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This festival, a unique blend of fun, tradition, and tribute, brings to life the pulsating heart of Hawaiian music in the most beautiful setting – Waikiki Beach. Whether you’re a visitor, longing for an authentic taste of Hawaiian culture, or a local who’s grown up with the rhythm of slack-key guitar strumming in your ears, this is something to do on Oahu that not many get to experience.
The Makalauna Festival isn’t just about the music though – it’s also a grand celebration of the legendary slack-key guitar virtuoso, Gabby Pahinui, fondly known as “Pops.” This event is all about keeping Pops’ legacy alive and ensuring that the next generation continues to dance to his soulful tunes.
WHAT: We are thrilled to announce that the cherished annual festival, Makalauna, is back at Waikiki Beach Walk. This event pays a heartfelt tribute to the departed slack-key guitar maestro Charles Philip “Gabby” Pahinui, fondly referred to as “Pops.” Make a note of the date for this remarkable occasion featuring performances from Del Beazley, Nathan Aweau, Waimanalo Sunset Band, and Greg Sardinha.
ABOUT GABBY PAHINUI: Regarded as a beacon of Hawaiian music, Gabby Pahinui was a master of slack-key guitar, a style unique to the Hawaiian islands. He was widely appreciated for popular songs like “Hi’ilawe,” “Moonlight Lady,” and “Wai O Ke Aniani.” Throughout his prolific career, Pahinui was lauded with numerous accolades, including the prestigious Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts Lifetime Achievement Award, marking his significant contribution to the Hawaiian music industry.
WHEN: Saturday, August 12, 2023
4 to 5 p.m.: Tribute Ceremony Hosted by Official MC & Host: Kimo Kahoano Curated by Waikiki Beach Walk Cultural & Entertainment Director Blaine Kia Performances by Halau Ka Waikahe Lani Mālie Special Guest: Kunia Galdeira, grandson of Gabby Pahinui, leading the lei draping
5 to 8 p.m.: Live Musical Homage (in order of performance) Performances by Del Beazley & Friends, Nathan Aweau, Waimanalo Sunset Band, and Greg Sardinha & Friends Special Guest Kunia Galdeira (grandson of Gabby) directing an exciting “Jam Session”
WHERE: Waikiki Beach Walk, Plaza Stage, 227 Lewers Street
WHO: The Pahinui family, including Gabby Pahinui’s grandson, Kunia Galdeira, will join in the festivities, sharing the stage with esteemed local musicians, artists, entertainers, apprentices, and enthusiasts of the art form. This event brings together admirers of one of Hawaii’s most beloved musicians.
WHY: “Makalauna extends beyond being a tribute to a luminary of Hawaiian music,” says Kumu Blain Kia, Cultural Advisor for Waikiki Beach Walk, and event organizer. “It reflects our core Hawaiian values and our role as hosts in Waikīkī. This event is a heartwarming congregation of ‘Friends of Gabby,’ enabling us all to express our fondness for the man and his music.”
WEB/INFO: For more details, please visit www.waikikibeachwalk.com/