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Bruddha IZ's Beautiful Hawaiian Music

Updated on April 15, 2010

Island Music Island Hearts

"Don't be overly concerned about the outward beauty
that depends on jewelry, beautiful clothes, 
or hair arrangement.
Be beautiful inside, in your hearts, 
with the lasting charm of a gentle and quiet spirit.
~ Ka Pôhaku

Bruddha IZ

Israel Kamakawiwo`ole – His Life

May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997


(As taken from

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole is born on May 20, 1959.

Although Iz has been most closely associated with Makaha and Niihau, his roots are in Kaimuki, where his parents met and married, settling at 9th and Kalua streets. He grew up playing in Palolo River and going to Kaimuki Theater. He was in his early teens when the family moved to Makaha and entered the world of music. Israel and his brother Skippy formed the Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau with Louis “Moon” Kauakahi, Sam Gray and Jerome Koko. The best known line-up was Kauakahi, Izzy, John and Jerome Koko.

Izzy’s brother Skippy Kamakawiwo’ole dies of a heart attack at age 28 in 1982.

Izzy marries his childhood sweetheart Marlene. They soon have a daughter, Ceslieanne “Wehi.”

1985 — The Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau won Best Traditional Hawaiian Album and Group of the Year at the annual Hoku Awards ceremony.

1987 — The Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau album “Hoala” won Haku Mele, Traditional Hawaiian Album and Group of the Year Hoku awards.

1991 — Israel’s first solo album “Ka ‘Ano’i” won Hoku awards for Contemporary Album of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year.

1992 — The Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau’s “Makaha Bash 3,” on which Israel is included, won Group of the Year and Engineering Hokus. Israel also joined Roland Cazimero, Henry Kapono and Cyril Pahinui in recording the song “Broken Promise,” which won Single of the Year.

1993 — “Ho’oluana,” by the Makaha Sons won Hoku Awards for Engineering, Haku Mele, Traditional Hawaiian Album of the Year, Group of the Year and Album of the Year. This was the last album Israel recorded with the Sons. Iz had a history of health problems and hospitalizations because of his weight, at times more than 757 pounds, which had made it difficult to tour and perform with the Sons.

1993 — “Facing Future” is recorded by a solo Iz, after 17 years performing with the Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau. The album contains less Jawaiian and more traditional Hawaiian music. However, the album is overshadowed by Hapa’s strong debut.

1994 — Voted favorite entertainer of the year by HARA and the public. Krash Kealoha suggested the public vote category.

On Iz’s 1995’s album “E Ala E,” Iz is reunited through studio magic with his late brother Skippy on the title song. Iz’s EKG reading forms part of the album art.

1996 — At the Hoku Awards ceremony, Izzy was singing on stage when he was joined by his ex-bandmates, the Makaha Sons.

1997 — Izzy’s album “n Dis Life” won Album of the Year, Male Vocalist, Island Contemporary Album and Graphics awards. He was also voted Favorite Hawaiian Entertainer by the public. Mountain Apple Co. president Jon de Mello and Co-producer Ho’omalia accepted the awards for the ailing, hospitalized Iz.

List of Recordings (With The Makaha Sons)

“No Kristo” 1976

“Kahea o Keale” 1977

“Keala” 1978

“Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau” 1979

“Mahalo Ke Akua” 1981

“Puana Hou Me Ke Aloha” 1984

“Ho’ola” 1986

“Makaha Bash 3 Live” 1991

“Ho’oluana” 1992

List of Recordings (Solo)

“Ka’ano’i” 1990

“Facing Future” 1993

“E Ala E” 1995

“In Dis Life” 1996

“The Man and His Music – Iz In Concert” 1998

“Alone In Iz World” 2001

“Wonderful World” 2007

18 Responses to “Israel Kamakawiwo`ole – His Life”

Não conhecia Israel! me apaixonei pela sua voz e suas músicas.Sua versão para Wonderful World é maravilhosa, uma das mais lindas que já ouvi.

