The Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts (HARA) and Mele Mei have announced “Mele Mei: An Evening of Song” – a preview of the month-long celebration of Hawai'i's music, language and culture known as Mele Mei.
The dinner concert takes place Sunday December 28, 2015 at the Kahala Resort and Hotel (5000 Kahala Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816) and features entertainment by multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winners Natalie Ai Kamauu, Ku’uipo Kumukahi, and Maunalua. Reservations can be made by calling the Resort at (808) 739-8760. Cost is $70 plus tax and gratuity. The doors open at 5pm for dinner; the concert is from 7 to 10pm.
A former Miss Aloha Hula (1990) and multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner (including Female Vocalist of the Year three times), Natalie is best known for her powerful yet angelic voice – although she is also a talented songwriter. Her extraordinary talent and down-to-earth, thoughtful, and loving nature shine very brightly through her music, as they are an integral part of who she is.
Known as the “Sweetheart of Hawaiian Music,” Ku’uipo Kumukahi has won Female Vocalist of the Year honors several times (in addition to her many other Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards). One of her albums received an unprecedented 9 Nā Hōkū nominations in 1994, and garnered 5 awards. She is a long-time board member (and past president) of the Hawai’i Academy of Recording Arts.
Maunalua (Bobby Moderow, Jr., Kahi Kaonohi, and Richard Gideon) released their first album in 2000, and promptly won the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for “Hawaiian Album of the Year.” Their next two albums also won Nā Hōkū Awards, including Group and Favorite Entertainer of the Year. All strong vocalists, the group is known for its tight harmonies accentuated by Moderow’s falsetto and prowess with slack key guitar.
Established in 2011, Mele Mei begins in late April and continues throughout the month of May, culminating on Memorial Day weekend with the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards (Hawai’i’s GRAMMY© Awards). The celebration features many of Hawai’i’s top artists in concert (many of the concerts are free) at a variety of venues throughout the islands. Other cultural events are also included, such as hula (including Merrie Monarch winners) and the Book and Music Festival; as well as workshops with representatives from the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS – the GRAMMY© people), the Honolulu International Film Festival (HIFF), and more.
For more information about the preview concert, call (808) 739-8760. For information about Mele Mei and the upcoming events for 2015, go to http://www.melemei.com/
Originally from California, Iʻve lived on Oʻahu for a number of years. Music has always been my passion and Iʻm fortunate to be able to work with and support many of Hawaiʻiʻs musicians. For such a tiny speck in the middle of a very large ocean, we have an amazing wealth of talent here!