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Dennis Kamakahi: The Best Slackkey Ever

Updated on November 17, 2012

Aloha! Welcome to the Reverend Dennis Kamakahi Lens!

Dennis David Ka-hekili-mamao-i-kalani-keha  ( The Distant Thunder In The Highest Heavens ) Kamakahi is one of the best known Hawai'ian musicians in the world. A two time Grammy winner, Uncle Dennis (Uncle is a term of respect in Hawai'i and doesn't denote blood relationship) makes his guitar truly sing.Born on March 31, 1953 in Honolulu, his musical journey began at the age of three, playing the ukulele with his father and grandfather.

By the time he was ten, Uncle Dennis had started playing guitar, and at the young age of fourteen, he had begun composing his own music. A legend was busy coming to life! 

By the 1970s, Uncle Dennis had discovered that he had another calling in addition to music - God was calling him to the ministry. He was ordained in 1977, and founded the Ka Leo Mana mission in Hawai'i. 

Uncle Dennis has a large and happy family, its most recent addition a beautiful granddaughter who he and his lovely wife adopted in 2012.

This is music not to be missed. It is music from the heart and of the heart, music from the soul and of the soul. It is the spirit of Aloha.

 

Any proceeds earned from this lens via advertising or anything else will go directly to aiding Uncle Dennis's mission. 

If you enjoy this lens or find it to be useful and informative, please rate it up at the very top of the page!

Congratulations on winning the 2009 Hawaiian Music GRAMMY AWARD! - Woohoo!

Uncle Dennis and a bunch of other exquisite slack key players took home the Grammy for Hawai'ian music in 2009 with the amazing "The Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Vol. 2" album.

This is Uncle Dennis' third Grammy win, of what I personally hope will be a long long list to come.

Congratulations, Uncle Dennis and friends!

The Top Five Reasons Dennis Kamakahi is the my favorite slack key player

  • Uncle Dennis is an amazing guitarist.
  • He has a rich, mellow voice.
  • He writes songs that melt your heart.
  • “It’s the sweetest sound you’ll ever hear,” according to Uncle Dennis (referring to slack key)
  • If you liked the music in Lilo and Stitch, you'll love Uncle Dennis!

Videos of Uncle Dennis' Music

Turn up your speakers and kick back in a comfortable chair while you listen to these beautiful mele!

Great stuff about Dennis Kamakahi

He Mele Aloha
He Mele Aloha

He Mele Aloha: A Hawaiian Songbook is a collection of over 260 songs, listed alphabetically, about 40 of which are hapa-haole songs. It is intended to encourage the tradition of kanikapila. The emphasis is on accurate Hawaiian lyrics and translation. Simple chording and fingering for the ukulele is shown for each song. The lyrics are large for easy reading. It is in a workbook format, with ring binding, large print and room to make notes. Kanikapila: The word kanikapila, literally "play music,"...

 

Discography

‘Ia ‘Oe E Ka La Vol. 1 (1973)

Waimea Music Festival (1974)

Eddie Kamae presents the Sons of Hawaii HS1001 (1974)

The Music of Hawaii - The National Geographic Society (1974)

Eddie Kamae presents the Sons of Hawaii HS2002 (1975)

Eddie Kamae presents the Sons of Hawaii HS3003 (1976)

Eddie Kamae presents the Sons of Hawaii HS4004 (1977)

Christmas Time with Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawaii HS5005 (1978)

Eddie Kamae presents the Sons of Hawaii HS6006 (1979)

Eddie Kamae presents the Best of the Sons of Hawaii HS7007 (1981)

Pua’ena (1996)

‘Ohana (1998)

Hui Aloha (1999)

Crossroads w/Na ‘Oiwi (2001)

Na ‘Oiwi - The Sequel (2002)

The Gift of Music - From Father To Son (2003)

Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawaii (2004)

David Kamakahi - "PA'ANI" (2004)

Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch - DVD (2005)

Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch CD (2005)

Dennis Kamakahi - Featured artist on Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar (2007) (Nominated for Grammy Award (2006)

Dennis and David Kamakahi - Featured artists on Hawaiian Slack Key Kings (2007) (Nominated for Grammy Award (2006)

Eddie Kamae and Friends (2006)

Dennis Kamakahi receives 1st Grammy Award (Hawaiian Music category) for the slack key guitar CD - Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Live in Maui (2007)

Dennis Kamakahi nominated for Grammy Award (Hawaiian Music category) for the slack key guitar CD - Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Live in Maui (2008)

Dennis Kamakahi receives 2nd Grammy Award (Hawaiian Music category) for the slack key guitar CD- Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Live in Maui (2008)

