2012 Big Island Hawaiian Music Festival

The 2012 Big Island Hawaiian Music Festival is coming up in July:

The 23rd Annual Big Island Hawaiian Music Festival (BIHMF) is scheduled for Saturday & Sunday, July 14 & 15, 2012, with twelve hours of entertainment from Noon to 6:00pm both days at the Afook Chinen Civic Auditorium.  The primary goal of this event is to honor and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.  The BIHMF features all forms of Hawaiian music including Slack Key Guitar, Steel Guitar, Ukulele and Falsetto with Hula, while providing a unique & authentic experience that honors & perpetuates Hawaii’s culture.

On Hawai`i Island, we are blessed with the best Hawaiian musicians in the world, including Slack Key Guitar, Steel Guitar, Ukulele and Falsetto.  This year’s theme will be “Hawai`i Island Hawaiian Musicians”.

Building on last year’s success, we are planning our biggest and best music festival ever.  The addition of Hula to our music festival the last two years really completed our showcase of the Hawaiian.  Hula Halaus like Kahikilaulani really added excitement to our festival.  But unlike the Merrie Monarch Festival, we feature the musicians who are rarely seen on TV at the Merrie Monarch.

In our effort to attract international visitors last year we established the “Japan Connection”.  Last year, The BIHMF was featured in a centerfold article of the September 2010 “Hawaii Fan” Magazine, the largest Hawaiian music magazine in Japan, with a distribution of 100,000.  The article, written in Japanese, pointed out that our festival has “real” and “authentic” Hawaiian music as opposed to the “Japanese Hawaiian” music in Japan.  The names of all of our performers were also included in the article, promoting them and our festival in Japan.  Also last year, we tried to arrange a group from Japan to come to our festival and we had six people signed up, until the earthquake.  They were all from the Sendai area and had to cancel.

This past year, the BIHMF was featured three times in centerfold articles of the Hawaiian Fan magazine, in their September 2011, October 2011 and November 2011 issues.  Again, the articles pointed out that our BIHMF is a “real” and “authentic” Hawaiian music festival.  We feel that this is important because of the strong support that already exists for Hula in Japan and these articles may help inspire many Japanese to come to our festival next year.

This year we received a full page ad on the HFM Back page on both the January and February 2012 issues of HFM.  In February they also advertised a to arrange for a group from Japan to come to our festival for a Music Tour and we are exploring the possibility of inviting Japanese musicians who play Hawaiian music at our festival.

Again, this year we will continue to focus on Environmental Sustainability by increasing recycling efforts, minimizing waste, using recycled products, providing transportation alternatives and conserving water and supporting alternate forms of transportation to the event.

Tickets are available at East Hawaii Culture Center and Big Island Hawaiian Music Festival.

8th Annual East Hawaii Cultural Center Lei Day Celebration

WHAT: Lei Day

WHEN: 10 am – 3 pm – Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

WHERE: East Hawai’i Cultural Center & Kalakaua Park

  • Music
  • Entertainment
  • Hula
  • Food
  • Crafts
  • Vendors
  • Lei making demonstrations
  • Tea with Her Floral Majesty, Lei Day Queen Hokulani Fo (reservations are a must)

Bring the family for a day of fun at Kalakaua Park.  For info and/or reservations call 898-0850 or e-mail info@leiday.net

Puna Men’s Chorus – “Aloha Broadway” Shows Coming Up

Have you ever wondered how a spectacular Broadway show is put together? What goes on behind the scenes? The triumphs and the tragedies along the way?

Puna Men's Chorus

Our new show, Aloha Broadway!, transports you to the other side of the curtains. It’s an inside look at the million and one things that go into putting on a show, and how the excitement builds leading up to opening night. Along the way, we present our unique tributes to over fifty of your favorite show tunes!

Prepare to be entertained and wowed by the Puna Men’s Chorus, our wonderful director, Amy Horst, and special guests as we serve up songs and Broadway musical theater in our unique, heartwarming and often irreverent style.

Where to Buy Tickets:

  • In Kea’au, at Kea’au Natural Foods
  • In Hilo, at Basically Books and Hilo Bay Books
  • In Pahoa, at Jungle Love and Puna Java
  • On the Red Road (Hwy 137), at Kaimu Korner and Kalani Honua
  • Online, at the PMC Online Store

General admission tickets are $15. Seniors (60+) and students are $12. Children 5 and under are free. Advance tickets are available at the above locations. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Concert Dates: 

  • Friday, January 20 at the East Hawaii Cultural Center in Hilo
  • Saturday, January 21 at the Hawaiian Paradise Park Homeowner’s Association Center in Puna
  • Saturday, January 28 at the Palace Theater in Hilo
  • Saturday,  February 4 at the Kalani EMAX Center

For all performances, doors open at 7:00 pm and shows start at 7:30 pm. For more event information, contact us at info@punamenschorus.org .

Dia de los Muertos at the Volcano Arts Center

This year, Volcano Art Center and East Hawaii Cultural Center are collaborating in the remembrance of loved ones who have passed away with a two-day celebration of Dia de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead.”  Based on the actual dates of this ancient cultural celebration, Dia de los Muertos will take place on November 1st and 2nd, 2011 in both Hilo and Volcano.  During this event, Volcano Art Center will host an exhibit of artwork based on the subject of death, loss, mortality and the passage of time, ending with a fiesta celebration of life on the evening of the second day. With traditional art, food, a community shrine and costumed procession through town, participants of all ages are invited to join in the festivities with skeletal face painting or masks.

