Maui Arts & Entertainment

Mele Mei Kicks Off with Maui Ho‘olaule‘a

April 27, 2018, 11:28 AM HST
* Updated April 27, 11:46 AM
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For the first time ever, Maui entries and nominees for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards will be featured in an all-day, free ho‘olaule‘a on Saturday, April 28, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Great Lawn of the University of Hawai‘i Maui College in Kahului.

Grammy Award-winning musician George Kahumoku Jr. performed after the tie-breaking putt at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Kapalua. File photo by Wendy Osher.

This event is part of the statewide Mele Mei celebration of Hawaiian Music, and is sponsored by the Institute of Hawaiian Music, Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts, and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority.

The ho‘olaule‘a will include performances by the students of the Institute of Hawaiian Music, Pono Murray, Matagi, Ahumanu, Grammy and Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winner George Kahumoku & Anthony Pfluke, Mondokāne, Halemanu Villarimo & Tarvin Makia, Cane Fire, Melinda Carrol with Lehua Simon, Mikeala Bega and Bentley Kalaway, Pat Simmons, Jr., Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winners Kanekoa, Damien Paiva, and Goldawn Won.

More than half of the performers are also finalists for the a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award this year. Winners will be announced at the Hawai‘i Convention Center on May 19.

UHMC Hoʻolauleʻa.

In addition to the live performances, the Institute of Hawaiian Music will host three workshops. The first will feature IHM director and HARA governor Dr. Keola Donaghy, who will discuss both the Grammy and Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, the benefits of membership in both organizations, and how to enter your music releases into the awards.


The second will feature multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning songwriter, producer, performer and engineer Kenneth Makuakāne, who will discuss songwriting, and guide participants through writing their own song.


In the third workshop, participants will learn how to create pūniu – a coconut shell drum used in hula. It will be conducted by Kapono‘ai Molitau. There is a $10 fee for each workshop, and a $50 material fee for the pūniu-making workshop.

The ho‘olaule‘a will have food and drinks available for purchase. Both parking and entrance to the event are free. For more information or to reserve a seat in one of the worskhops, contact Dr. Keola Donaghy at [email protected] or by calling (808) 984-3570.

Performance Schedule
9 a.m. Pono Murray
9:40 a.m. Matagi
10:20 a.m. Ahumanu
11 a.m. George Kahumoku & Anthony Pfluke
11:40 a.m. Mondokāne
12:20 p.m. IHM Continuing Students
1 p.m. IHM 2018 Graduates
1:40 p.m. Halemanu Villarimo & Tarvin Makia
2:20 p.m. Cane Fire
3 p.m. Melinda Carrol
3:40 p.m. Pat Simmons, Jr
4:20 p.m. Kanekoa
5 p.m. Damien Paiva
5:40 p.m. Goldawn Won

Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. Image Credit: Mele Mei


Presented by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts, the annual celebration of music and culture, Mele Mei, enters its eighth year with a full lineup of live performances statewide. The annual event will take place from April through June and feature Hawai’i musicians including Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning and Grammy-nominated artists performing at venues and events across Hawai’i as well as in Japan.

This year’s schedule of performances kicks off with the Maui Ho’olaule’a described above, and continues with Navigating 70 Years of Outrigger Hospitality, a Mele Mei Soiree, the 6th Annual Honolulu Ekiden & Music Festival, 41st Annual Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards, and much more.

“Mele Mei has become an annual tradition that shares and perpetuates the aloha spirit through the celebration of Hawai’i’s music, artists, and musicians,” said Pali Ka’aihue, Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts president. “These events are an opportunity to put our talented Hawai’i artists center stage and bring together the community with the sounds of our Islands.”

A separate Mele Mei ma Maui event will be held at the Lahaina Banyan Tree on Saturday and Sunday, May 12-13, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  This event features two nights of special Hawaiian music performances.

Make the most of your Maui vacation with these top-rated activities: Maui Top 20: Maui Visitor & Tourism Information
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