Back to Homepage

Ninth annual Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search opens call for entries


Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 9.57.30 AM
Outrigger Resorts Luana Maitland with Pu’uloa – the 2016 winners and emcee Billy V.

HONOLULU – Outrigger Resorts, a dedicated advocate of Hawaii’s vibrant arts and culture scene, is continuing its tradition of supporting local island musicians through its ninth annual Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search. The call for entries for this year’s contest is open now through July 17, 2017 – with the final showdown taking place during the 2017 Made in Hawaii Festival at Waikiki’s Neal Blaisdell Center on Saturday, August 19, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Outrigger is eager to uncover another pool of budding musical talent from across the islands and provide them with the ultimate stage to share their gift,” said Luana Maitland, director of music and cultural program director for Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. “We are so encouraged by the excitement that surrounds the annual search and couldn’t be more proud to have a role in giving Hawaii’s own up-and-coming artists their first big break.”

To enter, Outrigger invites aspiring traditional and contemporary Hawaiian musicians to share a DVD music sample or digital link to a past performance. Registration must be completed by Saturday, July 17, 2017 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, Hawaii 96815. For more information, visit

Once the call for entries in closed and the entrants are reviewed, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort will announce the five finalists on Friday, July 21, 2017. The top island musicians will then be invited to perform live at this year’s Made in Hawaii Festival on Saturday, Aug.19, 2017, in front of a panel of renowned Hawaiian music industry professionals including:

  • Bobby Moderow, GRAMMY Award nominee and Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner
  • Pali Kaaihue, President of the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts
  • Eric Lagrimas, Instructor of Music & Entertainment Business, MELE at HCC
  • Luana Maitland, Director of Music for Kani Ka Pila Grille and Cultural Program Director

Following the in-depth talent search process, the grand prize winner will receive a one-month paid contract with Kani Ka Pila Grille, including the commitment of five performances during the September 2017 Island Music Series, hosted on the following dates: Sept. 2, Sept. 9, Sept. 16, Sept. 23, and Sept. 30. Adding to the excitement, the winning artist or band will receive 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.

As the grand prize winners of the 2016 Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search, Pu’uloa’s nod to classic Hawaii sound featuring a 12-string guitar, 8-string ukulele and an upright bass, struck nostalgic vibes that impressed the judges and stole the crowd’s hearts during last year’s final competition. The Hawaiian trio consists of Brandon Serrano, Andrew Kona Purdy and Christian Legaspi, and the band’s name “Pu’uloa” is the traditional place name for Ewa Beach. With all three band members having roots from that district on the island, the band’s name and rising star power is a thoughtful tribute to the hometown they so proudly represent.

During this year’s finals for the Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search on August 19, Pu’uloa will take the stage for an encore performance from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., followed by an autograph session. The talent search contest will resume from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Located poolside at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, Kani Ka Pila Grille is Honolulu’s hot spot for live Hawaiian music. The restaurant offers delicious all-day dining in a relaxed and opening dining atmosphere from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The musical fun kicks off each evening at 6 p.m. with a regular line-up of distinguished Hawaiian performers including Sean Naauao, Weldon Kekauoha, Maunalua and a rotating selection of other award-winning island artists. 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.

Click here for a PDF of this release.