The book Israel Kamakawiwo’ole IZ – Voice of the People celebrates the life of one of the most beloved singers in recent Hawaiian history. Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole had a prodigious voice and successful career. Unfortunately, he died at a young age of a debilitating disease.
IZ – Voice of the People contains interesting biographical details, following Israel since he was a child up to the time of his death and the numerous tributes he received. It is full of fascinating family photos as well as professional photographs taken throughout his career.
The book begins with an introduction about Hawaii, its music and culture. It sets the background for the time period in which the native Hawaiian Israel Ka’ano Kamakawiwo’ole was born, 1959, in the island of Ni’ihau.
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole grew up in an environment where Hawaiian music and the islands’ native language was spoken.
The author sets the context for the musical career of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole at a time when Hawaiian traditional music had its ups and downs. Israel Kamakawiwo’ole was a member of the popular band Mäkaha Sons of Ni‘ihau. In 1993, Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole started his solo career and became a star in his native land and beyond.
His first solo album was the CD “Facing Future”. It was followed by another five (some of them post humous) recordings, “E Ala E” (1995), “In Dis Life” (1996), “IZ In Concert: The Man and His Music” (1998), “Alone In IZ World” (2001) and “Wonderful World” (2007). Facing Future remains the top selling Hawaiian music album in the world. In 2002 it was certified gold by the RIAA, a first for a Hawaiian Record label. In 2005, the album was certified platinum by the RIAA for sales of over 1 million units.
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole IZ – Voice of the People provides details about Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s family and its history of heart disease and obesity. Israel Kamakawiwo’ole found it very difficult to lose weight and he became morbidly obese. This affected his health and he died on June 26, 1997.
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s legacy cotinues in various forms. His versions of “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World” have been featured in various films, television programs, and commercials.
Buy the book: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole IZ – Voice of the People
- In North America: Facing Future, Alone in IZ World and Wonderful World, Unforgettable, E Ala E, IZ in Concert: The Man and His Music, Ka ‘Ano’i, In Dis Life
- In Europe: Somewhere Over The Rainbow – The Greatest Hits, Facing Future, Unforgettable, N Dis Life, Alone in Iz World, Wonderful World
- In North America: IZ: Voice of the People, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s Facing Future, IZ: The Songbook Collection, Guitar / Ukulele Edition, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s Facing Future
- In Europe: IZ: Voice of the People, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Facing Future”, Iz: The Songbook Collection
- In North America: Israel Kamakawiwo’ole: IZ – The Man Behind The Music, Island Music, Island Hearts, Hot Hawaiian Nights
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.