By Wayne Harada
With pre-sales topping 20,000 copies, Hilo native Kuana Torres Kahele’s CD, “Kaunaloa,” has debuted at the No. 1 spot on Billboard's World Music charts.
Billboard announced today that Kahele, a founding member of the popular award-winning traditional Hawaiian group Na Palapala, also debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes World Digital chart.
Makes you wonder: Did the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences err in diluting the international imprint of Hawaiian music? Kahele’s work will qualify for entry in the controversial Best
Regional Roots Grammy Award category, which faces a court challenge by a disgruntled segment of the Recording Academy, Hawaii included.
Kahele composed 12 of the 13 tracks and his CD, smartly containing a deluxe booklet with English and Hawaiian translations, is clearly focused on a global reach.
In Japan recently, Kahele sold out two 1,800 seat concert halls. Last weekend, he performed a solo gig at the annual Ho'ina Ke Kumu concert in, moving 5,000 CDs at the show.