Israel “Iz” Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole

I am spotlighting Israel Izzy because his soft sweet voice is so peaceful and comforting and creates a very serene meditation place for me.

I have taught my Autistic students to sing these beautiful words while listening to his music. The words are so meaningful and are also very synonymous with the deeper meaning of what One World Blue believes in and stands for, a world of peace, health, happiness and love for all inhabitants and wildlife of our planet.

We are working to create a better world, one in which there is no more war or fighting but only one of peace. A world that is truly somewhere over the rainbow. Thank you Israel for your spirit and love and your contribution to making this Planet a better one. You are truly missed.

With Love,

Iris Pirchesky

Co-Founder One World Blue, LLC

Director of Animal Welfare and Protection

Biography of Israel:

Israel “Iz” Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole (Hawaiian pronunciation: [kəˌmɐkəˌvivoˈʔole]) translation: “The Fearless Eyed”; May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997), also called Bruddah Iz (Brother Iz), was a Hawaiian musician, entertainer, and sovereignty activist.

His voice became famous outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in 1993. His medley of “Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” was subsequently featured in several films, television programs, and television commercials.

Through his skillful ukulele playing and incorporation of other genres (such as jazz and reggae), Kamakawiwoʻole remains a very strong influence on Hawaiian music.[1]

Kamakawiwoʻole was born at Kuakini Hospital in Honolulu to Henry Kaleialoha Naniwa Kamakawiwoʻole, Jr., and Evangeline Leinani Kamakawiwoʻole. The notable Hawaiian musician Moe Keale was his uncle. He was raised in the community of Kaimuki, where his parents had met and married. He began playing music with his older brother Skippy and cousin Allen Thornton at the age of 11, being exposed to the music of Hawaiian entertainers of the time such as Peter Moon, Palani Vaughn, and Don Ho, who frequented the establishment where Kamakawiwoʻole’s parents worked. Hawaiian musician Del Beazley spoke of the first time he heard Israel play, when, while playing for a graduation party, the whole room fell silent on hearing him.[2] Israel continued his path as his brother Skippy entered the Army in 1971 and cousin Allen parted ways in 1976 for the mainland.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World

In his early teens, he studied at Upward Bound (UB) of the University of Hawaii at Hilo and his family moved to Mākaha. There he met Louis “Moon” Kauakahi, Sam Gray, and Jerome Koko.[3] Together with his brother Skippy they formed the Makaha Sons of Niʻihau. A part of the Hawaiian Renaissance, this talented Hawaiian band’s blend of contemporary and traditional styles gained in popularity as they toured Hawaii and the continental United States, releasing fifteen successful albums. Israel’s aim was to make music that stayed true to the typical sound of traditional Hawaiian music. During that time period, the songs that many people associated with Hawaii, typically, weren’t traditional sounding songs.

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Kamakawiwo%CA%BBole. Retrieved on December 25th 2014.

 

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