Places to Hear Live Music on Oahu, Hawaii

Waikiki beach at sunrise
••• Waikiki beach at sunrise. M Swiet Productions/Getty Images

Oahu offers visitors and locals year-round opportunities to enjoy performances by first-rate contemporary and traditional Hawaiian musicians, as well as internationally renowned acts. The island's array of indoor and outdoor venues provides ideal settings for both high-profile concert tours and intimate performances.

Aloha Stadium, the Neal S. Blaisdell Center and the Waikiki Shell often host musical superstars who perform to sold-out crowds, and on any night of the week, visitors can get a taste of Hawaiian music at one of the many bars and restaurants throughout Oahu that hosts free live concerts.

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    Every night, Chai's Island Bistro presents one of Hawaii's best entertainers during an unforgettable evening of food and music. The Thai-inspired fusion cuisine and elegant ambiance create the perfect atmosphere for Na Hoku Hanohano Award winners The Brothers Cazimero, Melveen Leed, Bruce Shimabukuro, Danny Couch, and more.

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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 every Sunday on the Plaza Stage at Waikiki Beach Walk. The weekly performances showcase the island's best performers ranging from Hawaiian ​to contemporary, jazz and more.

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    In the heart of Waikiki, the new Hard Rock Café Honolulu offers a Hawaiian rock experience for all of its guests. From priceless memorabilia lining the wall to the ocean blue colored "wave bar," the new location screams rock and roll with an Oahu twist. Enjoy live music every Friday during their Jagermeister Live Music Showcase series.

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    Immortalized in a 1925 Charlie Chan novel, House Without a Key is Halekulani's 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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    If visitors or locals are in the mood for something soulful and spunky, Jazz Minds Art & Café is the perfect place to go. Honolulu's only venue dedicated to live jazz is open six nights a week and features a variety of jazz stylings, including progressive jazz, funk, and hip-hop.​

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    Located poolside at the Outrigger Reef, Kani Ka Pila Grille attracts Oahu's hottest up and coming talent. Kani Ka Pila, which means "let's make music," is the perfect name for this restaurant that serves up fine island food, cocktails, and live nightly entertainment.

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    Open nightly from 7:30 p.m.-1 a.m. with entertainment from 8:30 p.m.-midnight, Lewers Lounge offers a sophisticated ambiance with soulful entertainment. Relax to the smooth sounds of Tennyson Stephens, Rocky Holmes, Bruce Hamada and Jim Howard.

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    The Mai Tai Bar at Ala Moana Center is especially popular with locals for its award-winning happy hour specials and nightly contemporary Hawaiian and reggae music. From 4:00-7:00 p.m. guests can enjoy the relaxing sounds of Hawaiian vocalists, including Darrell Aquino, Kapena, and Typical Hawaiians. Between 9:30 p.m. and 12:00 a.m., crowds gather to dance to reggae bands such as Natural Vibrations, B.E.T. and Ookla the Moc.

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    Feast on a savory buffet while listening to live Hawaiian entertainment at Pakele Live with Tony Solas at Willows Restaurant. Pakele Live is a weekly music series that showcases Hawaii's top performers, including Brother Noland, Kuuipo Kumukahi, and Herb Ohta Jr.

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    RumFire at the Sheraton Waikiki provides live entertainment nightly against the iconic backdrop of Diamond Head. Guests can enjoy a relaxing happy hour with unique Hawaiian and Baja coast inspired appetizers and the soothing sounds of Kamuela Kahoano, Johnny Helm, Tahiti Rey and more.

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    Tiki's Bar and Grill on Waikiki Beach offers nightly Hawaiian entertainment by performers including Borderline, Johhny Helm, Mango Season and Vaihi.