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Leokāne

Born and raised in the mystical Mānoa valley on O’ahu, the singer-songwriter spent his youth gaining a love for the culture and music of the land of his birth.

He made his debut in the Hawaiian music world in 1999 with his first CD, Maunahele, receiving wide radio play in Hawai’i, the mainland, and abroad and gaining great popularity delighting audiences with his angelic falsetto vocals.


His original songs, telling of his home in heavenly Hana and his life-long love for Hawai’i, have been featured in television and film. 

 

Bio

Born and raised in the mystical Mānoa valley on the island of O’ahu, Leokāne spent his youth gaining a love for the culture and music of the land of his birth. He shared this special love of Hawai’i with his parents.

Jacques and Marianne Pryor moved to Hawai’i shortly after marrying in 1958. They followed other members of the Pryor family who had taken residence on O’ahu and in Kīpahulu, a remote area near Hāna, Maui. His father received a position teaching History at Punahou School, where Leokāne is now an Alumnus. His mother was from a small valley in Bavaria, Germany, arriving in Hawai’i speaking very little English. She was a shy, unassuming woman with a big smile and a kind and generous heart who was immediately embraced by the “locals” who spoke her language of aloha. Her close friends shared their love of their culture with her, teaching her their local dialect and traditional music, which she passed on to her son.

Leaving Hawai’i for many years to pursue schooling and life experience, Leokāne temporarily let fade his special connection to Hawaiian music. However, other types of music began to influence his life, allowing him to better his vocal skills. Living in the Bay Area of California, though good for a time, was not Hawai’i, and it began to take a toll on him. When his mother fell ill from cancer, Leokāne began to record her favorite Hawaiian songs, mailing them to her when he could not be with her. Bittersweetly, she brought him back to his love for Hawaiian music. Her love for the Hawaiian Islands’ people, culture, and beauty made an indelible impression on Leokāne, which he carries forever in her memory. Leokāne’s most cherished possession is the gift his parents gave him by being raised with his sister in the safety and beauty of Hawai’i.

The song, Nani Mālia, which he composed for his niece, is Leokāne’s expression of his love and respect for his ‘ohana – embracing all the generations of his family.

Leokāne made his debut in the Hawaiian music world in 1999 with his successful CD release, Maunahele. Accompanied by his performance group, Pōhai Kealoha, Leokāne gained great popularity delighting audiences with his angelic falsetto vocals throughout the West Coast and Hawai’i. His first CD received wide radio play in Hawai’i, the mainland, and abroad.

After frequent visits to Hawai’i and especially Hāna, the desire to return to Hawai’i became overwhelming. In 2004 he was able to move to Hāna, Maui, full-time. Home Malanai, Leokane’s second CD release in 2009, captures his love of Hana, Maui, with many original songs telling of his home in heavenly Hana and his love for Hawai’i. It features many exceptional talented musicians and composers - dear friends of Leokāne.

Soon after his return home, Leokāne was able to begin to pursue his other passion: preserving Hawai’i’s native environment and culture. He partnered with Suzanne Case of the Nature Conservancy of Hawai’i and Jon De Mello of Mountain Apple Company to create the Documentary Maoli No (Truly Native). The DVD celebrates Hawai’i’s native environment and native culture through songs set to the beautiful imagery of Hawai’i’s native plants, animals, and places. Pryor, Case, and Kaliko Trapp co-wrote the hauntingly beautiful song Ke Ho’olono Nei”– featured on the DVD, also included on his Home Malanai CD. The piece carries a critical conservation message, intending to inspire the audience to mālama (protect) what remains of Hawai’i’s imperiled native plants, animals, and places.


20,000 copies of the DVD have been donated to children and educators via schools, environmental organizations, and learning centers. It is one of the most extensive campaigns of its kind to be launched in Hawai’i. Leokāne remains involved in environmental conservation efforts in Hawai’i and Santa Barbara. 

In 2012, Leokāne released a duet album No Ka Pueo with his friend CJ Helekahi who he often performed with.

Leokāne’s music has received wide radio play and has been featured in television and film. He performed regularly at the Travaasa Hotel in Hāna, Maui, until 2017 when he fell ill to a rare food-borne disease found in Hawai’i. He has taken the last few years off to recover his health. He now lives in Santa Barbara, where he writes and plays music and shows his love of nature and Hawai’i through Project Ho’olono.