Best Places to Hear Hawaiian Music on Oahu

O'ahu's Hawaiian Music Renaissance

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    First Rate Entertainment All Year-Round

    A hula dancer, with the Hawaiian trio The Islanders, at the Halekulani Waikiki.
    ••• A hula dancer, with the Hawaiian trio The Islanders, at the Halekulani Waikiki. Ann Cecil / Getty Images

    Whether dancing to energizing Hawaiian-reggae beats or sipping on a Mai Tai while listening to the soothing sounds of the slack key guitar, the island of Oahu offers numerous opportunities to enjoy free, first-rate Hawaiian music throughout the year.

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    Every Sunday, Ala Moana Center's Keiki Hula Show graces the mall's Centerstage from 1:00 - 1:30 p.m. with the talented keiki (children) of Halau Na Mamo O Ka'ala and music of Kanilau.

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    A beachfront location, lively atmosphere, fresh fish, and juicy steaks have made Duke's at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach one of the most popular gathering places on Waikiki Beach.

    Located on the site of the original Outrigger Canoe Club, the restaurant honors Hawaii's great ocean sportsman, Duke Kahanamoku.

    The restaurant and bar features live Hawaiian music nightly by acclaimed artists such as Kapena and Ka'ala Boys.

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    The Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk offers several opportunities for visitors to enjoy live music. Outrigger's Na Mele No Na Pua concerts are held monthly on the last Saturday of each month, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on the Grand Lanai of the Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk hotel. Each concert is free and open to the public while seating allows. Recent headliners were Melveen Leed, Amy Hanaiali'i, Maunalua, and Ledward Ka'apana, all top-notch performers in Hawaii. In addition, the poolside Pakini Bar invites visitors and locals to enjoy free live entertainment and tasty libations every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
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    Every Friday night the Hilton Hawaiian Village's Super Pool transforms into the perfect tropical stage for their Rockin' Hawaiian Rainbow

    Revue.Rockin' Hawaiian Rainbow Revue offers Hawaiian entertainment and a beachfront fireworks show, featuring the music, song and dance of the Polynesian Islands and the exciting Samoan Fire Knife Dance.

    The grand finale of the evening features a stunning beachfront fireworks display that lights up Waikiki Beach.

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    Immortalized in a 1925 Charlie Chan novel, House Without A Key at the Halekulani is a popular indoor/outdoor gathering spot for informal breakfast, lunch, cocktails, appetizers and entertainment.

    Every night at 5 p.m., House Without A Key presents free island entertainment, ranging from Pa'ahana to Po'okela to the Sunset Serenaders.

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    Kona Brewing Company

    Set on the docks of Koko Marina in Hawaii Kai, Kona Brewing Company invites visitors to enjoy its local entertainment featuring traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music.

    On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, guests can listen to the sounds of Naluhoe, Boogie & Friends and Grammy Award winner Ledward Ka'apana. The chefs serve up tasty appetizers, fresh fish entrées and delicious pizzas with pints of fresh beer from one of the 24 taps at the bar.

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    The Mai Tai Bar at Ala Moana Shopping Center is especially popular with locals for its award-winning happy hour specials and nightly contemporary Hawaiian and reggae music.

    From 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. guests can enjoy the relaxing sounds of Corey Oliveros, John Fearey and others. Between 9:30 p.m. and 12 a.m., crowds gather to dance to reggae bands such as Hot Rain, Epic Session and One Drop.

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    Some of the island's most talented artists perform nightly at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort, Waikiki's first luxury resort. Featured entertainers include Ka'ala Boys, Nohelani Cypriano, Kelly Boy DeLima 'Ohana, and Awana Salazar.
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    Tuesdays through Fridays, the Royal Hawaiian Center hosts a free Hawaiian show for all to enjoy on its Pa'ina Lanai. The lineup includes performances by Keohau, Pu'uhonua, Ku'uipo Kumakahi, and Josiah Kekoa and the members of Ten Feet.

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    As part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Hawaii's commitment to continuing the legacy of Hawaiian music, Sheraton Waikiki offers nightly poolside entertainment by some of the island's top performers, including Sam Kapu III Trio, Ka'ala Boys, Kanilau, and others.

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    Shore Bird Restaurant at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach

    The "kings" of Hawaiian steel guitar perform at the Shore Bird Restaurant at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach on the second Sunday of each month. Guests are invited to bring their steel guitars and join the jam session or sit back and enjoy the music of Hawaii's steel guitar masters.

    The second Friday of each month is "Aloha Friday" at the Shore Bird Restaurant at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. Local Hawaiian music radio station KINE broadcasts live at the monthly luncheon that features live Hawaiian music.

    Not only is the Shore Bird a great place to hear Hawaiian music, it's also one of my favorite places to eat on the island. While you literally "grill your own" dinner, you can meet all sorts of new friends from around the world.

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    Tiki's Bar and Grill on Waikiki Beach offers nightly Hawaiian entertainment by performers including Corey Oliveros, Wendall Kekauoha, Ka'ala Boys, Johnny Helm, and others.

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