The Party Ain’t Over

Kapala is (from left) Lopaka Ho‘opi‘i, Kimo Artis, Zanuck Lindsey, Adj Larioza, Richard Heirakuji and Kai Artis | Photo courtesy of Kapala

It’s one CD release party after another for Kapala, the veteran-laden band intent on leaving its imprint in music

No one does CD release parties quite like the band Kapala. Since the unveiling of its third album, Legacy, the group has held four – yes, four! – release parties, including back in February at the Thunder Valley Casino in Sacramento, Calif., with Daniel Ho and Tia Carrere; and last month at Gordon Biersch in Honolulu with John and Ernie Cruz Jr., Raiatea Helm and Nathan Ruff.

Mind you, Kapala ain’t done. A fifth party, planned for June on Kauai, will include singer/songwriter Michael Ruff.

Most bands hold just one CD release party, but Kapala’s members believe you can never have enough of these gatherings, especially when the stage is shared with other artists.

“The concept is one of joining together with other musicians – not to open up for us, but to play along with us,” explains Kapala vocalist/guitarist Kimo Artis.

In many ways, these multiple CD release parties with musical guests perfectly reflect Kapala’s all-for-one philosophy. Formed in 2006 and composed of six members – Artis and his brother, Kai, along with industry vets Zanuck Lindsey, Lopaka Ho’opi’i, Richard Heirakuji and Adj Larioza, all of whom have spent much of their careers as backup musicians to everyone who’s anyone in local music – Kapala represents its members first real opportunity at performing their own brand of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music with a blend of country, rock, jazz and soul influences. Since the fall of

2009, the band has released 22 original songs on its two LPs and lone EP, including 12 on last fall’s retrospective Legacy, which is up for a 2013 Hoku award in the “Best Island Music Album” category.

“All of us have taken our own journeys as musicians in other bands, but now we’re completing these journeys, so to speak, together,” says Artis.

Here’s what else Artis told Musical Notes:

MN: Contrary to what some might think, the band isn’t named after bandmate Zanuck Kapala Lindsey, right?

KA: Correct. Basically, we found the word Kapala, which means “imprint” in Hawaiian, and has more to do with the making of kapa, to be a beautiful word and a cool metaphor for us. What we’re trying to do as a band is make our own imprint on a huge kapa and see if people enjoy the stamp we’re putting on the music scene.

MN: So beyond this week’s gigs at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel (Saturday, April 27, and Tuesday, April 30, both at 5 p.m.), what’s next for the band?

KA: We’re planning a summer tour stateside in California, Nevada and Colorado. We realize that we’re going to have to take our music out there beyond Hawaii to gain greater exposure, and we’re excited about our shows! We’ve got storytelling and hula, so the fans who come out get more than just an hour’s worth of music – they get a truly memorable experience.