By Lígia on Feb 25, 2009

My mother travels to Hawaii every year and many years ago she brought home one of Israel’s CD’s, I fell in love with his voice. Over the years I lost track of that disc but have recently been so excited to hear his “Over the Rainbow” on a local radio station. They play it everyday and his beautiful voice brings and immediate sense of peace and joy to my spirit.

What a wonderful life

By Tina on Mar 1, 2009

I had been trying to find out who did this rendition of somewhere over the rainbow with no luck until today. I was so very excited to learn the artist name and then I was so very sadden to find out that he had passed away. I was looking forward to many more songs. I did go out and buy one of his CD’s today. I love to listen to this song. IZ voice is just so calm and soothing. I know he was a great and caring man.

By Lovace Bowman on Mar 19, 2009

I am almost 80 years old which goes to prove this wonderful man’s music knows no age boundaries. I was introduced to Iz’s music about 2 years ago by my daughter, she said, Mom, you have to hear this man–I was immideatly smitten!!! I regret that I didn’t herar of him sooner so I could have been to one of his concerts–no matter where!!Well I had a lot of his cd’s which I loved, even though I couldn’t understand athe words of a few, I still love the music–simply beautiful. This man has the most beautiful voice i have heard in a long, long time–what a loss to the world!! Anyhow, my oldest daughter, Debbie who was only 53, died on my birthday, Jan’ 17,1009, this year.We had a cd made of her whole life to play at her funeral and the three songs I requested were Iz’s and my favorites–”In This Life”–”Over The Rainbow”–and Wind Beneath My Wings.”I have this beautiful CD of two of my Favorite people on this earth–my beautiful daughter and this beautiful man whio left us with such beautiful music. I am a Fl southern gal–never been further than Alabama but this music takes me to places I can only dream of. My brother whom I loved dearly, was in the navy during the 2nd war and he was stationed in Hawaii for a while and he used to tell me how beautiful the islands were so I have always longed to go there but never had the chance–Iz helped me live my dream with his music–his memory will live on. Thank you Iz, Jean

By Jean Bonnell on Apr 5, 2009

To Jean Bonnell,

Your lengthy comment about Iz was so beautiful it brought tears to me eyes. I have just discovered Iz on Pandora and I too love his voice, so calming.

By Peggy Jenkins on Apr 23, 2009

even if you are not familiar with anything

hawaiian,you have to love his voice just for

its purity and beauty.

By richard harwood on May 30, 2009

I just discovered this wonderful voice, what a peaceful feeling he brings to me. What a terrible loss, but he leaves his music behind for us all to enjoy. Thank you.

By Tricia Phillips on May 30, 2009

I too have just recently discovered Iz through some friends on a recent trip to Hawaii. We played his CD in our rental car while seeing the lovely sights in his homeland. Since the trip I have enjoyed listening to my own copy of the Facing Future CD. Thanks, IZ!

By Saundra Roper on Jun 17, 2009

We too are recent Iz converts. We went to Maui at the end of April and were delighted to hear Iz on the local all Hawaiian music station in our rental car. He just seeped into our soul. We found his music one day in an art store in Paia. That was it! We were hooked! We subsequently bought one more, and one more, so we went home with 4 CD’s and have since found a 5th! A day is not complete without hearing his music. I find too, that especially if I’m stressed, his music just starts playing in my head and brings such peace. He is such a wonderful ambassador of Aloha; the Hawaiian spirit. His spirit will live on for years. And too, Heaven with Iz in it will be just a little more heavenly. I look forward to meeting him.

By Victoria Neyedli on Jun 19, 2009

June 27,2009

Hello I am 9 years old. My friend interduced me to this beautiful artist. I fell in love with his “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” remake. I was not aware of it being a remake until I shared it with my grandmother whom told me it was one of her favorites by “Judy Garland” She made me here it and I loved Israel kamakawiwo even more. His voice softened my heart and when I found out he was desised I was heartbroken. I hope to find his cd and buy one.

By Victoria Cano on Jun 27, 2009

Iz, I can’t wait to meet you up in heaven, buddy. As a musician, I look up to you and respect you.

By Mike Gruse on Jul 5, 2009

What ever happened to his wife and daughter? Is his daughter also musically inclined?

