Ernest K. Kaai was born in Honolulu in 1881 and after attending Kemehameha
Schools and graduating from Punahou, he taught himself to play the ukulele and guitar. By 1906, he was one of
the best known musicians in Hawaii. He formed a quintet that was in constant demand, and he was musical
director at many Honolulu hotels. He hired Johnny Noble in 1917 and was a major contractor for musicians in
He also published music and manufactured ukuleles. He is the author of The History of Hawaiian Music ,
the first major reference work on the subject, and ran a music studio.
Biographical material from Tony Todaro, The Golden Years of Hawaiian Entertainment (Tony Todaro Pub., 1974).