Get mesmerized by the Hawaiian cultural arts while benefiting hula dancers.
The annual Makali’i concert highlights award-winning Hawaiian music and hula. Proceeds will benefit dancers entering the Merrie Monarch hula competition in April, as well as the Queen Lili’uokalani Keiki Hula Competition in July.
Presented by Halau Ka Lei Mokihana o Leina’ala, the event is set for Saturday at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Grand Ballroom.
“It’s going to be a wonderful evening of everyone coming together celebrating life and all that is Hawaiian and celebrating aloha,” said kumu hula, Leina’ala Pavao Jardin.
Na Hoku Hanohano award-winner and concert headliner, Natalie Ai Kamau’u, will be performing traditional mele. Her husband is her backing guitarist, while her brother plays bass.
“Natalie’s music touches the heart, so it’s such a great reminder to all of us to live with love,” Pavao Jardin said.
“They’re just incredible, and it’s been awhile since she’s been on Kauai, so this is going to be really nice,” she added.
Other appearances will feature the Maui band, Homestead, along with special guests Waipu’ilani Flores, falsetto singer John Mahi and Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. as the master of ceremonies.
“Now more than ever, with everything in the world going on, we just need aloha,” Pavao Jardin said. “In our Hawaiian culture that’s the foundation of who we are. I just feel we need times like this when we can get together and celebrate the culture of this land.”
A special hula performance will also take place with Kauai’s three mayoral candidates, Derek Kawakami, Lenny Rapozo and Mel Rapozo.
“They’re going to be actually dancing the hula,” Pavao Jardin said. “So some of my students have been meeting with them individually, working with them and training them.”
“They’re really quite amazing,” she said. “I’m excited to see what they put on for the public.”
The concert has been held at the convention hall for the last decade, but this year marks the return to the Hyatt, the original host venue.
In October, Halau Ka Lei Mokihana o Leina’ala celebrated 21 years since its start. Today, the halau has nearly 300 dancers.
“It’s just a night and evening of celebration, and the students can share hula with their parents and families,” Pavao Jardin said.
Outside the ballroom, the craft fair will start at 4 p.m. with Hawaiian music and hula beginning at 6 p.m. General admission costs $30, and VIP admission is $65.
“It’s definitely a night to not miss,” Pavao Jardin said.
Tickets are available islandwide at outlets such as Brick Oven in Kalaheo, The Wine Shop in Koloa, Aloha ‘Aina in Puhi and Vicky’s Fabrics in Kapaa.