Leonard Keala Kwan played ki ho'alu, Hawaiian slack key guitar, for over fifty years. He was a creative artist as well as a trailblazer. Along with late slack key greats Gabby Pahinui and Sonny Chillingworth, he is one of the three most influential slack key players in history. A quiet man with great depth of feeling, his personal philosophy of respect for others embodies the spirit of nahenahe (gentleness).
In the late 1940s Leonard was one of the first to take slack key outside of Hawaii, and in the 1950s he released some of the first ki ho'alu singles. In 1960 he recorded his classic first album, SLACK KEY (Tradewinds 103, known as "the red album"). This was the first Hawaiian album to feature all instrumental slack key tracks.
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Liner notes for Ke’ala’s Mele.