Live Hawaiian Music Around Honolulu
Hana Hou!: You may have to rub elbows with tourists, but it’s worth it, once the Brothers Caz, Ledward Kaapana or Paula Fuga come on stage. Here’s where to hear live Hawaiian music every night, and not just in town.
Chai’s Island Bistro
Friday nights are the busiest. Why? Three words: The Brothers Cazimero, who have been playing at Chai’s for 14 years. On Wednesdays, Robert plays by himself; Thursdays, it’s Jerry Santos of Olomana and on Saturdays it’s Danny Couch. 1 Aloha Tower Drive, 585-0011, chaisislandbistro.com.
Come Sunday, 4 to 6 p.m., to catch Henry Kapono strumming his guitar, the beach a mere 10 feet away. On Fridays, Maunalua plays. 2335 Kalakaua Ave., 922-2268, dukeswaikiki.com.
Kani Ka Pila Grille
“Kani ka pila” means to make music, and, with artists such as Weldon Kekauoha who plays on Tuesdays, and Cyril Pahinui, on Wednesdays, it’s a concept this grill takes seriously. A crowd favorite is Pahinui, son of legend Gabby Pahinui. “They sit here and feel like they’re sitting with Gabby,” says Luana Maitland, the Outrigger entertainment director. 2169 Kalia Road, 924-4990, outrigger.com.
This Moiliili oasis is all about family fun. “We encourage audience participation,” says dining room manager Zenelle Rawlins. Artists such as Herb Ohta Jr., Maunalua and Waipuna play on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Bonus: happy hour runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 901 Hausten St., 952-9200, willowshawaii.com.
Kona Brewing Co.
Every Sunday evening, a crowd packs into Kona Brewing Co. to see Ledward Kaapana. “We call them Led heads,” says manager Lindsay Landin. It’s first come first serve, so get there early. 7192 Kalanianaole Highway, 396-5662, konabrewingco.com.
No need to drive to town for live music. At the resort’s indoor/outdoor bar, The Olelo Room, Hoku Zuttermeister plays Fridays from 6:30 to 10 p.m., Hookena plays on Saturdays, Jerry Santos on Tuesdays and Kaukahi on Sundays. Plan to spend $35 on food or drink to validate the four-hour parking. 92-1185 Aliinui Drive, 674-6200.
Surfer, the Bar
Musicians like John Cruz, Anuhea and Jack Johnson have dropped in to jam at Surfer, the Bar, but our favorite is Paula Fuga on Hawaiian Music Mondays. Fuga joins in once a month, this month it’s Sept. 24 from 7 to 10 p.m. Surferthebar.com, 293-6000.
Big Country Bar and Grill
Co-owner Kaleo Keeno says mostly Waimanalo folks come to the bar, and bikers on Sundays. Musicians such as Ekolu Makou, Kapena and Kamomi play on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 41-1537 Kalanianaole Highway, 259-5020.
Hilton Hawaiian Village
On Thursdays, relax to the voice of Nohelani Cypriano and, on Saturdays, listen to Henry Kapono at Tropics Bar and Grill. Cypriano also plays at the Tapa Bar on Fridays at 8 (just after the fireworks). Hilton’s longest-standing musician is Jerry Santos, along with band Olomana, who’s played there for 19 years. Santos and Olomana perform at the Tapa Bar on Fridays and Saturdays. 2005 Kalia Road, 949-4321, hiltonhawaiianvillage.com.
Hale‘iwa Joe’s Haiku Gardens
Overlooking the Koolau Mountains, this neighborhood restaurant is known for its open-air seating, and its prime rib. Every Friday, from 8:30 to 11 p.m., people enjoy the two while listening to bands such the Ka‘ala Boys and Kamaka. 46-336 Haiku Road, 247-6671, haleiwajoes.com.
House Without a Key
Halekulani has live music every night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., featuring the Delima ‘Ohana, Pa‘ahana, Po‘okela and the Sunset Serenaders. Even better, there’s hula performances by two former Miss Hawai‘is: Kanoe Miller and Debbie Nakanelua, and the current Miss Hawai‘i, Lauren Cheape. 2199 Kalia Road, 926-8004, halekulani.com.
The Mai Tai Bar
The Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian, is the perfect setting to sip a mai tai (what else?) while listening to the Kapala Duo, Delima ‘Ohana, Kamakakehau Duo and more. Each performance starts at 6 p.m. 2259 Kalakaua Ave., 923-7311, royal-hawaiian.com.
Do you have a favorite place to hear Hawaiian music? Comment below.