Hawai’i ’78 Introduction – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, IZ

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The growing success of Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo‘ole (May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997), the late great Hawaiian vocalist, is an amazing story. In 1993, following a successful run as part of the Makaha Sons of Ni‘ihau, Israel decided to venture out on his own. His first step was to meet with Jon de Mello, one of the most successful producers of contemporary Hawaiian music. The meeting would set the stage for the rest of Israel’s career. Israel made it known that he wanted a solo career and de Mello’s help to chart his new course in the music industry. de Mello’s track record as a producer and his Mountain Apple Company organization perfectly suited Israel’s needs. The relationship blossomed and for the rest of his life, de Mello was Israel’s producer, confidant and musical mentor.

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