Waikiki Hotels to Host Live Concerts Featuring Hawaii's Award-Winning Artists as Part of Month-Long Mele Mei 2012, April 27-May 29

The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (“HARA”) and the Hawaii Tourism Authority (“HTA”) are excited to announce a live concert series featuring Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners and nominees at premiere Waikiki hotels as part of the 2nd Annual Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of the music of Hawaii, April 27-May 29, 2012. These concerts will be held at Halekulani, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, The MODERN Honolulu, The Royal Hawaiian, and Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa.

Waikiki Hotels to Host Live Concerts Featuring Hawaii's Award-Winning Artists as Part of Month-Long Mele Mei 2012, April 27-May 29
Honolulu, HI, April 13, 2012 --(PR.com)-- The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (“HARA”) and the Hawaii Tourism Authority (“HTA”) are excited to announce the addition of live concert events featuring Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners and nominees at premiere Waikiki hotels as part of the 2nd Annual Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of the music of Hawaii, from April 27 through the end of May 2012. These concerts will be held at Halekulani, Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, The MODERN Honolulu, The Royal Hawaiian, and Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa. Find out more about their hotel partners and the artists, below.

A summary of the concert events is, as follows, by venue, in alphabetical order.

Halekulani – House Without A Key
• Tuesday, May 8, 2012 • 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Halekulani Presents the New Generation – featuring Waipuna

• Tuesday, May 15, 2012 • 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Halekulani Presents the New Generation – featuring Mailani Makainai

• Tuesday, May 22, 2012• 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Halekulani Presents the New Generation – featuring Kupaoa

• Tuesday, May 29, 2012 • 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Halekulani Presents the New Generation – featuring Mark Yamanaka

Halekulani Ticket Information: Free
Halekulani Parking: Valet
Halekulani Event Information: Tel. (808) 923-2311

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort – Great Lawn
• Friday, April 27, 2012 • 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Presents Na Hoku Hanohano All-Stars – featuring RobiI Kahakalau, Napua Makua and Amy Hanaialii

• Friday, May 18, 2012 • 6:30-9:30 p.m.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Presents Na Hoku Hanohano All-Stars – featuring Maunalua, Cyril Pahinui, and John Cruz

Hilton Ticket Information: $20 General. $50 VIP. $600 VIP Table for Six (includes food & beverage); Food & beverages available for purchase; All proceeds benefit the 34th Annual Visitor Industry Charity Walk.
Hilton Parking Information: $5 Self-Parking. $13 Valet.
Hilton Event Information: Tel. (808) 949-4321 or www.hiltonhawaiianvilllage.com/mele

The MODERN Honolulu – Pool Deck
• Saturday, May 26, 2012 • Time: TBA
The Modern Honolulu Presents Island Rock Pool Party – featuring The Throwdowns and PIMPBOT

The MODERN Ticket Information: TBA
The MODERN Parking: Valet
The MODERN Event Information: Tel. (808) 943-5800

The Royal Hawaiian – Monarch Room
Thursday, May 24, 2012 • 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The Royal Hawaiian Concert Event: Na Wahine Hanohano – featuring Teresa Bright and Natalie Ai Kamauu

The Royal Ticket Information: $42 Pre-Sale. $49 at the Door (includes parking validation)
The Royal Parking: Valet (see above)
The Royal Event Information: Tel. (808) 923-7311

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa
Moana Surfrider Presents the Sounds of Waikiki
(All Moana Surfrider event information TBA)

Please visit our website for all event updates and ticket information.

About Our Hotel Partners

Halekulani is an icon of luxury having welcomed the world’s affluent to Waikiki Beach for more than a century. The resort offers a legacy of gracious, personalized service and globally acclaimed cuisine. The exclusive Premier Suites at Halekulani are considered the elite collection of luxurious accommodations and the award-winning Spa Halekulani is celebrated for its healing cultural practices of Polynesia. For more information please visit www.halekulani.com.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is Waikiki’s only true destination resort, offering the perfect mix of exceptional resort accommodations and classic hospitality on Waikiki’s widest stretch of beach. The resort features more than 90 shops and 16 restaurants, lounges and bars; and every Friday evening, it sets the stage for a celebration of Hawaiian culture and entertainment ending in a spectacular fireworks show. For reservations, call the hotel directly at (808) 949-4321 or toll-free at 1-800-HILTONS, or log on to their website at www.hiltonhawaiianvillage.com.

The MODERN Honolulu combines great design and true innovation with friendly, modern service and one-of-a-kind food, beverage and entertainment options including a restaurant by world-renowned chef Masaharu Morimoto, the exclusive Addiction nightclub, a unique sunrise pool with bar and lushly landscaped gardens by Deborah Nevins, an exclusive private sunset beach with bar, an intimate lobby bar and an outdoor movie theater. Guests may also join the hotelʼs Surf and Bikini Boot Camp or indulge at The Spa at Waikiki. For more information please visit www.themodernhonolulu.com.

