As you may know, Mele Mei — the monthlong celebration of Hawaii’s music leading up to the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards — is my client. This means that, for an entire month (and a little more), I get to experience many of Hawaii’s top musicians up close. Every genre, from up-and-comers to the industry legends, become my life. My instagrams of food are shelved for photos of local entertainers and my desk is covered with CDs instead of snacks. It’s kind of cool, actually.
This last weekend was a whirlwind of entertainment, and you can see a sample of some videos I shot at my YouTube channel. In fact, keep the videos on while you do your work! Here’s a quick look at one of those events, the Na Hoku Hanohano All Star concert at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, which doubled as a fundraiser for the annual hotel charity walk.
Here’s one of the songs that Raiatea Helm sang:
Maunalua also performed a long set, which included Bobby Moderow’s wife dancing hula. Whenever I hear Hawaiian music like this, I want to eat Hawaiian food:
Bonus — on Sunday, I covered Hoku award-winners Mark Yamanaka and Weldon Kekauoha (peforming here with Jack Ofoia and Alika Boy). In this video, Weldon goes off on a tangent about what it’s like to buy bread from Kanemitsu Bakery on Molokai.
Want to see more? Next weekend is another big one, with two big events, both free. The Hawaii Book & Music Festival is on Saturday and Sunday at the Frank F. Fasi Civic Grounds. It focuses on local authors, musicians, and the unique culture that we share in the islands. They’ll even have speakers, like (ahem) a certain Nonstop blogger.
The other big, free event is the inaugural Ukulele and Slack & Steel Jam at Kapiolani Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can watch some of the biggest names in ukulele, slack key and steel guitar perform all day. Just bring your goza! Featured artists include: Alan Akaka and The Islanders, Ben Kaili, Brittni Paiva, Cyril Pahinui Band, Dennis & David Kamakahi, Kalei Gamiao, Kris Fuchigami, Ku`uipo Kumukahi & The Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame Serenaders, John Keawe, Makana, Maunalua, Nathan Aweau and Jeff Peterson.
Hope to see you at one of these events!