Meet The Group
Joseph Keola Donaghy is an Associate Professor of Music and faculty coordinator of Music Studies at UH Maui College, and is a prolific haku mele (composer of Hawaiian language poetry). His compositions have been recorded by Kennth Makuakāne, Keali‘i Reichel, The Pandanus Club, Willie and Amy, the De Lima ‘Ohana, Mailani, O’Brian Eselu, and many others. He has produced five CDs by students in his Institute of Hawaiian Music program at UHMC; these releases have garnered three Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards.
Tarvin Makia was born on O‘ahu but residing on Maui for over 40 years. He led the popular Maui groups Hau‘ula and Mele ‘Ohana and has performed as a solo artist and sideman for fellow musicians and groups, including a multi-year stint with the group Hapa. Tarvin has released two full albums of his original music, including a Christmas release this year entitled Makia Kalikimaka.
Jeff Dayton has enjoyed a career of over 40 years, including a 15-year stint as guitarist and musical director for Glen Campbell. He also toured with Lee Greenwood and country music superstar Kenny Chesney and performed live with Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Tanya Tucker, Toby Keith, Buck Owens, and Bo Diddley. His compositions and recordings have been used on Hawai‘i Five-O and The Voice and recorded by George Strait. For the past decade, he has pursued a successful career as a solo artist, songwriter, and songwriting clinician at venues around the world. His latest album, Tropical Troubador was released in October.
Kenneth Makuakāne is a legend in the Hawai‘i music industry, having composed, performed, produced and recorded with the groups Ka‘eo, The Pandanus Club, and as a solo artist. He has composed over 2,000 songs, honored with over 20 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, and produced hundreds of releases by fellow Hawai‘i artists. He was honored with the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2015 and served on the Academy’s Board of Governors for many years. He is also currently Kahu (pastor) at the historic Kawaiaha‘o Church on O‘ahu.