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Daniel Ho

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Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Daniel Ho spent his childhood immersed in the study of music. He studied organ, ukulele, classical guitar, piano, electric guitar, bass, and drums. He played in his high-school bands while running a series of garage bands and was an accomplished enough pianist to place in the semifinals of the Young Keyboard Artists International Piano Competition at the University of Michigan. He moved to Los Angeles after graduation and attended the Grove School of Music, where he studied composing, arranging, and film scoring. His father became ill during his time in college, which compelled him to return to Hawaii, where he attended the University of Hawaii's music program on scholarship. A job in publishing persuaded him to return to California, where he still resides. After moving there, Ho found himself gradually transitioning from playing the keyboards to the slack key guitar. His playing style was also in transition. Over the course of his career, Ho has contributed to more than 30 records, ranging from pop styles to smooth jazz and contemporary Hawaiian music. He was the leader of the commercially successful smooth jazz group Kilauea, recording six albums with them that all broke the Billboard Top Ten. When Ho broke with Kilauea to focus on his solo career, he began to infuse more Hawaiian elements into his music. His debut solo album, Watercolors, issued in 1999 by Aire Music, blended elements of his smooth jazz style with Hawaiian slack key guitar. His follow-up album, Voyage Home, also issued in 1999, offered more modern interpretations of the slack key guitar, and incorporated jazz and blues styles. That album was such a success that Ho was asked to record with slack key master George Kahumoku. The resulting album, Hymns of Hawaii, was released in late 1999, also by Aire Music. Beyond Blue followed a year later. A pair of albums, On a Gentle Island Breeze and This Dream Begins, appeared in 2012. ~ Stacia Proefrock

Top Songs

Years Active:

'90s, '00s, '10s