Main Stage Hula & Music Program
Click on the individual's name to access their complete biography and links.
SATURDAY APRIL 30
Emcee: Kimo Kahoano
Clarke Bright, Bandmaster
10 a.m. Saturday April 30. Main Stage
Founded in 1836 by order of King Kamehameha III, the Royal Hawaiian Band is one of the last living links to Hawaiʻi's monarchy. Steeped in tradition, the Band has survived a number of political changes throughout the years. it has remained a vital part of Hawaiʻi's daily life as the islands evolved from a monarchy to a territory, and finally to the 50th State of the United States. Today, the Royal Hawaiian Band, under the musical leadership of Bandmaster Clarke K. Bright, is an agency of the City and County of Honolulu and is the only full time municipal band within the United States.
Hālau Hula Ka No‘eau
1 p.m. Saturday April 30.
Born in Honolulu, Michael Pili Pang began dancing hula as a youngster, and later studied under Maiki Aiu Lake and Mae Kamamalu Klein, as well as master chanter Pualani Kanaka‘ole Kanahele. In 1986 Michael opened Hālau Hula Ka Noʻeau on the Big Island, and later in 2002 he added a second hālau in Honolulu. With his hālau hula (hula and performing group), Pang combines the folklore of the Hawaiian Islands with traditional hula, styling, music, and chant to present emotional and stirring performances that are sure to impress audiences. Pang explores both the traditional styles of his hula genealogy, and creates new hulas based on Hawaiian tradition.
11:15 a.m. Saturday April 30. Main Stage
Hālau Mōhala ‘Iima
Noon April 30.
Māpuana de Silva is a graduate of Punahou School (1967) and Pacific University (1971). In 1975, she graduated as a kumu hula from Maiki Aiu Lake and, a year later, opened Hālau Mōhala ‘Ilima. She continued her hula studies under Lani Kalama, Sally Wood Naluai, and Pat Namaka Bacon, and completed three years of Hawaiian language study at UH Mānoa. In addition to teaching or supervising all of the hālau's 14 weekly classes, Māpu has been a part-time kumu hula at the Hawaiian language immersion school Ke Kula ‘O Samuel M. Kamakau, and she has volunteered for 30 years as the kumu hula of the Kamehameha Schools' hula club Nā Wāhine Hele Lā o Kaiona. In the summers of 2004, 2008, and 2012, she led the Hawai‘i delegation to the 9th, 10th, and 11th Festivals of Pacific Arts in Palau, American Samoa, the Solomon Islands, and -- in the summer of 2016-- she will do the same for the 12th FoPA in Guam.
1 p.m. April 30,
These songwriters have competed in two previous rounds to reach this final competition. The first- and second-place winners will perform one original song each on the HBMF Main Stage. They are competing to win free attendance at the Hawai‘i Songwriting Festival, June 16-18, 2016.
Judges: John Cruz, Barry Flanagan, Kenneth Makuakane
Barry Flanagan & Kenneth Makuakane
2 p.m. Saturday April 30.
Barry Flanagan, songwriter and guitar player, founded HAPA in 1983m with Keli`i Kaneali‘i. Their debut album in 1993 remains the #1 selling recording by a group or duo in the history of recorded Hawaiian music. The group is the most established name in Hawaiian music, and performs more than 100 shows a year out of state.
Kenneth Makuakāne has produced over one hundred thirty albums. As a multi-instrumentalist, he has been on hundreds of recording projects. A prolific songwriter of over fifteen hundred songs, Kenneth's compositions have been recorded by local artists like the Brothers Cazimero, Nā Leo Pilimehana, Kapena, the Pandanus Club, Amy Hānaiali‘i Gilliom, Loyal Garner and Gary Haleamau, as well as international artists from Japan like Yuri Chika and Yuki Miyamae. Ken Makuakane has received more than one hundred and fifty nominations and a total of fifteen Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. Makuakane is the recent recipient of the Hawai ʻ i Academy of Recording Arts 2015 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Lifetime Achievement Award.
3 p.m. Saturday April 30.
Walt Keale is a native (Cherokee & Hawaiian) recording artist. Keale's story is rooted in the widely respected traditions of Ni‘ihau (Hawaii's "forbidden island"), where his mother's family has been for nearly two thousand years. His father's Arkansas family, seeds of the Dustbowl migrations to the ag-rich farmland of the San Joaquin Valley, settled humbly among ranchers, farmers and migrant workers. Keale's music echoes the sounds of Ni‘ihau, the bluegrass of the Dustbowl & the latino strings of jarocho, cumbia & ranchera! In this diverse and fertile soil, he learned to sing from Grandma Lavesta's church all the way to the shores of Makua beach. His music brings forward the legacy of the Keale family. He is nephew to the Hawaiian music legend, Uncle Moe Keale (The Sons of Hawaii & ukulele virtuoso), and first-cousin to Skippy and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (Makaha Sons of Niihau, "Bradda IZ"). His voice is theirs & belongs to the Ancestors.
