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Makalauna Festival Resumes at Waikiki Beach Walk

Waikīkī, Hawai‘i (September 26, 2022) – Waikiki Beach Walk proudly announces the return of Makalauna, the very special annual festival that honors the late, slack-key virtuoso Charles Philip “Gabby” Pahinui, also affectionately known as “Pops.”

The festival began in 2017 with the installation of the statue of Pahinui next to the Plaza Stage at Waikiki Beach Walk, and had been suspended for the past two years due to the pandemic. Its return is not only another step towards the full return of popular activities and events from pre-pandemic times, but also a deeply significant cultural event. For some, the occasion will be a very personal one, as many people closely associated with the legend will be on hand.

This includes members of the Pahinui ʻohana, including “Pops’” grandson, Kunia Galdeira, himself an accomplished musician, who will be performing, along with a prestigious gathering of local musical friends, artists, entertainers, apprentices, and devotees of the art form along with admirers of one of Hawaii’s greatest musicians.

“Makalauna is more than just a celebration of one of Hawaiian music’s most important stars,” said Kumu Blaine Kia, cultural advisor for Waikiki Beach Walk, and organizer of the event. “It showcases the Hawaiian core belief system and our stewardship as the host culture in Waikīkī. It’s also a wonderfully heartwarming gathering where we are all “Friends of Gabby,” and able to show our affection to the man and his music.”

The prestigious gathering will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2022, on the grounds of the Waikiki Beach Walk Plaza, fronting the statue of Gabby, where the most momentous parts of the observance will take place.

The tribute will begin with the heralding call of the conch blow, followed by an opening chant. An offering of the hula is then presented accompanied in song. A renowned MC & Host will speak on Gabby’s musical life, followed by reflections on his life by members of his family and “friends of Gabby” who will share tributes in the form of lei, oli (chant), mele (song), himeni (choral), and live acoustic accompaniments. Gabby’s grandson Kunia Galdeira will lead the bestowing of lei upon Gabby’s statue.

The general public will then be invited to pay respects while remaining under protocol of the ceremonies. The ceremonies end with pule (prayer), as we all lock in arms with a one-ness with Gabbyʻs spirit. The celebration is then uplifted with live musical tributes by some of Hawaii’s finest musicians and entertainers to inspire all music makers to perpetuate our musical traditions for many generations to come.

The current schedule of events:

4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Ceremonial Tribute

  • Official MC & Host: Kimo Kahoano, with Waikiki Beach Walk Cultural & Entertainment Director Blaine Kia leading the ceremony
  • Special Guest: Kunia Galdeira, grandson of Gabby Pahinui leading the lei draping

5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.: Live Musical Tributes

  • Jerry Santos & Kamuela Kimokeo, and featuring Kawaikapuokalani Hewett
  • Mike Kaʻawa with Paul Kim & Analu Aina
  • Special Guest Kunia Galdeira (grandson of Gabby) leading a super “Jam Session”
  • Kawika Kahiapo with Dean Wilhelm & Joe Berinobis

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Click HERE for a PDF of this release.