WAIKIKI, HONOLULU, OAHU – The preliminaries are over and five finalists have been selected in this year’s Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search! They are: Simply Sedd, Coyne Street, Halawa, Kamakakehau Fernandez and K.B. Filey.
On Saturday, August 18, 2012, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the finalists will take the stage at the Neal Blaisdell Center’s Pikake Room during the Made in Hawaii Festival for the contest’s grand finale. In front of friends, families and fans, each group will showcase their traditional and contemporary Hawaiian tunes in the hopes of securing the grand prize of a one-month paid contract to perform weekly at Kani Ka Pila Grille, located poolside at Outrigger Reef on the Beach. The prize also includes complimentary studio sessions at Honolulu Community College’s Mike Curb MELE Studios.
This year’s Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search finalists are traditional and contemporary musicians who entered the talent search by submitting a music sample on DVD or link to an online performance. Finalists include:
- Simply Sedd: A contemporary Hawaiian musical group that consists of three friends that met while performing in the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Hawaiian Ensemble. The group’s members include Kalae Camarillo, Christian Taum and Olu Campbell.
- Coyne Street: Comprised of three members of the Hawaii Opera Theatre Chorus, Coyne Street features Dr. Mel Chang, Les Loo and Dean Conching. Jam sessions after opera rehearsals and performances are common occurrences for the trio, which led to their first appearance performing at a keiki first birthday party.
- Halawa: The band members live in the Kalawahine Streamside Hawaiian Homestead and started playing together when neighbors needed entertainment for parties, weddings, fundraisers and celebrations. The group consists of Eddie Kam, Derald Kam and John Baker.
- Kamakakehau Fernandez: Ryan Kamakakehau Fernandez is often described as having a “Hawaiian heart and soul.” He was born in Arkansas, adopted at six-weeks old, and raised on the island of Maui. Kamakakehau’s family and home have played an integral role in shaping him into a local singer and musician.
- K.B. Riley: This group is made up of four members: Albert Makanani Jr., Bryson Lopez, Kainoa Delo and Greg Lopez. The band formed nearly six months ago, but brings years of musical experience individually with a diverse background of genres, ranging from traditional Hawaiian music to local contemporary.
The five finalists were selected in July and invited to perform live at this year’s Made in Hawaii Festival in front of a panel of judges that will include:
- Cyril Pahinui, Grammy-nominated slack key guitar master
- Jason Genegabus, entertainment and online editor at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and HonoluluPulse.com
- Keala Chock, program coordinator for MELE at Honolulu Community College
- Luana Maitland, ambassador of aloha and music director at Kani Ka Pila Grille
The winning performer or group will receive a one-month paid contract with Kani Ka Pila Grille at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach, which includes four Thursday performances throughout September 2012 (September 6, 13, 20, 27). The remaining four finalists will each play one Thursday performance throughout October (October 4, 11, 18, 25).
“The annual Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search is one of our favorite events of the year,” said Luana Maitland, ambassador of aloha and music director at Kani Ka Pila Grille. “We discover such gifted, local entertainers through this competition and enjoy being able to support and help them grow in their musical careers. The talent search truly exemplifies ‘kani ka pila,’ which means to make music.”
“Holding the final star performances at the Made in Hawaii Festival is an exciting and fitting way to invite the community out for a fun, local-style concert while we wrap up our talent search,” added Patsy Narimatsu, director of sales and marketing for Outrigger Reef on the Beach. “Celebrating 65 years in Hawaii, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts truly values the perpetuation of Hawaii’s cultural and musical heritage; we feel that this Hawaiian music contest and festival complement each other well by amplifying the traditions of our island state.”
Kani Ka Pila Grille is a casual restaurant that offers delicious island-fusion dishes in a relaxed and open dining atmosphere. The fun begins each evening at 6 p.m. with live musical entertainment that includes a regular line-up of legendary Hawaiian artists such as Cyril Pahinui, Kawika Kahiapo, Weldon Kehauapo and Sean Naauao, as well as other luminaries such as Waipuna, Amy Hanaialii, Na Palapalai, Kupaoa, Mark Yamanaka, Brother Noland, Ledward Kaapana, Troy Fernandez, and Kainani Kahaunaele, to name a few. Kani Ka Pila Grille is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For reservation or restaurant information, call (808) 924-4990.
About Outrigger Reef on the Beach
The oceanfront anchor of Waikiki Beach Walk®, the Outrigger Reef on the Beach is ideally situated between beautiful Waikiki Beach and exciting Waikiki. The hotel is a haven of elegance, gracious hospitality and unparalleled commitment to Hawaiian culture. The property’s two towers offer large guest rooms and superbly appointed suites. There are two beachfront restaurants, an array of specialty stores and shops, a day spa featuring specialty services and products by Aveda, and a collection of services, all with no resort fee! The adjacent Waikiki Beach Walk® is Oahu’s spirited and stylish entertainment destination, home to shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and accommodations spanning a nearly eight-acre area in Waikiki.