Bassist John Koko has passed away at the age of 51, due to complications from a lifelong heart condition. He was a member of The Makaha Sons and had been a fixture of performing and promoting Hawaiian music.
Koko started his musical career at just 12 years old when he joined Na Leo O Nanakuli. Later, the Hawaiian native started playing bass for The Makaha Sons of Niihau in 1982. After founder and iconic vocalist Israel Kamakawiwoole died in 1997, the band shortened its name to “The Makaha Sons.”
“John attacked his business as a musician and entertainer with a passion,” the Makaha Sons said in a statement. “He always said, ‘whether we sing to one person or thousands – the delivery of their music is the same. No slack, no shortcuts.’”
Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of John Kapualani Koko.