Hawaiian Musician Ledward Kaapana Told to Stop Playing at Honolulu Airport: Report

March 18, 2016 Updated: March 18, 2016

Ledward Kaapana, a renowned slack-key guitarist, was told by authorities to stop playing music at the Honolulu airport to the chagrin of many.

Kaapana, 67, has been playing guitar at airports for decades, but recently, a security guard told him to stop. Apparently, he was actually breaking the law, according to KHON-2 TV.

“You know, that’s my life. I love to play music and entertain people,” said Kaapana. He said he likes to play at the airport to calm travelers.

He said that others were enjoying his guitar playing when a security guard approached him on Wednesday.

“‘Excuse me, you cannot play guitar here.’ I said, ‘Excuse me?’ I said ‘you mean I cannot play music?’ He said, ‘No, you cannot do that here,'” Kaapana said.

“At the same time I was mad and I kinda felt, kinda shame, kinda embarrassed in front of all these people,” he said, adding that he’s been playing at airports for decades.

Let Hawaiians be Hawaiians and share our aloha.
— local Hawaiian

State Department of Transportation spokesman Tim Sakahara said playing music in the airport is against the law. He cited a state code that says at the airport, people cannot “chant or dance, use musical or other noise producing instruments, use megaphones or other sound amplifying apparatuses, or burn incense inside a terminal building.”

A number of people said the incident is absurd.

“Frankly I am ashamed and absolutely floored by this. What the hell is wrong with this picture Hawaii Visitor’s Bureau and State of Hawaii?” wrote one Hawaii local on Facebook. “Absolutely incredibly stupid and against all of the propaganda in your #‎letHawaiiHappen campaign. I am ashamed as a local girl. Let Hawaiians be Hawaiians and share our aloha. Ledward deserves an apology and if there is a law this stupid, it needs to be changed.”

Asked another: “Has the world gone mad?”

Slack-key guitar is a type of fingerstyle genre of guitar music that began in Hawaii.