“Kaukahi” is the journey of four diverse Hawaiian men on different paths, all destined to meet. They joined together for one purpose: to live and share aloha wherever they go. This journey continues as their friendship deepens. The vision becomes clearer as they become more comfortable with who they were created to be, tapping into deep inner resources while at the same time connected by the Spirit. Whether singing, talking story, or laughing together, their synergy is obvious. Faith, and their love for one another, their families, Hawai’i, and the nations, is the common thread that keeps them bound with “singleness of purpose.”
With the local release of their first CD Life In These Islands, Kaukahi earned an impressive six Hoku nominations (Hawaii’s version of the Grammys) and took home the prize for Best Group of the Year and Best Song of the Year. Guitarist Kawika Kahiapo took home the Ki Ho’alu Hoku Award (Hawaiian Slack Key Performer) as well. This is just the beginning, where it all started … no one knows for sure.
They were all accomplished musicians and knew about each other, but all four had never played music together. They didn't all show up at Dean’s carport by accident. Kawika was not only a well known Hawaiian musician with two solo CD's on the market (one of them a Na Hoku Hanohano Award finalist), but also a highly respected "Kahu" (spiritual leader) who Dean wanted to meet.
Dean and Barrett had been friends for many years after their paths crossed during middle school at Kamehameha School. They remained connected, playing together in the band Pai’ea, who became well-known when their first CD became a Na Hoku Hanohano Award finalist. Pai’ea was about to record their second CD when the “Kaukahi” connections began. Dean also met Walt in 2003 at a park where each had taken their children. Walt, who is a cousin to the late Iz Kamakawiwo’ole, was playing his ‘ukulele while hanging out with his daughter. Walt and Dean's children started playing with each other while the fathers talked. Dean found it interesting to meet another fellow Hawaiian musician, who was also a “Kahu.”