Kuana 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.
In 2011, he released his long awaited solo debut, KAUNALOA. It won every major award at that year’s Na Hoku Hanohano Awards including Album of the Year and Song of the Year. He was applauded for his songwriting abilities and contribution to Hawaiian music. His release was a welcome breath of fresh air in both style and content allowing for the creation of new hula from kumu all over the world. Subsequent blockbuster releases included his “HILO FOR THE HOLIDAYS” Christmas release which later won Christmas Album of the Year and 2013’s self-titled, “KAHELE“.
Kuana currently maintains his own Hawaiian Music & Culture School in Japan. He teaches in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka with over 200 combined students. He offers courses in voice, haku mele, mele hula, fresh lei making, ukulele and guitar. He is one of the most popular entertainers performing in Hawaii and Japan. He performs and teaches cultural workshops all over the world.