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos celebrations are often lively, colorful gatherings of friends and family who bring flowers, photos, mementos and even the favorite foods of their loved ones to create memorials or “altars.” Lee Walczuk, local performance artist and theater aficionado, brought notice to the event in past years by creating shrines and activities “in contemplation of the inevitability of our mortality and the dearly departed.”

On Tuesday, November 1, an evening procession takes place in downtown Hilo, beginning and ending at the East Hawaii Cultural Center.  Participants are encouraged to dress in themed attire and bring flowers and candles in jars to illuminate the path with light and color.  Personal sentiments may also be shared in short, individual readings of three minutes or less.


Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos

On Wednesday, November 2, guests are invited to dine and dance the night away in a decorative, energetic finale at Volcano Art Center.  Tickets go on sale October 8, 2011 and are available for purchase by calling (808) 967-8222.  Advance tickets are $12 or $15 at the door.  Attendees will savor complimentary pupus, community art and special entertainment.  Art will be available for purchase as well as limited edition Dia de los Muertos jewelry by Artist Amy Flanders.  Participants cast their votes for the most impactful, inspirational and festive submissions from artists of all ages who contribute to the exhibition and awards presented.

In anticipation of this spectacular event, free Shrine Making and Mexican Folk Art activities are offered at both Volcano Art Center and East Hawaii Cultural Center in the weeks preceding the event.  Those inspired may contribute to the community shrine by lending their own memorial objects, photos, flowers or embellishments to the display.  For details on this event, visit Volcano Art Center’s Dia de los Muertos page at www.volcanoartcenter.org. To find out how to get involved, contact Anne Catlin at community@volcanoartcenter.org.

Volcano Art Center is a 501c3 nonprofit educational organization created in 1974. VAC promotes, develops, and perpetuates the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of Hawai’i through the arts and education.

Hilo Community Players Present: It’s a Wonderful Life

Media Release:

In the years before everyone had a TV set, many hit movies were adapted for radio, including the Christmas season favorite, “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Now that radio-play, originally broadcast in 1947, will be presented on stage by the Hilo Community Players (HCP) in old-time radio style – with scripts in hand, live music, and sound-effects.

Performances will be given at the East Hawaii Cultural Center (EHCC) December 3, 4 and 5;

In “It’s A Wonderful Life,” George Bailey is a small-town guy who dreams of seeing the world, but never gets a chance to leave home. When his family business and everything else starts to fall apart, he wishes he’d never been born. But an angel shows him what his family, his friends and his home town would have been like without him, and George realizes how important and wonderful his life really is.

Opening the program will be a short radio-play: a 1952 episode from the popular radio sitcom “My Friend Irma.” Irma is a dizzy dame who tries to earn money for Christmas presents and gets everything wrong . . . almost!

Hilo playwright Hal Glatzer is the producer of these programs. Last
December, he presented three radio-play mysteries under the title “Murder on the Air” at EHCC and KMC. And for Halloween, this year, he put on his own adaptation of the science-fiction radio-play “War of the Worlds” at the Palace Theater. His mystery stage plays have also been presented at EHCC:
“The House Without A Key” in 2009, and “Sherlock Holmes & The Volcano Horror” in 2010.

The EHCC performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday December 3 and 4; and at 2 p.m. on Sunday December 5.

Tickets for all performances are $10 ($8 for EHCC, HCP or KDEN members). For advance sales for the Dec. 3, 4 or 5 performances at EHCC, please phone the Box Office at 961-5711.

East Hawaii Cultural Center Featuring 10th Annual International Shoebox Exhibition

The East Hawaii Cultural Center is hosting the 10th Annual International Shoebox Exhibition. It will be going on until May 28th if you want to see it in person in Hilo.

No, I’m not kidding… But it’s probably not what you’re thinking:


Beginning Ukulele Classes at East Hawaii Cultural Center Starting Soon



Macario will teach a Beginning ‘Ukulele class at the East Hawai’i Cultural Center starting Saturday, April 4.

The one-hour class, which will meet on five consecutive Saturdays at 9:30 a.m., costs only $25 for the public and $20 for EHCC members.

“You don’t have to know anything about the ‘ukulele,” says Macario, who played music professionally in Honolulu and on the mainland for 16 years. “You need to have your own ‘ukulele and bring a pen or pencil, and that’s it.”

He says he will teach some basic theory and chord structures so students will have the tools to go home and continue.

“I try to keep the class really simple so people can really understand how the notes and chords work,” he says. “I’m trying to give them a roadmap so they can look at their ‘ukulele’s fret board and figure out where the notes and chords are. That way, with a few simple instructions they’ll be able to go home and figure out what the chords in a song are.

“Most Hawaiian songs are really basic, really simple patterns,” he says. “Once you hear those and learn those simple patterns, you’ll start to recognize them everywhere.”

Students who know a little bit about ‘ukulele are welcome, he says, and he’d be happy to go over subjects slightly more advanced if appropriate, but mostly it’s a class for beginning ‘ukulele players. “I want to keep it simple; a simple class to get beginners started on their way to understanding the music, so they can learn more on their own and progress.”

Currently Macario works as a photographer; his website is at http://www.macariohawaii.com, and he runs an online magazine at http://macariohawaii.wordpress.com.

To enroll in Macario’s five-week Beginning ‘Ukulele class, call the East Hawai’i Cultural Center at 961-5711. The East Hawai’i Cultural Center is located at 141 Kalakaua Street in Hilo.