“Waipuna” means gentle spring – but try telling that to those hoping to win a Na Hoku Hanohano Award (i.e. the Hawaiian Grammy Awards). For the past few years, Waipuna has been more like a mighty tsunami, wiping out the competition and snagging seven crystal trophies, including those in the “Group of the Year,” “Island Contemporary” and “Single of the Year” categories. The source of their strength? A unique sound that springs from ancestral traditions even as it ventures into new waters. Joining the group for the Hawaii: Next Generation concert at Irvine Barclay Theatre will be guest artists Kawika Kahiapo (whose tune “Life in These Islands” was named Song of the Year) and Jeff Peterson, the two-time Grammy winner and master of the ki-ho’alu, better known as the slack key guitar.
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