Keoki and ohana originally come from the Kalihi Valley and Nu’uaru areas of O’ahu. Raised on music, his kapuna (elders) sang and played to a variety of traditional and hapa haole music. It was during the resurgence of Hawaiian culture and music in the 70’s that he and his ohana realized the importance of carrying on and perpetuating the different styles of Hawaiian music.
Although making a transition to the Mainland is sometimes challenging, having the opportunity and privilege of playing with kumus (teachers) like Uncle Hollis Baker (Kaliponi Strings) and Uncle Saichi Kawahara (Kapalakiko Hawaiian Band) made it easier and so much more enjoyable. Both kumus perpetuated their love of the culture and the music and believed it should be joyously shared … a tradition carried on by Keoki.
Currently, Keoki focuses his attention on a monthly kanikapila (jam session) at The Strum Shop. It’s here that he continues to share and blend Hawaiian culture and the ukulele … using music to bring people together who do not speak the language but dream of sharing in the aloha.