Birth of a Tradition

The Na Hoku O Hawaii Music Festival will debut this May.

Some of Hawaii’s biggest recording stars will appear at the inaugural Na Hoku o Hawaii Music Festival.

Photo: Courtesy Na Hoku o Hawaii Music Festival

A new music festival, beginning May 27, will incorporate and build off of the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, creating a four-day event designed to boost the economy and celebrate Island culture.

“The Na Hoku o Hawaii Music Festival will be the must-attend event in Hawaii in 2010,” says Dawn Kaniaupio, a partner at 4 Miles, the company that is organizing the inaugural festival. “This will be four days of music, culture and the arts alive in Waikiki.”

“We want the world to know that we live in the greatest place on Earth with the most incredibly talented musicians,” says Dirk Fukushima, the festival’s executive producer. Partnered with the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (HARA), 4 Miles intends for the event to preserve cultural and musical practices, while stimulating the local economy.

Performances by 100 Hawaii recording artists—including Amy Hanaialii, Na Leo, Henry Kapono, Anuhea and Makaha Sons—will take place at 25 venues throughout Waikiki. The organizers hope to draw in the 75,000 estimated tourists in Waikiki as well as inspire an additional 3,000 to 5,000 visitors to fly in specifically to experience the festival.

The Hawaii Convention Center will have slack key guitar and vocal workshops, as well as demonstrations and cultural exhibitions showcasing Hawaiian art and music. The festival will include the Lifetime Achievement Award Luncheon on May 29 and will culminate with the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on May 30, honoring local recording artists.

Stages include:

Outrigger & OHANA Properties: Outrigger Reef Hotel – Kani Ka Pila Grille; Outrigger Reef Hotel – Shore Bird; Ala Moana Hotel – Pakele Lounge; Ohana Waikiki Beachcomber-Jimmy Buffet‘s at the Beachcomber; Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach –Dukes Waikiki Restaurant; Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach – Hula Grill Waikiki and Waikiki Beach Walk.

Starwood Hotels Waikiki properties including Sheraton Waikiki – Rum Fire & the Edge of Waikiki; Sheraton Princess Ka‘iulani – Pikake Terrace, Moana Surfrider- The Banyan Courtyard and the Royal Hawaiian – Mai Tai Bar.

Hilton Hawaiian Village – Tropics Bar & Grill & Tapa Bar

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel – Tikis

Halekulani Hotel – House Without a Key

Royal Hawaiian Center – Helumoa

Kuhio Beach Hula Mound


For a list of all the artists, venues and workshops, and to purchase tickets for individual events or all-access passes, go to