4 p.m. April 30.
Recognized as one of Hawaii’s most versatile musicians, Jeff Peterson has collaborated with a wide variety of artists from Hawaii, across the US, and abroad. His focus on Slack Key guitar, classical, and jazz music is deeply rooted in the traditions of his Hawaiian heritage. Born on Maui, he grew up on the slopes of Haleakala where he was introduced to the rich heritage of Hawaiian music by his father, a paniolo, or Hawaiian cowboy, on the Haleakala Ranch. He has contributed to two Grammy Award-winning recordings and has been honored with four Na Hōkū Hanohano Awards. His solo CD Maui on My Mind was recognized as the Slack Key Album of the Year in 2010. His next release featured his songwriting, performing, and producing on Amy Hanaiali`i and Slack Key Masters of Hawaii. The groundbreaking recording features a collaboration between Jeff, Amy Hanaiali`i, Cyril Pahinui, Dennis Kamakahi, Sonny Lim, and Chino Montero. His latest release titled Slack Key Travels includes twelve new compositions and new arrangements of classic Hawaiian songs and won the 2014 Hoku Award for Best Slack Key Album.
SUNDAY MAY 1
Emcee: Keith Haugen
10 a.m. Sunday May 1.
KFC, a trio that provides "finger-lickin' good" Hawaiian music and hula, is made up of Keith & Carmen U`ilani Haugen, who performed in Waikiki for more than 30 years, including 17 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, and Frank Uehara, who plays a single-string "bucket bass" and is known throughout the Islands as Hawai`i's "pakini master." They specialize in older, more traditional Hawaiian music.
11 a.m. Sunday May 1.
Singer-songwriter Blayne Asing, born and raised on the island of Oʻahu, taught himself how to play guitar by watching YouTube videos. He began playing ʻukulele at age eight; singing in the Kamehameha Children’s Chorus at age nine; playing guitar at age 14; and playing percussion in the Kamehameha Schools marching, concert, and pep bands from ages 12 to 18. Although he grew up loving the music of popular Hawai’i artists such as Ernie Cruz, Jr., Brother Noland, Gabby Pahinui, Olomana, and more, his own music is heavily influenced by country and folk music artists such as James Taylor and Jackson Browne.
Noon, Sunday May 1.
Kawika Kahiapo has 39 Years in the Hawaiian music Industry. A student of Gabby Pahinui, he has participated on 84 Album projects to date. His Na Hoku Hanohano Awards include: 2015 Slack key Album of the Year; 2015 Island Album of the Year; 2015 Na Hoku Hanohano 12 time Nominee; 2007 Song of the Year “Life In These Islands”; 2007 Group of the Year- “Kaukahi”; 2007 Kiho’alu Award (Slack key) Recipient. He was a 2010 Grammy-winning Artist on the Hawaiian Album “Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. ” His collaborations with Jack Johnson include: “Curious George,” “Sing along Lullabies,” Hawaiian Slack-Key Kings,” “Better Together, ” and the Kokua Festivals CD, “Constellations,” with Jack and Eddie Vedder.
1 p.m. Saturday April 30.
A native Cherokee & Hawaiian, Walt Keale's story is rooted in the traditions of Ni‘ihau, where his mother's family has been for nearly two thousand years. His father's Arkansas family, seeds of the Dustbowl migrations to the ag-rich farmland of the San Joaquin Valley, settled humbly among ranchers, farmers and migrant workers. Keale's music echoes the sounds of Ni‘ihau, the bluegrass of the Dustbowl & the latino strings of jarocho, cumbia & ranchera! In this diverse and fertile soil, he learned to sing from Grandma Lavesta's church all the way to the shores of Makua beach. He is nephew to the Hawaiian music legend, Uncle Moe Keale (The Sons of Hawaii & ukulele virtuoso), and first-cousin to Skippy and Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (Makaha Sons of Niihau, "Bradda IZ"). His voice is theirs & belongs to the Ancestors.
Hālau Hula Na Pualei o Likolehua
2 p.m. Sunday May 1.
Kumu Hula Niuli’i Heine is a Native Hawaiian, graduate of The Kamehameha Schools, and received her Business Management Degree at Chaminade University. She lives on Hawaiian Home Lands in Waimanalo. Niuli’i has danced hula for over 30 years for Na Pua Lei O Likolehua, recently graduated in 2009 as a Kumu Hula (hula teacher) and is now teaching in the halau. She is actively involved in outrigger canoe paddling with over 30 years of experience as a paddler and coach. Niuli’i is an Assistant Vice President at First Hawaiian Bank.
UKULELE MAY DAY KANIKAPILA
We end the Festival with a two-hour ‘UKULELE MAY DAY KANIKAPILA
In Honor of the ‘ukulele being named the official Hawai‘i State Musical Instrument (along with the pahu)
Ask everyone to bring their ukes and join in!
THE ONSTAGE PLAYERS
Kimo Hussey and a Wainae group of ‘ukulele players
Bring Your Uke and Join In!
Make a May Day Memory!