Kuana is joined by the ladies of Hālau Nāpua’ihilaumāewa, his students from Japan. Monthly Kuana travels to Fukuoka, Osaka and Tokyo to teach classes in Hawai'i Culture. Tonight’s performance is made up of dancers from those schools. Ladies range in ages from 26 to 66 and are very dedicated to learning the art of Hula. Many of them are coming off a tour with his group, Na Palapalai, performing at 8 sold out concerts.
Kuana Torres Kahele has been involved in the music and hula scene of Hilo since he was 6 years old. He trained as a kane dancer under legendary Hilo kumu hula Johnny Lum Ho until the age of 13. Once he was discovered to have exceptional musical abilities he was pulled from the hula line and added as a permanent halau musician. Kuana’s photographic musical memory allowed the kumu to compose songs and have them recited later, as needed. It became a Hawaiian Music Boot Camp of sorts, training him in the classics of Hawaiian music and prepping him for what was to come as a professional musician.
On April 8, 2014 Kuana began to release a six CD series entitled, "Music for the Hawaiian Islands" with "Vol. 1 Hawai'i Keawe." Each CD paid tribute to an individual island with original music from Kuana, written specifically for hula. Never before has an extensive and thorough musical tribute to the Hawaiian islands ever been released. His poetry laden lyrics illustrate the beauty of Hawai'i while documenting everything from important locations to island winds and specific rains. The legacy left by this collection has continued to improve it’s value for years to come as an inspiration for Hula and as a passionate documentation of all that we love about Hawai'i. In 2016, Kuana completed this momentous project, contributing almost 100 new songs for Hula, in honor of Hawai'i.