5th Annual Moku O Keawe International Festival Celebrates Hula

Workshops and Special Appearance by O’Brian Eselu

Media Release:

Moku O Keawe International Festival returns November 4-7 with cultural workshops, international hula hālau, and the opportunity to see Kumu Hula O’Brian Eselu and the men of Ke Kai O Kahiki on the big stage at Waikoloa Bowl.

Members of Aulani Hula Halau compete in the 2008 Moku O Keawe Hula Competition (photo by Michael Darden)

The fifth annual comprehensive, colorful and creative celebration of hula takes place November 4 – 7 at Waikoloa Beach Resort.  The Festival brings kama‘āina, visitors and international participants in a four-day schedule with entertainment, hula competition, cultural workshops, island marketplace and closing with the Hō‘ike Night performances.

International competition, Thursday-Saturday, November 4-6, Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. Moku O Keawe brings together hālau from Japan, the U.S. Mainland and Hawai‘i in a hula competition in Kupuna, Hula Kahiko and Hula ‘Auwana group and solo divisions. Experience Moku O Keawe this year with great ticket prices: $5 Lawn seating, $10 Reserved.

·         Kahiko competition, Thursday, November 4, 6:00 p.m.

·         Kupuna competition and awards, Friday, November 5, 6:00 p.m.

·         ‘Auwana competition and awards, Saturday, November 6, 6:00 p.m.

Hawaiian Cultural Workshops. As masters of hula, the judges of the competition are asked to share their knowledge through workshops.  The insights and experiences from each kumu hula is offered on a personal basis, allowing participants a unique opportunity.  In both hula kahiko and hula ‘auwana, the various lineages of the kumu hula are unique forms in style, repertoire, and interpretation.   There are also opportunities to learn how to make the ipu heke, the standard implement providing the percussion to the dance.  A unique opportunity this year will be the excursion to Mahukona where the student will be taught a hula written for that beautiful site.

Education continues to drive the Moku O Keawe Foundation and it is with these classes that the knowledge from one school is shared with another.  Nalani Kanakaole, Howard Ai, Uluwehi Guerrero, and Kaleo Trinidad are the judges for this year.  Registrations for the classes are limited.  Applicants are urged to register early as spaces are limited and students are urged to register early by visiting www.MOKIF.org.

Hawai‘i Marketplace. Friday and Saturday November 5 and 6, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. The unique Made-In-Hawaii Marketplace features some of the best products from the Island of Hawaii.  Hula implements, fresh lei, silk-screened clothing, woven lauhala hats and purses, and jewelry, are some of the offerings at the special marketplace.

Hō‘ike Night.  Sunday, November 7, 6:00 p.m., at Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. An important facet of a hula lesson is the public performance as it then brings the student in front of an audience to showcase what was learned.  Moku O Keawe is delighted to share the students of the hula workshops in the Hō‘ike.  Also featured at the final night of the event is a very special appearance by Kumu Hula O’Brian Eselu and his men of Ke Kai O Kahiki.  The hālau has garnered many awards in the Merrie Monarch Festival and has often walked away with the trophy for the overall winner in the most prestigious competition of hula.  Tickets for Hō‘ike Night are Lawn seating $10, Reserved $20.

The Moku O Keawe International Festival is sponsored by the Moku O Keawe Foundation, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing, enriching and educating the practice and development of hula and its associated arts. For information and tickets to events, visit www.MOKIF.com

2010 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards… The Winners

I had a great time at the 2010 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and was honored to be asked to take pictures of the winners after they had received their awards.

The winners are:

Best Graphics:

Kuhao Zane for the Design on the cover of Mailani's album Polinahe

Best Instrumental Album:

"Live" by Jake Shimabukura

Best Slack Key Album:

"Maui on My Mind" by Jeff Peterson

Best Jazz Album of the Year:

"Girl Talk" by the Hula Honeys

Haku Mele:

"Hanohano Helumoa" by Ho'okena - Manu Boyd, Composer

Hawaiian Language Performance:

"Nani Mau Loa - Everlasting Beauty" by Ho'okena

Hawaiian Album:

"Uluwehi Sings Na Mele Hula Aloha" by Uluwehi Guerrero

Reggae Album:

"Ekolu Music II: Anthem" by Ekolu

Contemporary Album:

"Anuhea" by Anuhea Jenkins

Island Music Album:

"Ku'uipo E Hula Mai Me A'u" by Ku'uipo Kumukahi

R&B/ Hip Hop Album:

"Before My Last Breath" by Ryan Hiraoka

Best Rock Album:

"Acoustic-Me" by Kona

Group of the Year:


Most Promising Artist:

Anuhea Jenkins

Male Vocalist of the Year:

(Uncle Willie K – Maui Tribe [NOT PRESENT])

Song of the Year:

"Polinahe" Composed by Lorna Lim & Wailau Ryder. Kuhao Zane (right) won a Na Hoku Award earlier in the night for Graphics Design on this Album.

Female Vocalist of the Year:


Album of the Year:

Amy Hanaiali'i for Friends and Family of Hawaii