Like the Hawaiian Islands themselves, HAPA's pan-Polynesian music is an amalgam of influences ranging from ancient genealogical chants to the strummed ballads of Portuguese fisherman, Spanish cowboys, and the inspired melodies and harmonies of the traditional church choirs of the early missionaries. Add to this a dose of American acoustic folk-rock, and you have what has been described as the “most exciting and beautiful contemporary Hawaiian music the world knows!" (Maui Times).
Often encapsulated as the "sound of Maui," HAPA’s music evokes a place that many people at different times have referred to as heavenly. The overriding quality of the group's music is one of beauty and serenity, found in the majestic tones of the oli (chant), mele (song), the elegant movements of the sacred dance known as hula, and the exhilarating innovative sounds of virtuoso slack key guitar. HAPA’s self-titled debut CD came out in 1993 and swept the 1994 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Hawaii’s equivalent of the Grammys), becoming the biggest-selling album by a group or duo in the history of recorded Hawaiian music. The group’s groundbreaking music has since established the band as the most recognized name in Hawaiian music internationally, with sold-out shows from Tokyo to New York. The group's latest album is a live set, released in 2008.
"These disparate ingredients blended together musically in the Pacific emotes the unique flavor of what Hawaii and HAPA music is: beautiful, fragile, spiritual, powerful..." (L.A. Times).