In 2010, I had the privilege of attending the inaugural Na Hoku O Hawaii Music Festival, a four day festival celebrating the music and musicians of Hawaii. Little did I realize at the time that soon this festival would expand to a month-long celebration called Mele Mei which will culminate in the now renamed two-day 2013 Na Hoku Hanohano Music Festival and 2013 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Hawaii's GRAMMY® awards) on Saturday evening, May 25, 2013.
Started in May 2011, Mele Mei (literally translated as May Song is celebration of Hawaiian music and Hawaii's music in all of its wonderful and unique forms. It is presented by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (HARA).
In fact, just recently the finalists for the 2013 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards honoring the best in the music of Hawaii have been announced.
As explained on the festival's website, "the events capitalize on Hawaiian music's global appeal to make the state of Hawaii the destination for national and international participants and visitors."
2013 Waikiki Events
Mele Mei will feature more than 30 events, including workshops, live concerts and awards ceremonies throughout Waikiki at various hotels, venues and the beach from April 26 - May 31, 2013. You can download a full schedule of 2013 Mele Mei Events.
Included are a series of four weekly concerts at Halekulani features multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Award winning artists beginning on Tuesday, May 7. Scheduled performers are: Hi‘ikua (May 7); Napua Makua (May 14); Nathan Aweau (May 21) and Natalie Ai Kamauu (May 28).
The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort will feature a three-hour Concert on the Lawn on Saturday, May 11 featuring Na Hoku Hanohano All-Stars John Cruz, Maunalua, Raiatea Helm and ukulele virtuoso Taimane.
For more information, log onto www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com/mele, or call the resort at (808) 947-7955 and ask for the Na Hoku Hanohano All-Stars Concert. Self-parking at the Hilton Hawaiian Village will be offered at a discounted rate of $5 per vehicle for the concert. Valet parking is $13 per vehicle.
The concert is a fundraiser for the 35th Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk which will be held at 7 a.m. on Saturday, May 18. It is one of the largest single day fundraisers in the state, providing opportunity for the visitor industry to collectively give back to the local communities. Since its inception in 1978, the Charity Walk has raised more than $23 million for local charities. For more information, log onto www.charitywalkhawaii.org, or call 808-923-0407.
On Sunday, May 12, the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa will present a special Mother's Day concert featuring Mark Yamanaka and Weldon Kekauoha. Details on this concert are currently unavailable.