Ron "Kelekona" Vanderford
was born and raised in Hawai'i, on the island of 'O'ahu. He was brought up with very strong cultural values and an appreciation of the unique sounds of Hawaiian music. At age 14, his parents gave him a guitar and his sister bought him guitar lessons from the revered ki ho'alu (slack key) expert, "Auntie" Alice Namakelua. Kelekona and his family moved to the Big Island, after his father's company started working on a project with the Mauna Lani Hotel. It was on the Big Island that Kelekona became part of the Hawaiian music scene, honing his slack key skills, & hanging out and jamming with all the island talents.
As you listen to Kelekona's music, you will hear both 'O'ahu and Hawai'i styles rolled into a passionate unique expression that has become Kelekona's trademark. His first CD project, "Kelekona...Simply Slack Key", is a compilation of instrumental melodies. It is based on slack key tunings learned from renown talents like Gabby Pahinui, Atta Isaacs, & Ledward Ka'apana, infused with a blend of jazz, blues, rock, and flamenco. His second CD project, "Aloha Slack Key...A Tribute To Gabby Pahinui" was a heartfelt desire that gained Kelekona the 2008 Na Hoku Hanohano Award. All his unique sounds are reflective of Kelekona's many musical influences, along with his willingness to perform "outside the box".
Today, Kelekona splits his time traveling the West Coast, Pacific Northwest, Hawai'i and Nevada giving audiences a pleasing taste of Hawai'i at each performance. Kelekona admits that he tries to produce music with an international flair, attempting to expand the reach of ki ho'alu by presenting it to a wider audience that includes a variety of cultures and age groups.
Kelekona is currently preparing for his next CD project, so check back often for updates.
To have Kelekona perform at your next event or concert, please contact Fair Winds Production at (360) 981-4248 or e-mail email@example.com.