Dennis Kamakahi- Featured artist on The Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Live in Maui (2008)

Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawaii - Yesterday and Today (2008)

Dennis Kamakahi- Featured artist on The Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Vol.2 (2009)

Dennis Kamakahi - Featured artist on Amy Hanaiali'i's CD - Friends and Family.(2009)

Rev. Dennis Kamakahi- The Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (2009)

Eddie Kamae and the Sons of Hawaii - Yesterday and Today Vol.2 (2009)

Dennis Kamakahi receives 3rd Grammy Award (Hawaiian Music category) for the slack key guitar CD- The Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Vol. 2 (2009)

Dennis Kamakahi records on Amy Hanaiali'i and the Hawaiian Slack Key Masters (2010)

Dennis Kamakahi featured on movie soundtrack of George Clooney's film "The Descendants" (2011)

Dennis Kamakahi and Stephen Inglis - "Waimaka Helelei" CD (2011)

Get some of the man's music!

Uncle Dennis has a really huge discography. Here are some of my personal favorites of his albums!

Hui Aloha
Hui Aloha

This is my favorite album featuring Uncle Dennis.

 
Treasures Of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar
Treasures Of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar

One of the two Grammy winning albums featuring the man.

 
Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Volume 2
Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Volume 2

Uncle Dennis' most recent Grammy award winning album!

 

Uncle Dennis' Awards.

  • 1978 - Nani Awards from the Hawaiian Music Foundation for the best new Hawaiian Song, "Sweet Weuweu".
  • 1980 - Na Hoku Hanohano Award from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts New Hawaiian Song of the Year: "E Hihiwai"[9]
  • 1985 - Frank P. Kernohan Award from the Kamehameha Schools for distinguished achievement in the field of Music.
  • 1987 - Honolulu City Council Resolution for distinguished achievement in the field of Hawaiian Music.
  • 1997 - Na Hoku Hanohano Awards - Best Male Vocalist of the Year Nomination from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts for the album Pua'ena (Dancing Cat Records).
  • 1999 - Na Hoku Hanohano Awards - Best Male Vocalist of the Year Nomination from the (Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts) for the album Ohana (Dancing Cat Records).
  • 2001 - Proclamation from the Office of the Mayor, City and County of Honolulu designating August 19, 2001 Dennis Kamakahi Kiho'alu
  • 2001, 19th Annual Slack Key Guitar Festival Day
  • 2005 - Na Hoku Hanohano Awards from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts - Kiho'alu Award (Slack Key Award)
  • 2006 - State Foundation on Culture and Arts Individual Fellowship (State of Hawaii)
  • 2006 - Featured Artist on 2 Hawaiian Slack Key CDs both of which nominated for the 49th Grammy Awards to be held on February 11, 2007 in Los Angeles, CA.
  • 2007 - Grammy Award winner for Best Hawaiian Album- Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Live in Maui.
  • 2007 - State of Hawaii House of Representatives Resolution in honor of winning Grammy Award in the Hawaiian Music category.
  • 2008 - featured artist on CD Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar nominated for the 50th Grammy Awards to be held February 10, 2008, in Los Angeles, CA.
  • 2008 - Grammy Award winner for Best Hawaiian Album, Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Live in Maui.
  • 2009 - Nominated for third Grammy Award for both performer and producer for the slack key guitar album - The Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Live in Maui.
  • 2009 - Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts.
  • 2009 - Newly inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame with formal induction ceremonies to be held on May 2010.
  • 2009 - Nominated for third Grammy Award on two CDs. The Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Vol. 2 and Amy Hanaiali'i's Family and Friends of Hawaii.
  • 2009 - Wins 3rd Grammy Award for The Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Vol. 2.
  • 2010 - Nominated for fourth Grammy Award for the CD - Amy Hanaiali'i and the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Masters.
  • 2011 - Featured on movie soundtrack of George Clooney's film "THE DESCENDANTS".
  • 2012 - Wins Slack Key Album of the Year 2012 Award from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts for the CD Waimaka Helelei (Aumakua Records).

Other Hawai'ian links

Music, culture, language, food..

Let's Talk Story!

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    • APackageAtTheDoor profile image

      APackageAtTheDoor 6 years ago

      Dennis is awesome. We have seen him live a few times and have really enjoyed each performance. Also really like his son David and the stuff they do together. Thanks for the great lens!

      Gary & Maria

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 10 years ago

      YAY! All about slack key and Dennis! Very cool!

      5 HUGE STARS!

      Who is Col Brennan

      http://www.squidoo.com/coltbrennan/

      Aloha, Kathy

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