ISRAEL KAMAKAWIWO'OLE Biography - Musicians


Biography » musicians » israel kamakawiwo'ole


Name: Israel Kamakawiwoole                                                           
Born: 20 May 1959                                                                   
Died: 26 June 1997                                                                   
Israel Kamakawiwoole (May 20, 1959 - June 26, 1997)                                 
was a Hawaiian musician.                                                             
He became famous outside Hawaii when his album Facing Future was released in         
1993 with his medley of "Over the Rainbow" and "What a Wonderful World", which       
was subsequently featured in several films, television programs, and commercials.   
From childhood, his family called Israel by his Hawaiian middle name, Kamanomi,     
the "beloved one". His name would later become the title name of his first solo     
album, Kamanomi, and also foretells the greatness of this "cherished one". It is     
interesting to note here that part of his name, anomi, when simplified to nomi       
may be a contraction of the Hawaiian word, nohi. Nohi means "bright-colored,         
vivid, as the rainbow" (see Hawaiian Dictionary, Pukui and Elbert). Nohi,           
rainbow, beloved one, and cherished one are powerful symbols in his life. Izos       
recording of the song "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" would become renowned             
throughout the world and continues to garner high acclaim. The song has come to     
be known as Izos "signature song", the most renowned of all his songs.               
Kamakawiwoole was nicknamed "The Gentle Giant" by his admirers. He was               
described as always cheerful and positive, and he was best known for his love of     
the land and of the people of Hawaii. Through his consummate ukulele playing         
and incorporation of other idioms (such as jazz and reggae), Iz remains one of       
the major influences in Hawaiian music over the last 15 years.