Categorized | Entertainment

Puna Music Festival (May 19-28)


This 10-day festival celebrates the music of Hawaii with concerts and workshops across Puna.

Funded by the Hawaiian Tourism Authority and the County of Hawaii, and presented by KAPA FM, the Puna Music Festival will take to the stage May 19.

Converging on the theme Crowdsource, some of the top talent in Hawaii will be on hand to celebrate the beauty and spirit of Puna.

Headliners include Paula Fuga, Kainani Kahaunaele, Mark Yamanaka, Medicine for the People, and Kuana Torres Kahele, who has been nominated for an astonishing 10 Na Hoku Hanohano awards in 2012.

All proceeds from ticket sales and on-site donations will support Hawaiian culture programming at schools and non-profits in Puna.

The opening and closing concerts, dubbed “Intimate Evenings,” will bring a unique concert format to the festival.

Kuana Torres Kahele will open the festival May 19, and Kainani Kahaunaele will close the festival May 27. Both concerts will take place at 8 p.m. at the Kalani EMAX on Puna’s famous “Red Road.”

Both artists can fill the Civic Stadium in Hilo, but in these intimate concerts, audience members will have a chance to feel a personal connection as the performers map the journey that has brought them to where they are today, through talk story and song.

Also featured during the festival is the first ever Pohoiki Open Concert, a free concert 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, May 20.

The concert will be held at Isaac Hale Park, a beautiful and symbolic location along the Puna “Red Road” better known by its Hawaiian name, Pohoiki. The concert will be headlined by Paula Fuga and Mark Yamanaka.

Opening the concert will be keiki from four Puna schools, followed by a series of groups and performers from Puna during the concert’s “Spotlight on Puna.”

Other featured concerts during the festival include a free concert during Uncle Robert’s Night Market on Wednesday, May 23, and Medicine for the People at the Akebono Theater in Pahoa ($15), during Pahoa town’s Pahoa Night Music on Friday, May 25.

The shops and restaurants of Pahoa will feature live musicians, bringing the town alive in celebration of music that evening.

A series of innovative workshops round out the festival’s offerings. Popular Big Island band, Medicine for the People, will lead a collaborative songwriting workshop from May 22-24, and will perform a song written by the workshop participants at the May 25 concert.

Ikaika Marzo will teach slack key guitar May 21-23; Leimana Abenes will share her unique style of ukulele playing from May 25-27; and Kia Fronda will teach students how to build and play a nose flute the morning of May 26.

And imaginative visiting artist Jane Lui will teach a workshop called “Music From Anything” from May 23-25, where students will turn both rainforest treasurers and common household objects into an orchestra of sound.

Jane Lui will also be producing the festival commission piece, a version of “Rainbow Connection” using natural objects found throughout Puna.

For further information, or to request an auxiliary aid or modification, call Cat at 965-7828 or visit:

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