By Jackie Schwartiznger on Jul 17, 2009

Like so many others, I have just recently heard “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. I purchased the CD Facing Future for that song alone. I love the entire CD. What a blessing this man was. His music brings such peace to my soul.

By Jonnie Pomeroy on Jul 20, 2009

I only heard about Iz last night through a tv show, when the show finished I rushed to the computer to do a search on youtube, and to my absolute delight I found the video for “Over the rainbow”. I fell in love with his version straight away! I was saddened though, to learn that he had passed away, and I am wishing I had’ve heard of him so much sooner. I love his music and am going to see if I can get hold of his CD’s. What a musical genius.

By Mel on Aug 1, 2009

I found his name, finally, at the end of the credits of “Marilyn Hotchkiss Dancing School and Charm School” movie starring John Goodman and another man that I’ve seen before and was great but his name escapes me. I hear “Over the Rainbow” Israel’s version, on Coast to Coast radio program each night on my lovcal station. I’m nearly 70 years old and have never gone to the trouble to look any artist up before, his is such a unique blend of island accent with a Garland tune…and what a voice, I can’t wait to hear other songs he recorded during his life. My condolences to his family.

By Barbara on Aug 2, 2009

Iz really softens my heart. When i am struggling with anything. i listen to somewhere over the rainbow. I am a very different 16 year old. Everyone listens to crap rap. It isn't me. Iz is me. I can't just listen to his music just once. Every time i hear it i have to listen to it again. It is a very emotional song for me. He had so much love in his heart.

By Richie Wingfield on Aug 9, 2009

I love the song that Iz does with Malani Bilyeu ; ” Lover of Mine”. It was written by Bilyeu and is beautiful and heart felt. The

Bruddah IZ live

Get the BIG Picture

Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole (May 20, 1959 - June 26, 1997) was a Hawaiian musician.He became famous outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993 with his medley of "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World", which was subsequently featured in several films, television programs, and commercials.

Kamakawiwo'ole was nicknamed "The Gentle Giant" by his admirers. He was described as always cheerful and positive, and he was best known for his love of the land and of the people of Hawai'i. Through his consummate ukulele playing and incorporation of other idioms (such as jazz and reggae), Iz remains one of the major influences in Hawaiian music over the last 15 years.

Israel's recording of "Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" reached #12 on Billboard's Hot Digital Tracks chart the week of January 31, 2004 (for the survey week ending January 18, 2004).

On July 4, 2007, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole debuted at No. 44 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart with "Wonderful World," selling 17,000 units. It was his biggest sales week ever, helping him garner his second No. 1 on Billboard's Top World Music chart. As of October 2007, the album has sold 75,000 copies.

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole


Israel "Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole (May 20, 1959 -- June 26, 1997) (pronounced [ka-maka-vi-vo-ole]) was a hawaiian musician.

He became famous outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993 with his medley of "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World", which was subsequently featured in several films, television programs, and commercials.

From childhood, his family called Israel by his Hawaiian middle name, Kamakawiwo'ole, the "beloved one". His name would later become the title name of his first solo album, Kamakawiwo'ole, and also foretells the greatness of this "cherished one". It is interesting to note here that part of his name, Kamakawiwo'ole, when simplified to Kamakawiwo'ole may be a contraction of the Hawaiian word, nohi. Nohi means "bright-colored, vivid, as the rainbow" (see Hawaiian Dictionary, Pukui and Elbert). Nohi, rainbow, beloved one, and cherished one are powerful symbols in his life. Iz's recording of the song "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" would become renowned throughout the world and continues to garner high acclaim. The song has come to be known as IKamakawiwo'ole's "signature song", the most renowned of all his songs.

Kamakawiwo`ole was nicknamed "The Gentle Giant" by his admirers. He was described as always cheerful and positive, and he was best known for his love of the land and of the people of Hawaii. Through his consummate ukulele playing and incorporation of other idioms (such as jazz and reggae), Iz remains one of the major influences in Hawaiian music over the last 15 years.

