music is one of beauty and serenity, found in the majestic tones of the oli (chant), mele (song), the elegant movements of the sacred dance known as hula, and the exhilarating innovative sounds of virtuoso slack key guitar.