"I started my career on my 15th birthday in 1995, performing with my father. He wanted to make sure I was serious about music. After two years of performing with him, on my 17th birthday, he simply told me to get in the car. We drove down Ala Moana Boulevard with a left turn on South Street, arriving at the Kamaka Ukulele Factory. Dad bought me my own Kamaka tenor that I still own to this day. I met Chris Kamaka for the first time that day. Since then I have performed with G-String and KoAloha ukuleles over the years. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to join Team Kamaka during their 100th anniversary. My journey has come full circle back to the ukulele brand where I started. Aloha Kekahi I Kekahi - Love one another."
David Kamakahi is the son of famous Slack Key Guitar master and songwriter, the late Rev.
Dennis Kamakahi. David secretly took up ukulele at the age of 15 studying the stylings of the
great ukulele master and mentor, Eddie Kamae, and studying recordings of other masters such
as Peter Moon, Troy Fernandez, and Ledward Kaapana.
David started his professional career in 1995 at the age of 15. Within a year of picking up the
ukulele, David recorded two albums on George Winston’s Dancing Cat Records. He recorded
Ohana (Family) with his father Dennis, followed by Hui Aloha with Dennis, Martin Pahinui, and
George Kuo. David then joined and toured with the group Na Oiwi in 2000, playing
contemporary Hawaiian music with father Dennis, Mike Ka’awa, and Jon Yamasato. The group
recorded two albums, Crossroads and The Sequel.
In 2005, David’s debut solo album, Pa’ani, won Best Contemporary Album of the Year at the Na
Hoku Hanohano Awards under his father’s label Dennis Kamakahi Productions.
Along with his father, David recorded the theme song “Always” written by Jeanne Tesori and
Alexa Junge on the Disney animated film soundtrack for Lilo and Stitch 2: Stitch has a Glitch.
More recently David and Dennis’ recording of “Ulili E” was included on the soundtrack of the
feature film The Descendants.
David released his second solo album, Shine in 2008 and the album was nominated for a Hawaii
In 2011, David became a member of the Hawaiian music group Waipuna alongside Kale
Hannahs and Matt Sproat. David recorded with Waipuna on three albums, E Ho’i Mai, Napili,
and E Mau Ke Aloha. Waipuna has won multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Awards over the past
After his father passed away from cancer in 2014, David founded Naukilo Productions with the sole purpose of preserving and releasing his father's archives of unreleased music to the world.