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Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search winners earn a spot on the main stage


Emcee Billy V. (left) and Outrigger Resorts Luana Maitland (right) with Ei Nei (center) – the 2017 winners of the Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search

HONOLULU – Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort is proud to announce Hawaii’s up-and-coming musical trio, Ei Nei as the winner of the ninth annual Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search competition after going up against fellow local musicians from across the island. The reigning band has now officially joined the main stage lineup at Kani Ka Pila Grille every Saturday in September from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the following dates: Sept. 2, Sept. 9, Sept. 16, Sept. 23, and Sept. 30.

Based out of Wailuku, Kaohao and Kaneohe, Ei Nei is comprised of Dane Fujiwara (lead vocalist and guitarist) Grant Kono (ukulele) and Ekolu Chang (bass). While Ei Nei is a relatively new music group, each band member has experienced an incredible musical journey throughout the years with several impressive accolades amongst them, including the 2014 Richard Hoopii Leo Kiekie Falsetto Contest and Ka Himeni Ana. Together, Ei Nei brings a smooth vocal blend of leo kiekie with rich harmonies that borrow past island traditions, providing music aficionados with a fresh, innovative take on the future of Hawaiian music.

“Year after year, we are blown away by the high caliber of artists competing in the Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search, making it incredibly difficult to choose a winner,” said Luana Maitland, director of music and cultural program director for Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort and Talent Search judge. “Ei Nei stood out with their unique Hawaiian sound and soulful lyrics and we’re excited to introduce their hit songs such as ‘Makakilo’ to our guests and visitors at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort throughout the month of September.”

Adding to the excitement, Ei Nei also received a personalized promotions and marketing plan consisting of a studio recording and electronic press kit at the Honolulu Community College’s Mike Curb, MELE Studios, to support their big musical break. Additionally, because the judges were so impressed with the groups that performed during the Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search competition, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort will be entertaining the finalists at Kani Ka Pila Grille on Saturdays from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in October.

Dedicated to Hawaii’s vibrant music scene and its support of emerging artists, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort is Honolulu’s hot spot for live entertainment and immersive local culture. Located poolside right off the beach, the musical fun at Kani Ka Pila Grille kicks off each evening at 6 p.m. with a regular lineup of distinguished Hawaiian performers. For reservations or restaurant information, call (808) 924-4990 or visit

Kani Ka Pila Grille Hawaiian Music Package – Perfect for those who prefer to be in the audience. Starting at $275 per night for a standard room at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, it includes priority seating for two people at Kani Ka Pila Grille, one deluxe pupu platter, one specialty drink and an autographed CD of Kani Ka Pila Grille’s featured Hawaiian music artist. Book online at for the guaranteed best rates.

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