Cecilio & Kapono

Saturday, November 21, 7:30pm at the Castle Theater, MACC, Kahului
242-SHOW or www.mauiarts.org

The price we pay to live in paradise is that we’re often so busy we don’t get to enjoy it. Between the multiple jobs, family and bills that keep piling up, it’s tough to appreciate the sweet sea breeze, to admire sunsets painted in every color of sweet, ripe Lilikoi. It’s depressing to live a dream vacation spot, and always feel like you need one.

But not when you’re listening to Cecilio & Kapono, or C & K as their fans know them. You can almost feel the stress and tension melting off. Listening to C & K is like sipping a pina colada on the beach, hot sand between your toes…except you can do it in your car, while sipping your coffee and checking your hair. (Not that I’d recommend that.) The best way to listen to Cecilio & Kapono is surrounded by good friends, relaxing and unwinding. C & K capture that idyllic Hawaii, the one where we take the time to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Cecilio and Kapono met on the North Shore of Oahu in 1973, jammed together, liked what they heard and the rest is history. When I asked how many albums they’ve recorded—between touring the world—Cecilio told me to ask Kapono. “I think maybe twelve,” Kapono responded. (Wikipedia tells me 14.) When asked about his favorite place to perform, Kapono simply replied, “Anywhere I’m performing.” Asked what his favorite song is to perform, Cecilio said his favorite song is whichever he’s working on. “We write the songs, and you pick your favorite.”

Although Kapono describes himself as shy, it’s hard to believe him in the face of his accomplishments. He’s won multiple Na Hoku Hono Hono awards, and authored an award-winning children’s book. I asked him how he manages and he replied, “Performing helps me. I love to do it. I talk through my music.” Kapono is a local boy, and throughout high school and college he remained very athletic. He says if hadn’t chosen to play music, he would probably be a professional football player. Kapono was introduced to music at a young age, when he began singing in a choir. In addition to singing, guitar, bass, ukelele and keyboard, he also has some experience with drums.

Outgoing and personable, Cecilio originally came to Hawaii from the Mainland, where he received formal training. He’s versed in a range of instruments, including guitar, piano, various hand percussion instruments, mandolin, congas and harmonica.

Despite their divergent pasts, Cecilio and Kapono agree on what message they want their music to get across: love. “Whether it’s finding love, losing love, unrequited…any form of love is the message we’re trying to convey,” Kapono said. “ Love, peace, happiness. I want people to feel happy; I want them to feel good.”

C & K have been together for 36 years. With that sort of longevity, they’ve got to be doing something right. While they both continue to pursue solo careers, they still reunite yearly to create the music that moves us, and more importantly, gets some of us to stop moving. MauiTime, Ynez Tongson