Barry Flanagan is an American singer-songwriter and musician and founder of the internationally acclaimed and award winning World Music group HAPA. Flanagan is known for his guitar-playing skills, vocal performances and ocean awareness projects. Born in New York City and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey, Flanagan came to the Hawaiian Islands in 1980 to study and explore the Art of Kiho Alu, or Slack-Key Guitar, and Haku Mele, Hawaiian poetic song composing. Flanagan heard the recordings of Ry Cooder and Hawaiian Slack Key icon Gabby Pahinui while living in Colorado, which inspired Flanagan’s first visit and eventual move to Hawaii. Flanagan immersed himself in Hawaiian Culture and Art, seeking out Native speakers, Teachers and Composers of Hawaiian Poetry along with legendary Hawaiian Slack key players, passionately studying all the indigenous art forms with Hawaii as the backdrop. An “eternal wellspring of inspiration for Artists and Writers from around the globe” is how Flanagan describes Hawaii. A prolific composer and performer, and one of Hawaii’s most respected and celebrated Recording Artists and Producers, Barry Flanagan has composed some of Hawaii’s popular songs of the last three decades. In 1994, the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts honored Flanagan, and Hawaiian Language Professor S.H. Kiope Raymond, with the prestigious “Haku Mele” award, an acknowledgement for Excellence in the Art of Song Composition in the Native Hawaiian Language. In 2004, Flanagan co-composed a song with friend Kenny Loggins for his Grammy nominated “More Songs from Pooh Corner” release. The song, entitled “Hana Aluna Lullaby” includes a chorus in the Hawaiian language, making this the first song utilizing Hawaiian lyrics to receive that distinction.
HAPA’s benchmark self-entitled first release in 1994 still remains the number one selling recording by a group or duo in the history of recorded Hawaiian music, sweeping all six categories it was nominated for at the 1994 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, the Hawaiian equivalent of the Grammy’s. “HAPA” was Produced, Composed, and Arranged by Flanagan, with supporting vocal performances by Grammy Award winning singer Kenny Loggins and Guitar performance by Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Stephen Stills. All follow up HAPA recordings, 1997's “In The Name of Love”(“The year's best album”-Honolulu Advertiser); 1999's “Namahana”(“A Masterpiece”-The San Francisco Chronicle) and 2005's “MAUI”debuted in Billboard Magazine’s World Magazine’s Top Ten.
Currently, HAPA's music can be heard in the Adam Sandler Movie “Just Go With It”, released in theaters Febuary 2011. Director Dennis Dugan also featured HAPA as “the band” in the movie's supper club scene shot on Maui in May 2010. View Article
PRESS QUOTES: “The most successful Hawaiian music group in recent history” ----THE NEW YORK TIMES
“Powerful, urgent, compelling, muscular, hypnotic!” --- L.A. TIMES
“It is not an overstatement that HAPA's music actually encompasses the past, present and future of Polynesian music.” ----SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER MAGAZINE
“Flanagan and Hapa explore the rich possibilities of Hawaiian music and then some, blending a variety of pop and world music styles.” ----SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE”
“Flanagan showed off such a combination of dexterity and soulfulness that he brought to mind some mid-Pacific amalgam of Mark Knopfler, Chet Atkins and Wes Montgomery... absolutely breathtaking." --- THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
“Barry Flanagan in this 21st Century represents just how far Hawaiian music has traveled and how compelling its appeal is.” ----HONOLULU MAGAZINE
“Flanagan is Masterful” ----STEPHEN STILLS
“HAPA, they are Hawaii's musical rainbow warriors...they captivate your heart and soothe your soul. Flanagan is a brilliant Curator of hip Polynesian sounds” ---KENNY LOGGINS
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