Hawaiian slack-key legend gets guitar back

Ledward Kaapana
Ledward Kaapana

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

KANEOHE (KHNL) -- Grammy Award nominated slack-key artist Ledward Kaapana is reunited with a most special instrument this week.

Oh, that familiar sound to many in Hawaii and around the world. That wouldn't have been possible without the help of a good samaritin who helped Kaapana get his $2,000 custom-made guitar back. It's been with him for nearly five decades.

"I feel all this joy, all the joyfulness in this guitar, from me, within, it just comes out, everything's happiness," he said.

But recently, sadness replaced the happiness. It was stolen out of his car while he was eating at this restaurant.

"I think if it was in the mainland, it would've been gone already, but in Hawaii, it's so small, I got so many friends, fans out there, families and everybody looking out and we all support one another," he said.

The thief allegedly tried to sell it to a woman in Waianae who recognized the stolen guitar. She threatened to turn the thief in, if he didn't give up the precious instrument.

"One thing not leave the guitar in the car again, I don't think i'll ever leave it in the car again either, I carry the guitar in the restaurant, but not in the car," he said. "I was playing music for them, I was playing the guitar, oh man, she's back."

Kaapana says this isn't the first time someone stole one of his guitars. He tells us around 30 years ago, someone stole another one from him. He never got that one back, but feels recovering this one kind of makes up for it.