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Led by founding member Kelly Boy DeLima, Hawaii's Kapena have spanned two generations of membership and are widely known for mixing reggae and pop with traditional island music. Formed in 1985 in the Kaimuki neighborhood of Honolulu, the original threesome of DeLima and brothers Teimoni and Tivaini Tatofi established Kapena as one of Hawaii's hardest-working bands. They made their recording debut in 1986 with Satisfaction Guaranteed, which they recorded live at one of their regular venues, Sparky's Lounge. It effectively put them on the map and set the table for 1988's Kapena and More album, which won them Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for Best Hawaiian Contemporary Album and Group of the Year. Throughout the '90s, Kapena continued to tour heavily and consistently deliver new albums like Wild Heart (1992) and Future Frontiers (1995), as well as a pair of greatest-hits collections.
By the end of the decade, the original trio had begun to slow down, and in 1998 DeLima began to integrate his children into the group's mix. Over the next decade, the group was gradually handed over to the next generation as the Tatofi brothers bowed out and siblings Kapena DeLima, Kalena DeLima, and Lilo DeLima joined their father as full-time members, bringing more contemporary influences with them; the band's later output became significantly more rock and reggae-oriented, with 2012's Kapena Is da Crew even offering some hip-hop tracks. The 30th anniversary of the group's original formation arrived in 2015, and Kapena offered a two-disc anthology that pulled from both their early and latter-day lineups. Following a handful of singles that flirted with EDM and mainstream pop, the group returned in 2017 with the more traditional-sounding Palena 'Ole. ~ Timothy Monger
- Honolulu, HI
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