Maui News

Ledward Kaapana Honored With Prestigious National Endowment Award

September 21, 2011, 8:27 PM HST
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By Wendy Osher

L to R: NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman, master musician Ledward Kaapana, Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono during 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Award ceremony. September 21, 2011.

Hawai’i musician, Ledward Kaapana was honored today with the 2011 National Endowment for the Arts’ National Heritage Fellowship Award.

He now joins a list of master musicians that includes the likes of Genoa Keawe, George Na’ope, and Eddie Kamae.

Kaapana was one of seven other individuals and one performing duo that was honored today with endowment awards at the US Capitol.

“Hawaii is rich in musical heritage, culture, and talent and Ledward Kaapana exemplifies the finest we have,” said said Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono, who joined Senator Daniel K. Akaka in honoring the Kalapana native.


“For more than four decades, Led has brought great joy to so many lives with his musical talents and his fun-loving sense of humor. Through his teaching, he’s shared the sounds of Hawai’i with a new generation of people around the world. It is a privilege to present Led with this prestigious national award,” said Congresswoman Hirono.


As an NEA National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient, Kaapana gets a one-time $25,000 award.  The award supports an artist’s continuing contributions to the nation’s traditional arts heritage.

Previous Hawai’i musicians to receive the award include: Emily Kaui Zuttermeister (1984), Raymond Kane (1987), Clyde “Kindy” Sproat (1988), Nalani Kanakaole and Pualani Kanakaole Kanahele (1993), Sol and Richard Ho’opi’i (1996), Genoa Keawe (2000), Kaupena Wong (2005), George Naope (2006), and Eddie Kamae (2007).

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