The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, has refreshed its grandeur with a multimillion-dollar transformation, taking "The Pink Palace" a step beyond traditional luxury resort expectations. The redesign has revitalized the entire property, conjuring a decidedly chic and modern atmosphere that is still captivatingly Hawaiian, making this Waikiki's finest luxury resort. A playground for international royalty, Hollywood elite, and heads of state, this legendary pink-hued retreat is ushering in a new era of Hawaiian-style luxury on Oahu's golden Waikiki Beach with striking décor and unmatched service. For more information please visit www.royal-hawaiian.com.

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa introduced the world to Hawaiian hospitality in 1901. Often referred to as the "First lady of Waikiki," this oceanfront Oahu hotel is a legendary landmark. Step back into yesteryear with all the contemporary amenities and unique services to make your Waikiki Hawaii vacation both memorable and enjoyable. The Moana offers restaurants and lounges along with a Snack Bar and Banyan Grill, 24 hour Room Service, and exceptional function space totaling over 15,000 square feet. Additionally, we offer a "Stay at One, Dine at All" philosophy whereby guests can stay at any one of the four Starwood hotels in Waikiki, dine at all four hotels or attend one of our shows and simply charge it back to their rooms. This feature truly allows our guests to expand the walls of their resort and enjoy so much more that Starwood’s Waikiki properties have to offer. For more information please visit www.moana-surfrider.com.

About The Artists
(in alphabetical order)

Teresa Bright
Teresa Bright is an award-winning vocalist, universally recognized as one of Hawaii’s top singers. The Hawa'i Academy of Recording Arts has awarded her its top Female Vocalist of the Year honor. Bright has recorded many albums including Self Portrait, Painted Tradition, A Bright Hawaiian Christmas, Ka Pilina, Quiet Nights, A Christmas Season’s Delight, Lei Ana and A Gallery. Hers is a voice crystalline, sultry, ethereal, powerful, touched with jazz and a multitude of color.

John Cruz
John Cruz has distinguished himself as one of the most talented artists that has ever come from Hawaii. He was named the Best Singer Songwriter by Hawaii Magazine in 2008. This well-earned reputation became even more solidified when he released his long-awaited second album, One of These Days, in 2007. It debuted firmly at #1 in Hawaii, #2 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart, and #6 on the Billboard World Chart. The Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts gave the CD its highest honor in 2008, by awarding John the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Contemporary Album of the Year. Look for album #3 sometime in 2012.

Amy Hanaialii
Amy Hanaialii’s talent is the result of an exceptional blend of classical training, modern musical influences and heritage. Her success as a recording artist speaks for itself and is evidenced by the multitude of awards and acknowledgements, including three GRAMMY® nominations for Best Hawaiian Music Album. Amy’s albums have also garnered 15 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, including the prestigious Female Vocalist of the Year (4 times), Hawaiian Album of the Year (3 times), Song of the Year, Group of the Year, and most recently Contemporary Album of the Year and Christmas Album of the Year.

Robi Kahakalau
Robi Kahakalau, or, as many of us call her, "Sistah Robi," is considered one of Hawaii's most popular entertainers, and is unquestionably one of our most versatile female vocalists. She has won multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for excellence in the Hawaiian recording industry. Her distinctive voice, creative energy, as well as mastery of seven languages (one of them being Hawaiian) puts her in a class of her own.

Natalie Ai Kamauu
Natalie Ai Kamauu won the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for female vocalist with both of her previous solo albums — “‘E” in 2006 and “‘I” in 2009. Kamauu sings in Hawaiian and English with the same sweet beauty while a constellation of talented musicians provides entrancing arrangements around her. There’s “Fire­man’s Hula,” which stands out for its glorious vitality, “Kuu Pua Pakalana” for its aura of romantic intimacy, and “Nani Kauai” for the introspective delicacy she brings to it. And there’s “E Pii i ka Nahele,” which is performed as an exquisite duet for voice and nose flute. (from a review by John Berger, Honolulu Star-Advertiser)

The combined talents of Kellen Paik and Lihau Hannahs embody the name they've chosen for their musical presence – Kupaoa. The name describes a “strong, lingering fragrance” which reflected their hopes that their music would linger with people like sweet, memorable fragrances. In 2008, Kellen and Lihau released their debut album, Pili O Ke Ao which was nominated for 4 Na Hoku Hanohano awards. In 2009, the members of the Hawaii Academy of Recording Artists honored the duo with a Na Hoku Hanohano award for Most Promising Artist of the Year. Kellen and Iokepa Badis also received the prestigious Haku Mele Award for Hawaiian language song composition of the year for the Uluwehikalunaoka‘ala.

Mailani Makainai
Having started her musical career as a part of the Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning duo Keahiwai with Lei Melket, and then continuing as a member of the trio Mighty J, Mailani Makainai went on to win the Na Hoku Hanohano Award for “Female Vocalist of the Year” in 2010 for her self-titled solo debut, “Mailani,” released by Mountain Apple Company. The talented singer-songwriter’s unique voice and original songs have endeared her to fans in Hawaii and around the world.

