Maui Arts & Entertainment

Kanikapila with Raiatea Helm and more at free UH System music festival, April 9

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Raiatea Helm, Kamuela Kimokeo, and Bobby Moderow, Jr. PC: University of Hawai’i

The inaugural Kani Kūola: UH System Music Festival takes place Saturday, April 9, featuring both in-person and online events from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Highlights include the lunchtime Hoʻokani Kulanui event, featuring Raiatea Helm, Kamuela Kimokeo and Bobby Moderow, Jr. Guests are welcome to bring their instruments and voices, and join in the kanikapila (jam session) at the University of Hawaiʻi–West Oʻahu campus, which is hosting the event.

Faculty from UH music programs statewide invite the community to enjoy morning educational workshops; afternoon kanikapila, master classes and panels with community and music industry professionals; and evening performances by students, community members and guest artists.

Visit the Kani Kūola: UH System Music Festival website for the most up-to-date information about the event. Click here to register.

“The name ‘Kani (sound) Kūola (life-giving) UH System Music Festival’ was chosen to highlight the many benefits music brings to our lives, most particularly mental health benefits,” said Jon Magnussen, UH West O‘ahu associate professor of music and chair of the humanities division. “This is the first time ever that our music programs from around the UH System are uniting to share the waiwai (wealth) of music opportunities offered by our campuses and in our communities. The festival will offer a wide variety of in-person and online activities and events to highlight some key learning opportunities that kamaʻāina and malihini (foreigner) will find life-giving and meaningful.”


During the Songwriters’ Open Mic, new artists will perform new originals in public for the first time. Kani Kūola culminates with an evening concert showcasing the power of music creation in the community. The Hawaiʻi Lullaby Project 2022, with support from the national project of Carnegie’s Weill Music Institute, will bring a final sharing concert with new lullabies created by artist-facilitators and parents from partner organizations Adult Friends for Youth and the Mary Jane Home of Catholic Charities.


Magnussen emphasized that Kani Kūola is for everyone, offering an opportunity to both nurture mental health and celebrate music.

“You owe it to yourself to take time and enjoy some wonderful music and music-learning opportunities that the day will provide,” Magnussen said. “There’s something for everyone in this festival—from the complete beginner to the serious amateur, from the dedicated listener to the professional.”

The UH music festival is scheduled to rotate to a new campus every year. Future hosts include Windward Community College in 2023 and UH Maui College in 2024. 


Festival supporters include the Hawaiʻi State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority, the Institute for Research and Engaged Scholarship at UH West Oʻahu, and the UH West Oʻahu Music Fund.

*Courtesy University of Hawai’i and Ka Puna O Kaloʻi / Zenaida Serrano Arvman

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