Maui Arts & Entertainment

Paula Fuga sings “Tribute to Aretha Franklin,” plans a tour with award-winning album

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Singer-songwriter Paula Fuga plans to start her US Mainland tour, after performing her “Tribute to Aretha Franklin” concert at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on Aug. 13. She’ll be accompanied by a 10-piece band.

Hawaiian singer-songwriter Paula Fuga said she’s always been drawn to “Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin’s personality and music and looks forward to her “Tribute to Aretha Franklin” concert at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center Aug. 13.

“I love that she was a voice for female empowerment,” Fuga said.

“I grew up singing along to her music…She was magical, and I carry her love and light in my heart…”
The Nā Hōkū Hanohano winner for “Female Vocalist of the Year” in 2021, Fuga will be accompanied by a 10-piece band in the tribute concert, including a three-piece horn section and three of her favorite Hawai’i vocalists — Keilana Mokulehua, Maile and Lana Kei.

“Paula Fuga’s Tribute to Aretha Franklin,” presented by Subaru Hawaiʻi, starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Castle Theater.

Fuga, born in the rural Hawaiian community of Waimanalo, has a soulful voice and made her own strides toward becoming Hawaiʻi’s woman of soul with her song “Rain On Sunday,” also the title of her 2021 award-winning album.

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Both Franklin and Fuga sang in church choirs.

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Fuga recently sang with Jack Johnson in a “Benefit for the Kōkua Hawai’i Foundation” featuring Tavana and Mike Love. She has also sung with Ben Harper, and Ziggy Marley.

Fuga embarks on her Mainland tour the weekend after the Maui show.

Fuga said she was able to witness Aretha Franklin performing in a show in 2017, about a year before Aretha passed. Fuga said she’s honored to share the songs sung by Franklin.

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“The two Aretha Franklin songs I love most are “Daydreaming” and “All the Kings Horses.” I love them because she actually wrote them and to me they are the most interesting songs in terms of musical arrangement, harmonies and lyrics,” Fuga said. “They are more complex than most of her songs and I love it.”

Paula Fuga. PC: courtesy Maui Arts & Cultural Center

More information including tickets may be obtained by going to mauiarts.org or paulafugahawaii.com.

The MACC Box Office is not open for window transactions but is open the night of show for will call pick up. Online orders utilize print-at-home ticketing to facilitate touchless transactions. Tickets may also be downloaded to electronic devices for scanning upon entry into the venue. The Box Office is available for inquiries by email or phone 808-242-SHOW Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


For a weekly listing of Maui music and other events, go to Maui Entertainment, Arts, Community, Aug. 4-10 and click here.

Gary Kubota
Gary Kubota, an associate writer with MauiNow.com, has worked as a staff news writer with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and The Maui News. He lives on Maui. He’s also been an editor/business manager with the Lahaina News. He’s received national and regional journalism awards — a National Press Club Citation of Merit and Walter Cronkite Best In The West, among them.
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