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15th Annual Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search


Last year’s Talent Search finalists and judges |  Winner Kekoa Correa – download images HERE

HONOLULU – Outrigger Resorts proudly continues its support of Hawai‘i musicians through its annual Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search. The winner will receive a month-long contract to jam on Kani Ka Pila’s brand new stage at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. Now in its 15th year – the call for entries is open Oct. 10-20, 2022, with the finals held during the Made in Hawai‘i Festival at Ala Moana Shopping Center on November 12 from 1-6 p.m.

As part of the resort’s $80 million modernization, Kani Ka Pila Grille has been fully re-imagined with a brand new stage, expanded seating and enhanced selection of locally sourced food and drinks. Slack-key legend Cyril Pahinui bestowed the venue’s name, which means “let’s play music,” evoking the unfettered joys of backyard jam sessions and impromptu hula.

“Hawaiian music fills our souls and lifts our spirits. It is healing and takes you back to happy times, or as we say, ‘to a sense of place,’ a place where you belong,” said Luana Maitland, director of cultural experience for Outrigger’s Waikīkī resorts. “We are grateful to honor Uncle Cyril by perpetuating the next generation of Hawai‘i musicians through this talent search and welcoming guests to come enjoy Hawai‘i as it should be.”

To enter, aspiring traditional and contemporary Hawaiian musicians are invited to share a DVD music sample or digital link to a past performance. Registration must be completed by October 20, and include the name and high-resolution photo of the artist or group, along with a contact name, address and phone number. Submissions can be sent to or Luana at Kani Ka Pila Grille, c/o Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, 2169 Kaila Road, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96815. For more information, visit

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort will announce four finalists on Tuesday, October 25. These top island musicians will then be invited to perform live at this year’s Made in Hawai‘i Festival on Saturday, November 12, 2022, in front of a panel of renowned Hawaiian music industry professionals including:

  • Milton Lau, CEO of Ki-Ho‘alu Foundation and Founder of the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festivals
  • Kawika Kahiapo, Master Slack Key Guitar artist, Multi Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winner
  • John Vierra, MELE Program Coordinator at Honolulu Community College, Assistant Professor, Audio Engineering
  • Luana Maitland, Director of Cultural Experience for Outrigger Resorts and Kani Ka Pila Grille

The grand prize winner will receive a one-month paid contract with Kani Ka Pila Grille that includes four performances within a month in 2023. In addition, the winning artist or band will receive a personalized social media marketing package featuring an electronic press kit and promotional audio/video clips recorded at Honolulu Community College’s Mike Curb MELE Studios.

Located poolside at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, Kani Ka Pila Grille is Honolulu’s home for nightly live Hawaiian music. The restaurant offers delicious dining in a relaxed and open atmosphere from 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. A regular line-up of award-winning musicians kick-off each evening at 6 p.m., including Kawika Kahiapo, Sean Na‘auao and Ho‘okena, Nathan Aweau, Kala‘e Camarillo and Ei Nei, with occasional special guest appearances, and of course, impromptu kanikapila! Parking is $8. For reservations or restaurant information, call (808) 924-4990 or visit:

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Click HERE for a PDF of this release.