Mauian Musician Wins Oahu Talent Search

September 4, 2012, 6:51 PM HST · Updated September 4, 6:51 PM
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By Maui Now Staff

Kamakakehau Fernandez, winner of the 4th Annual Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search. Courtesy photo.

Island musician Kamakakehau Fernandez of Maui has won the 4th Annual Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search on Oahu.

Five finalists were initially selected based on a sample music performance submitted by DVD or online link, and later evaluated by their final performances on Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Made in Hawaii Festival.

Fernandez receives a one-month paid contract to perform weekly this September at Kani Ka Pila Grille, located poolside Outrigger Reef on the Beach, as well as complimentary studio time at Honolulu Community College’s Mike Curb MELE Studios.

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“Kamakakehau’s traditional Hawaiian songs and smooth falsetto voice impressed the judges and wowed the crowd at this year’s Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search,” said Luana Maitland, “ambassador of aloha” and music director at Kani Ka Pila Grille. “We can’t wait to introduce him to our guests in September – his music will definitely be a special treat for our patrons.”

Fernandez is often described as having a “Hawaiian heart and soul.” He was born in Arkansas, adopted at six-weeks-old, and raised on the island of Maui. He has studied Hawaiian culture and is proud to be a fluent Hawaiian language speaker. Fernandez credits his family and home for their integral role in shaping him into the singer and musician he is today.

Providing back-up for Kamakakehau Fernandez (left) at the finals were (left to right) Charley Fukuba, Tino Jacob, and Lawrence Pau. Courtesy photo.

Fernandez will be performing at Kani Ka Pila Grille every Thursday night throughout the month of September and at Waikiki Beach Walk on October 30. Additionally, the four remaining finalists from the talent search will perform for one night each per week at both Kani Ka Pila Grille and Waikiki Beach Walk throughout the month of October.

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