Panini Pua Kea

Somewhere over the rainbow - with lyrics

Ooooo oooooo ohoohohoo

Ooooo ohooohoo oooohoo

Ooooo ohoohooo oohoooo

Oohooo oohoooho ooooho

Ooooo oooooo oooooo

Ooooo oooooo oooooo

Somewhere over the rainbow

Way up high

And the dreams that you dreamed of

Once in a lullaby ....

Somewhere over the rainbow

Blue birds fly

And the dreams that you dreamed of

Dreams really do come true ooh ooooh

Someday I'll wish upon a star

Wake up where the clouds are far behind me ee ee eeh

Where trouble melts like lemon drops

High above the chimney tops that's where you'll find me, oh

Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly

And the dream that you dare to,why, oh why can't I?...

Well I see trees of green and

Red roses too,

I'll watch them bloom for me and you

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world

Well I see skies of blue and I see clouds of white

And the brightness of day

I like the dark and I think to myself

What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky

Are also on the faces of people passing by

I see friends shaking hands

Saying, "How do you do?"

They're really saying, I...I love you

I hear babies cry and I watch them grow,

They'll learn much more

Than we'll know

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world ...

Someday I'll wish upon a star,

Wake up where the clouds are far behind me

Where trouble melts like lemon drops

High above the chimney top that's where you'll find me

Oh, Somewhere over the rainbow way up high

And the dream that you dare to, why, oh why can't I?...

Ooooo oooooo oooooo

Ooooo oooooo oooooo

Ooooo oooooo oooooo

Ooooo oooooo oooooo

Ooooo oooooo oooooo

Ooooo oooooo oooooo

The Starfish - Ka Hoku Kai

The Starfish

Ka Hoku Kai

[kah HOH' KOO' kai]

Once upon a time, there was a wise kupuna (elder),

who went to the sea to contemplate.

One day, while walking along the shore,

the kupuna looked down the beach,

and saw a gracefully dancing

human figure.

The kupuna wondered out loud,

"Who would so joyfully greet this day with hula?"

and began to walk faster to catch up.

Getting closer,

the kupuna saw that the dancer was a keiki (child),

who was not dancing at all.

The keiki was reaching down to the sand to pick up something,

and was very gently throwing it into the sea.

The kupuna called out to the keiki,

"Aloha! What are you doing?"

The keiki paused, looked up and replied,

"Throwing starfish into the sea."

Surprised, the kupuna sputtered,

"I...I guess I should have asked,

WHY are you throwing starfish into the sea?"

The keiki smiled brightly, pointed upward and,

with exquisite simplicity, replied,

"The sun is up, the tide is going out.

If I don't throw them in, they will die."

"But, don't you realize, " asked the kupuna,

"that there are miles and miles of beach

and starfish all along it?

You can't possibly make a difference!"

The keiki listened politely.

Then bent down, picked up another starfish,

threw it gently into the sea, just beyond the breaking waves,

and exuberantly declared,

"It made a difference for that one."

Hawaii Aloha

wai`i e ku`u one hânau e

Ku`u home kulaîwi nei

'Oli nô au i nâ pono lani ou

E Hawai`i, aloha ê


E hau`oli nâ `ôpio o Hawai`i nei

`Oli ê! `Oli ê!

Mai nâ aheahe makani e pâ mai nei

Mau ke aloha, no Hawai`i

E ha`i mai kou mau kini lani e

Kou mau kupa aloha, e Hawai`i

Nâ mea `ôlino kamaha`o no luna mai

E Hawai`i aloha ê

Nâ ke Akua E mâlama mai iâ `oe

Kou mau kualona aloha nei

Kou mau kahawai `ôlinolino mau

Kou mau mâla pua nani ê

O Hawai`i, o sands of my birth

My native home

I rejoice in the blessings of heaven

O Hawai`i, aloha


Happy youth of Hawai`i

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Gentle breezes blow

Love always for Hawai`i

May your divine throngs speak

Your loving people, o Hawai`i

The holy light from above

O Hawa`i aloha

God protects you

Your beloved ridges

Your ever glistening streams

Your beautiful gardens

In this life

Special Edition White Sandy Beach Video

Between the music of the ukalailie and the sound of izs voice and an interesting video, you get some nice free entertainment at this link here.


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