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Willie K

The release of Awthilima: Reflections, in 2000, marked a return to traditional Hawaiian music by guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Willie K. (born Willie Kahaiali'i). The son of influential Hawaiian musician Manu Kahaiali'i, Willie K. had previously played an essential role in the development of contemporary Hawaiian music. Equally inspired by jazz, blues, and R&B, he had provided a modern twist to the traditional sounds of his homeland. Raised on the island of Maui, Willie K. became a musical veteran at an early age. Performing, along with his brothers, in his father's band, at the age of ten, he played with a lengthy series of high school groups, often appearing simultaneously with as many as eight bands. Temporarily moving to San Francisco with hopes of launching a career as a musician, he returned to Maui after a few years. Although his first three albums were highly successful, receiving Na Hoku Hanohano awards (Hawaii's equivalent of a Grammy) from the Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts, his next two releases on the Round Island label were disappointing. Willie K. was much more successful as a producer on three albums for Amy Hanaiali'i, winning two awards as Producer of the Year and helping Hanaiali'i to win awards for Album of the Year, Best Female Vocalist, Song of the Year, and Hawaiian Album of the Year. During breaks from producing a new album for Hanaiali'i, he worked on his own Christmas album, Willie Kalikimaka. The album, which included a duet with Willie Nelsonof "Away in a Manger," was the biggest-selling Christmas album in 1999 and topped the worldbeat charts compiled by Billboard. Willie K., who continues to perform every Monday night at Hapa's Nightclub in Kihei, Maui, released a greatest hits retrospective, The Uncle in Me in 2000. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Hawaii Rough Rider (Single)

Comments

I heard him sing "Amazing Grace" at Kobe's on Maui during their Karaoke Night in the bar. MESMERIZING! You could hear a pin drop in the whole restaurant. A true God given talent!!!
Oh my goodness!!! Never heard this or of him, AMAZING!!!!! I love it!!!
I remember him back when he went as Billy. He went dancing with Cindy M at "Tiki's".
Average.
This is B-RAD in Denver, Colorado Tuesday July 16th. I could not Recall Willie K off the Bat from Memory. However I am FOREVER KAMA'AINA TO DA CORE BRA! I Stay da'kine, NANAKULI, WAIAN'AE! MAKAHA, Long Time Cus. I was Ha'Nai Bra by O'Mana Noa. Where I Met Sonny Noa, Billy Pa'nui, A'TA, Keoki, A Pua'lawa where 1 day/night turned Life Threatening so Not Everyone did I meet 'un like me. When I left I was Joyous; Yet Crying at the Same Time. I Mostly da'kine, Nanakuli Hao'le 5th Rd. Kawao Ave
b_pobst
Wow! I saw Willie K live a few weeks ago performing a couple of songs as part of the entertainmen t before a speech by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. I live Oahu and it's a shame he lives Maui since I would love to see him perform live more often. He is extremely versatile and can play like his fingers are on fire! He also performed an operatic aria (Nessun Dorma) and I almost fell out of my chair he was THAT good!
rdsinc1
Would really love to hear his rock and roll that he played in his early days in the Lahaina bars in the early eighties. He really rocked and the blend with traditional Hawaian sounds were the best!
giacasto
glad to hear he is still performing on Maui.. my home:) even if I stay mainland now.
wkaser
Willie K is my Maui Soul Bro!!! He plays Mulligan's on the Blue in Wialea and Cassanova's in Makawao. It ain't Maui without Willie!!!!
This is a bit different than the normal genre of music in which i enjoy....but I like this! Thanks Pandora
giacasto
he is awesome.. Hapas has been closed for ages.. what is he doing now I wonder?
Bra last time I saw you was at pizza hut with pastor Laki :)

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