In Chinatown, Al heard plenty of music coming from the many dance halls and he often stopped to listen to the Salvation Army bands that played on the street. Christmas time was one of his favorites and also when he learned to sing along with the carolers he heard everywhere he went. Along with the other children of the era, Al also learned to sing the 1950's rock and roll songs of such artists as paul Anka, Pat Boone, and Frankie Lyman.
A few years later Al took to hanging out with Hailama Simeona, an older gentleman who played doo-wop on the ʻukulele and sang leo kiʻekiʻe, the Hawaiian falsetto style of vocals. Many a night passed during the the warm summers where the melody of 'Silhouettes' could be heard. This was Al's first exposure to live music and where the seed to become a player was truly planted in his heart.
There were a lot of people who sang and played an instrument in the Hawaiʻi of Al's youth and he was constantly exposed to music of some sort. One of those earlier influences was Al's oldest and best friend ʻImaikalani Kalāhele who played blues and folk music. Through this friendship Al was introduced to the music of a young folk artist called Bob Dylan.ʻImaikalani's great ability drew Al to singing in a choir and to expand his musical palette.
Al joined many intermediate and high school singing groups that didn't last for very long. But, through this period, Al was always in the company of one musician or another. Through the extensive playing and jamming of this era, Al's personal vocal style started to develop and it became obvious to him that he was meant to become a musician.
With the arrival of the 1970's came the renaissance of Hawaiian music and culture in full force. The "Red" or ʻFace" album of the Sons of Hawaiʻi grabbed Al's attention and he became hooked on the folk style of traditional Hawaiian music. Realizing that the slack key style was becoming a dying art, Al began to learn to play and sing the sounds he was hearing from these more traditional Hawaiian style musicians. After trying to learn on his own, Al grabbed the opportunity to take a six week guitar class from Hawaiian slack key legend Keola Beamer. Under Beamer's tutelage, Al began to develop his own guitar playing in the slack key style that sounded so sweet to him.
From there, Al embarked on a journey that was to be an exploration into the Kanaka Maoli culture and language. With no written language, the ancient Hawaiians passed on their histories, geneologies, and legends in the form of oli, or chants, and through dancing hula. In 1997 Al graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi with a bachelors degree in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. He has used the language to aid him in interpreting songs that were written in his native tongue. It has also allowed him to further develop his own style of music in his ancestral language.
Al has always endeavored to present the music of Hawaiʻi with sensitivity and aloha. In his own music, Al is always mindful honoring the mele of his ancestors and plays with deference and respect to those composers of Hawaiian music from times before. Al has had the honor of sitting in with many of Hawaiʻi's leading artists and has learned so much from those experiences.
ʻO Hawaiʻi is Al's first recording and the collection is comprised of some of his favorite tunes as well as two of his own compositions. Al has always wanted to record something to leave behind for his daughters and moʻopuna and this humble attempt evolved into the recording that he is now offering to the world.
Al is grateful to the people who have always encouraged him to never give up in the pursuit of his music. He is especially grateful to his late mother Catherine Tringali who purchased that violin so long ago. And, to his spouse Mary Ann who is his most ardent fan and supporter.