Lopez, Cruz wow large crowd at E Kanikapila Kakou in Puhi

Local boy “Crazy” Eddie Lopez and frequent Kaua‘i visitor John Cruz delighted a large crowd of both musicians, singers and spectators at a recent E Kanikapila Kakou gathering at the Island School auditorium in Puhi.

E Kanikapila Kakou, the grassroots Hawaiian-music program hosted by leaders of the Garden Island Arts Council, brought the two together.

“E Kanikapila Kakou” means “let’s play a stringed instrument,” and the program is in its 23rd season on Kaua‘i, continuing last year’s theme of Musical ‘Ohana.

It’s Hawaiian music with a twist, with composers teaching the audience members how to play and sing their compositions.

Lopez, who has penned over 1,000 songs, has been a frequent participant in the Kaua‘i Mokihana Festival Composers Contest in years past.

Songs such as “I Like Lychee” and “Who Shot the Kala?” are evocative of his style.

He’s recorded two CDs, “Crazy on da Radio” and his recent release, “Crazy and Wild.” Lopez plays with a reggae band, the Roots Rockers. They practice at Kapa‘a Ball Park Tuesday through Thursday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., and invite onlookers.

Singer/songwriter Cruz’s opening Web site page reads, “Hawaiian Island rhythms drenched in powerful prose and warm embrace.” His music is a mix of Hawaiian roots and a unique style described on his Web site as “an intoxicating blend of blues, rock, folk and plenty of Hawaiian soul.”

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