Mele Mei Kauai brings live local talent, hula

  • Photo courtesy Waipuna

    Waipuna is performing live at the Waimea Theatre Saturday for Mele Mei Kauai.

WAIMEA — A month-long celebration of Hawaii’s music culture is underway with an exciting lineup of Hawaii music performances and concerts statewide.

The 8th annual Mele Mei puts the spotlight on local musicians including multiple Na Hoku Hanohano award-winning and Grammy-nominated artists, who will perform at venues around Hawaii, as well as in Los Angeles and throughout Japan.

Mele Mei will be coming to the historic Waimea Theatre on Saturday with a night of special performances featuring Waiola and headliner band, Waipuna.

“Kauai’s own Waiola, made up of John Mahi, Charlie Iona and Dayne Pabo, will open the show,” said Waimea Theatre’s Puni Patrick. “John’s falsetto voice, Uncle Charlie’s rhythmic bass, and their group’s shenanigans not only has us laughing but singing along as well.”

The three-time Na Hoku award winner, Waipuna, is a collaboration of talented musicians, Kale Hannahs, Matt Sproat and David Kamakahi. Their unique sound draws comparisons to their name, which means spring water, with the Kauai debut of their new CD.

The trio recently released “E Ho‘i Mai,” a collection of songs that pay tribute to where they have come from and recognize the people that have helped guide them. Like freshwater from the mountain spring that travels downstream bringing life to the lo‘i, Waipuna’s music will rejuvenate your senses with melodic music for the mind.

Presented by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts and the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Mele Mei Kauai annual celebration of music, hula and culture returns for an eighth year with a full lineup of live performances. The event will also feature performances by 2017 Master Keiki, Hula Tyler Valencia.

Enjoy food, drinks and live performances at Kauai’s circa-1938 Waimea Theatre from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at 9691 Kaumualii Highway. General admission for the 21-years-and-older concert is $20. VIP tickets cost $40 for a special meet-and-greet that includes a CD. Purchase tickets at or visit the box office at 9691 Kaumualii Highway in Waimea.


John Steinhorst, reporter, can be reached at 245-0435 or


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