Kimo's much-antictpated new holiday CD, "Ki Hoa'lu Christmastime" was released Nov 1 and the early reviews are excellent! He primarily used a recently acquired Taylor 514ce guitar for most of the recording with a few tracks featuring a 60's Guild classical guitar and a Tacoma baritone guitar. The stunning cover art was created by Big Island artist, Caren Loebel-Fried, who illustrated Kimo's first holiday CD.
Kimo performed lots of shows in 2013 with "Weird Al" and the band. The Alpocalypse Tour officially ended in October in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A new CD is in the works with engineer Dave Way piloting the studio ship.
In January, Kimo performed again at the So Cal Slack key Festival with slack and steel guitarist extraordinaire, Ken Emerson, only the second time the two had performed together. His other performances included George Kahumoku Jr's Slack Key Show on Maui and numerous L.A. area venues such as Coffee Gallery Backstage, Soho and Alva's Showroom.
While on tour, Kimo played a few solo shows on nights off (which were then not nights off!), the most memorable being a show in Nashville at Douglas Corner Cafe. This legendary venue has hosted many major artists over the years but never a slack key guitarist. Joining Kimo on stage was "Aloha Al "on accordion and Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz on percussion.
Kimo has been working with Mountain Apple recording artist, Kapo Ku on a new CD at his L.A. studio as well as producing tracks for singer/actor/martial artist Remi Lyon. Upcoming projects include a duet CD with Ken Emerson for Cord International Records.
In 2012, Kimo's CD, "Na Lani O Maui-Maui Skies" was nominated for a Na Hoku Hanohano Award which is the Hawaiian "Grammy". The awards show, held in Waikiki is a very popular event in Hawaii and is broadcast throughout the islands live.
Kimo arranged and produced the score to the musical production, "Na Ka A'o - Hawaiian Legends" which was premiered at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center on Oct 29, 2011. Look for upcoming performances of this awesome show by the very talented Kilohana Performing Arts Company!
Kimo's new CD, "Na Lani O Maui - Maui Skies" is finally out and getting some great reviews! This pristinely recorded collection of ki ho'alu instrumentals is a mix of new arrangements of traditional Hawaiian songs and some stunning new original compositions! Check it out at www.cdbaby.com/cd/jimkimowest
Weird Al and the band (including Kimo) were just nominated for two Grammys: Best Comedy Recording and Best Short Form Video! The 2011 Alpocalypse tour winded down with a spectacular performance at LA's famed Pantages theater on Nov. 12. Also released this summer was the Alpocalypse live concert DVD, filmed at Toronto's uber-famous Massey Hall. An edited version of the show has been running on Comedy Central, too! An upcoming 2012 tour is in the works so check in at www.weirdal.com for the latest news!
George Kahumoku Jr's famous Masters of Slack Key show hosted Kimo for the 3rd time on Nov 30. This is the finest weekly slack series anywhere and features all the living legends of slack key. If you are traveling to Maui, don't miss this wonderful Wednesday night show at the beautiful Napili Kai Resort! www.slackkey.com
On Nov. 20, Kimo was a featured performer at the 2011 Kaua'i Slack Key Festival along with Ledward Kapana, Dennis Kamakahi, Makana, Michael Keawe, Cindy Combs, Stephen Inglis and others, his 4th time at this wonderful festival. He also appeared with Leokane Pryor and CJ Helekahi at Hana Ranch for a special Thanksgiving show. Kimo's brother and Hana resident Bob "Lopaka" West was special guest on blues harp!
Kimo will be a featured performer at the upcoming 2012 Southern California Slack Key Festival on January 22, 2012 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, along with Cyril Pahinui, Jeff Peterson, Nathan Awaeu, Sonny Lim, Hikua, Shawn Ishimoto, Ed Gerhard, Steven Espaniola and others. This is the finest festival of its kind anywhere in the world - not to be missed. Come enjoy the great So Cal weather, beaches and nightlife and get a healthy infusion of great slack key and aloha! www.kalakoa.com
The 2011 So Cal Slack Key Festival in Redondo Beach was again a huge success. Besides KImo, featured performers included: Keola Beamer and Raiatea Helm,Cyril Pahinui and Jeff Peterson, Makana, George Kahumoko, Bob Brozman and Gary Haleamau. This festival, in many people's opinion, has become the premier slack key event on the planet! For info on upcoming festivals, please go to www.kalakoa.com
KImo is close to finalizing the tracks for his as yet untitled upcoming CD. More news to come!!
Kimo teamed up with Oahu's Stephen Englis for a double bill at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena. KImo premiered tracks from his upcoming CD and Stephen payed a few cuts from his new "Slackin' On Dylan" disc. There was some fun kanikapil too! Stephen and Kimo will do it again at the Atherton Performing Arts Center in Honolulu on May 7,2011.
Kimo has booked several other dates in Hawaii for April and May, including a return engagement at George Kahumoku's Slack Key Show in Napili, Maui. This legendary series is in its 9th year and has featured almost all the legends of slack key (www.slackkey.com.) On the mainland, he will be opening for the legendary Ledward Kaapana at Sangria in Hermosa Beach CA on February 10th and will share a bill with falsetto singer, Steven Espaniola at Don Quixote's in Santa Cruz on February 27th.
The Weird Al tour made it to the British Isles in early December (brrr) and was received with huge acclaim and a run of sold out performances. Kimo headed to southern Spain afterwards to "thaw out", hear flamenco and eat tapas.
Kimo was the featured artist at George Kahumoku's Slack Key Show in Napili, Maui for the very first time. It was truly a night to remember at the Napili Kai Resort-a gentle rain added some nice sonic texture, the hula dancing was enchanting and the kanikapila with George and Da Ukulele Boyz was great fun! A few days later he headed over to Kaua'i to perform at the annual Kaua'i Slack Key Festival.
Kimo was included in the wonderful new book "Practice Aloha", which features prominent people from all walks of life in Hawaii and their thoughts on what "aloha" means to them. Makes an awesome gift, by the way! www.practicealoha.org
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