Napua Makua
In 2006, Maui kumu hula Napua Greig Makua embarked on the journey of her first solo recording project, “Pihana” (released in 2007). She received six nominations at the Na Hoku Hanohano Music Awards, and won “Best Female Vocalist.” Wayne Harada of the Honolulu Advertiser wrote, “Make room for this kumu-turned-songbird on the awards mantle; hers is a refreshing and remarkable debut.” Desiree Cruz of the Honolulu Weekly said, “Greig makes an impressive debut, sure to be a major contender at the 2008 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. Make way as Napua Greig takes her place amongst the best and brightest in Hawaiian music.” And in 2011, Napua went on to win four Na Hoku Hanohano Awards - Female Vocalist Of the Year, Hawaiian Album Of The Year, Favorite Entertainer and Best Graphics for “Mohalu.”

Maunalua – Bobby Moderow, Jr., Kahi Kaonohi, and Richard Gideon – has been honored by HARA over the past twelve years with numerous Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, including multiple “Group of the Year” awards, “Hawaiian Album of the Year” (for “Maunalua”), and “Entertainer of the Year.” The popular trio has performed around the world, including as featured entertainers at a luau in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Maunalua’s music represents their strong belief in family, friendship, trust and culture. Having played together since 1993, Maunalua continues to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian tradition through their songs.

Cyril Pahinui
Cyril Pahinui, son of musical legend Gabby Pahinui, is, in his own right, one of Hawaii’s most gifted guitarists and singers. Cyril has twice played at Carnegie Hall in New York, has contributed to three Grammy Award-winning albums, received several Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, and recorded on more than thirty-five Hawaiian musical releases. As a ki hoalu guitarist, Cyril’s technical virtuosity, rhythmic adaptations, and instrumental harmonics impart the soul of Hawaiian music, and his beautiful, emotive, and well-recognized voice renders an intimate picture of his Pacific island home.

For over a decade, PIMPBOT - Fernando "The Love Machine" Pacheco, Tom "Tommy Utah" Coleman, Rylan "Big Sexy" Yee, Eric "The Biz" Lagrimas, Ray "rAYBOT" Farias, Nic "Nza" Ramos - has been blaring infectious tunes out of Honolulu's nightlife capital...Waikiki. The multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Award-nominated PIMPBOT balances their audiences between Hawaii's tourist industry, and it's thriving underground music scene. In a world of cover bands, they have always stayed true to their original material, carrying humorous stories from everyday life - from having a breakfast after a one night stand to driving with an empty gas tank. PIMPBOT has shared the stage with many celebrated groups such as Candlebox, Third Eye Blind, The Ataris, Reel Big Fish, Less Than Jake, The Toasters, General Public featuring Dave Wakeling, The Aquabats, Save Ferris, Buck-O-Nine, Go Jimmy Go, The Aggrolites, The Skeletones, the One Man Ska Band-Chris Murray, Los Furios (Canada), and Oi-Skallmates (Japan), to name a few.

The Throwdowns
The Throwdowns - Kimo Clark, Erin Smith, Ola Shaw, and Ian Hollingsworth - are Maui’s champions of pop-rock, garnering rave reviews for their charismatic live show and engaging pop songs. They are the epitome of young, modern Hawaii. The Throwdowns have shared the stage with A List bands like The Fray, Train, Panic at the Disco, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Steel Pulse and Matisyahu. They were nominated for two prestigious Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and appeared on countless magazine and newspaper covers.

Waipuna is an exciting collaboration of two talented individuals, Kale Hannahs and Matt Sproat. Their eclectic musical backgrounds and similar taste in music has led to the development of a unique sound that draws comparisons to their name, Waipuna, or spring water. After the release of their critically acclaimed first album, Manao Pili, in 2009, the duo has been blessed with the opportunity to share their music with Hawaii, the continental US, and Japan. The duo has been nominated for the 2012 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in five categories for their latest release, E Hoi Mai - Album of the Year, Group of the Year, Island Music Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Song of the Year, and Favorite Entertainer of the Year.

Mark Yamanaka
Big island artist Mark Yamanaka swept the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards last year, winning Album of the Year, Male Vocalist, Most Promising Artist and Song of the Year (for "Kaleoonalani"). Mixing Hawaiian standards with newly composed Hawaiian language songs, Yamanaka's debut album, "Lei Pua Kenikeni," was nominated for eight awards. He is only the third musician to win three major categories with a debut album, after Willie K in 1992, and Kealii Reichel in 1995. Known for his beautiful falsetto, Yamanaka is a student of kumu hula Johnny Lum Ho. He began playing music while attending intermediate school in Hilo, beginning with the ukulele and later teaching himself guitar. Soon after, he discovered a talent for falsetto. (from an article by Jon Woodhouse at Maui News)

About Mele Mei
Sponsored by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts (“HARA”) and the Hawaii Tourism Authority (“HTA”), Mele Mei – or May: Hawaii Music Month - is a month-long celebration of the unique music of Hawaii. It encompasses workshops, concerts, award ceremonies, and even a Guinness World Record attempt, and culminates with the Na Hoku Hanohano Music Festival and 35th Annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. The 2012 Mele Mei events will be held throughout Waikiki at various hotels, on the beach, at restaurants, the Hawaii Convention Center, and other venues. For more information, please visit www.melemei.com.
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