Born on the Island of Hawai’i, Ben Kaili started playing Hawaiian music at age of eight with his Ohana (family) including his real Uncle George Naope. After awhile, he started listening to other local musicians, which inspired him to learn slack key.
Ben started playing with a group called Likelike with his good friend Ipo Kumukahi. At age seventeen Ben played with a group called Da Blalas of Keaukaha, together with Kuulei Ahuna and Richard Piggy Kaleohano. They performed at Rosie’s Boat House and at various events around the island.
Ben often preformed with his uncle George Naope and his Hula Halaus:Koulimanani E with Kumu Hula Iwalani Kalima and Keolu Makani O Mauna Loa with Kumu Hula Meleana Manuel. He could also be seen playing at various hotels, restaurants and festivals all around the island including the Big Island Hawaiian Music Festival, in which he has performed every year since it’s beginning over twenty years ago.
For the third time, Ben has been nominated for the prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for Slack Key Album of the Year for Kaowahi. Ben currently performs with a group called Kanakapila with Vic Chock, J.J. Ahuna and Dwight Tokomoto, at the Hilo Tavern, Shooters, Hilo Yacht Club and Café Pesto.