When the Honolulu Pulse said, “Willie K can play or sing almost anything an American audience might ask for,” that wasn’t hype, it was the literal truth. The Hawaiian phenomenon Willie K is undoubtedly the only artist in the world who can go into an Irish pub in the middle of Maui and play anything from indigenous acoustic Hawaiian music to jazz, reggae, rock, country and even opera—and not only get away with it but leave everyone within earshot slack-jawed in astonishment. No less than Prince is a huge fan, calling Willie K a “funky mother#%@&er,” while another avowed fan is a fellow Hawaiian who goes by the name Barack Obama.
The music of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Weldon Kekauoha has been turning heads in Hawaii's music scene since 1998. Whether he's belting out soulful ballads or plucking bright riffs from his guitar, the gutsy songster from Kaneohe puts a fresh spin on the classics and brings a melodious candor to his own tasty tracks. Lauded by the Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts, Weldong grew up with an instrument in his arms and a head full of inventive lyrics. His lifelong training makes for gentle, rich and innovative music that's as musically nuanced as it is addictive.
PUNAHOU AND CASTLE HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ BANDS 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION
A native New Yorker who has spent substantial time performing in Polynesia, Mike Lewis has recently moved back to Hawaii from the Pacific Northwest. He is the creator and band leader of Big Band Monday at Jazz Minds Honolulu and the Jazz Band Director at University of Hawaii.
Kuana currently maintains his own Hawaiian Music & Culture School in Japan. He teaches in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka with over 200 combined students. He offers courses in voice, haku mele, mele hula, fresh lei making, ukulele and guitar. He is one of the most popular entertainers performing in Hawaii and Japan. He performs and teaches cultural workshops all over the world.
Donavon Frankenreiter began his professional life as a surfer, earning a sponsorship with Billabong as a young teenager and moved to Hawaii when he was 14. Music was always a hobby for Frankenreiter, who began playing guitar in a local rock band called Sunchild during his late teens, but it wasn't until 2002 that he grew confident enough to try a solo career. After relocating to Kauai, he began gravitating toward Hawaiian instruments like slack key guitar, lap steel, and ukulele. All three have been prominently represented on his albums ever since.
NY turned local trumpet player Mike Lewis and his talented friends pay tribute to one of the greatest contemporary soul singers of the last 30 years - Sade.
Kalani Peʻa, a native of Panaʻewa, Hilo, HI who currently resides on Maui has released his debut album featuring seven haku mele (Hawaiian original music compositions) and five of his favorite covers. Peʻa is all about perpetuating Hawaiian language through music and visual arts as he created his album titled “E Walea” which means to come together like birds, be elated, exuberant and enjoy. On August 5th 2016 "E Walea" hit number 1 on the iTunes world music charts and on August 15th 2016 "E Walea" hit number 12 on the Billboard world albums charts. On February 12th 2017 Kalani Pe'a's debut album "E Walea" took home the Grammy® Award for "Best Regional Roots Music Album".