Cecilio and Kapono
The story began “with a harmony’s perfect blending” under a starry night on Oahu’s North Shore in February 1973. Then came 8 consecutive months of Sold Out shows 6 nights a week at Waikiki’s Legendary Rainbow Villa inevitably leading to a multi-album national recording contract with Columbia Records.
Henry Kapono Ka’aihue & Cecilio David Rodriguez were introduced by mutual friends. They played a couple of familiar songs and discovered almost instantly that something magical was happening. “That was the moment that everything happened. It was there the first time we sang,” Kapono recalled years later. It was the beginning of Cecilio & Kapono.
Cecilio Rodriguez, was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California where he received an extensive musical education. After forming a band and performing during high school and college, Cecilio moved to Los Angeles where he quickly advanced his musical career as a guitarist. From his first group "Unicorn" to Sonny Charles to Little Anthony and the Imperials, it quickly became apparent that Cecilio was destined to take center stage.
Although Native Hawaiian, Henry Kapono has had no formal musical training, he started singing at age 5 in a Children’s Church Choir. After his father taught him to play the ukulele, Kapono fell in love with the guitar and taught himself how to play by listening to the radio and records and watching other artists play. Kapono put him self through school on athletic scholarships and dreamed of a football career. As fate would have it, knee injuries led him to his true destiny on stage.
Their experiences were different, but their interest in music was the same. They both loved American folk and acoustic rock. Acoustic arrangements of hits by Stevie Wonder, Hall & Oates, Loggins & Messina, and Crosby Stills & Nash done the “C&K Way”,were part of their earliest repertoire and, as they added original material, their arrangements became known as the “C&K SOUND”. Almost from the inception, they were performing original compositions which became very unique musically because of the way they would both weave a counter melody to the existing one, thereby creating the harmony to the songs, unlike anything else anybody had heard before them and which became the model and inspiration for many young writers to come.
Cecilio & Kapono debuted in Waikiki with a brief gig at J.J.’s Café where Kapono had previously been playing a solo gig. Less than a month later they moved on to headline the Rainbow Villa, a funky little bar that continued to tear out pieces of the bar to accommodate more customers, until C&K quickly outgrew
Within months Columbia Records signed the duo to a multi-album contract and the rest is well documented history.
To date, Cecilio & Kapono are truly living a “Lifetime Party” and can be counted as one of the very few groups to maintain a musical relationship into their third decade with no signs of slowing down, and with the momentum continually building. They have released 14 albums, received scores of awards and are truly Hawaii’s most admired, loved and respected entertainers!