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Enjoying Live Island Music

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Few Hawaii experiences are more pleasurable than live Island music, and your hotel concierge is the first stop in getting the latest scoop on who’s playing where. In fact, hotel restaurants and lounges are one of the best places to catch a traditional or contemporary performance by Hawaii’s favorite Island musicians. Other great venues for Island music include independent restaurants and lounges, shopping centers, festivals and luaus. Plus, be on the lookout for kanikapila events (jam sessions). For large-scale performances, check the online calendars for Oahu’s Blaisell Arena/Concert Hall/Waikiki Shell and the Hawaii Theatre, Maui’s Maui Arts & Cultural Center and the Big Island’s Hilo Palace Theater.

In Honolulu, a “must-hear” is The Royal Hawaiian Band. Founded in 1836, the band performs traditional and contemporary songs of the Islands in more than 300 concerts and parades each year. They frequently play at noon Fridays at Iolani Palace and 2 p.m. Sundays at Waikiki’s Kapiolani Park Bandstand.

Also on Oahu, The Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists presents Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of Hawaiian music with workshops, performances and other events. Mele Mei culminates in the Na Hoku Hanohano Music Festival and prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, recognizing Hawaii’s greatest Island musical performers.

Stay informed! Check out our daily live feed, Events & Special Deals (on every Island page), for details on upcoming Hawaii concerts, events and more. Also sign up for PERFECT DAYS HAWAII’s free monthly e-newsletter, Aloha From Hawaii.

 

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 ISLAND-MUSIC HAPPENINGS

Here are just a few of our favorite places around Hawaii to enjoy live performances of traditional and contemporary Island music. 

 

OAHU  

Nightly: Halekulani’s House Without a Key, Moana Surfrider’s Beach Bar, Outrigger Reef on the Beach’s Kani Ka Pila Grille, Chai’s Island Bistro and Duke’s Waikiki.

Monthly:  Kanikapila in Kailua and Bishop Museum Kanikapila.

Seasonal – The Honolulu Zoo’s weekly Wildest Show in Town, Waikiki Aquarium’s biweekly Ke Kani o Ke Kai and Waikele Premium Outlets’ weekend Summer Music Series. All in summer.

Annual: Ukulele Festival, Gabby Pahinui Waimanalo Kanikapila, Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, Aloha Festivals, Prince Lot Hula Festival and Polynesian Cultural Center’s Moanikeala Hula Festival.

 

MAUI

Nightly: Kaanapali Beach Hotel’s Tiki Courtyard, Four Seasons Resort Maui’s Lobby LoungeDuke’s Beach House and Hula Grill Kaanapali. 

 

EnjoyingLiveMusic_MACCPavilionWeekly: Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Concert Series.

Seasonal: Baldwin Home Museum’s Hawaiian Music Series.   

Annual: Slack Key Guitar Festival, Festivals of Aloha, Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival, Maui Ukulele Festival and Na Mele o Maui.

 

BIG ISLAND

Nightly: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel’s Copper Terrace and Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel’s Reef Lounge.

Weekly: Keauhou Beach Resort’s Verandah Lounge and the Palace Theater’s “Hawaiiana Live” program.

Annual: Slack Key Guitar Festival, Puna Music Festival, Big Island Hawaiian Music Festival and Merrie Monarch Festival.

 

EnjoyingLiveMusic_GuitarKAUAI

Nightly: Duke’s Kauai at the Kauai Marriott and the Grand Hyatt’s Seaview Terrace.

Weekly: Hanalei Family Community Center’s Slack Key Concerts.

Seasonal: E Kanikapila Kakou, weekly January through March.

Annual: Slack Key Guitar Festival and Kauai Mokihana Festival.

 

If you’re interested in learning more about the music scene in Hawaii, stay tuned to PERFECT DAYS HAWAII. We’ll be adding more stories about Island music to our MUSIC IN HAWAII segment, plus covering Hawaii’s world-class jazz, classical, rock and other types of music.

 

READ MORE MUSIC OF HAWAII:

Buying Island Music
Music of Hawaii

Perfect Partners

Hula Records
Hawaii Theatre
Hilo Palace Theater
Neil S. Blaisdell Center

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