Live At Duke’s, Bluegrass And SOJA

Melissa Moniz
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Friday - January 05, 2011
| Del.icio.us
Maunalua performs every Friday at Duke’s

Duke’s Waikiki rings in 2011 with live music daily.

The oceanfront restaurant features some of Hawaii’s most talented musicians performing the best in Hawaiian, island and contemporary music.

“Music plays a large role in our local culture in Hawaii, and we always try to share part of the culture with our visitors,” says Dylan Ching, Duke’s Waikiki general manager.

“It’s one thing to sit down for a meal or cocktail on the beach at Waikiki, but when you add live Hawaiian music, the whole experience is enhanced. I especially enjoy having Henry Kapono on Sundays, because that’s when many of our longtime local customers come down to Duke’s, and they’re always a good time.”

Its popular Concerts on the Beach series from 4 to 6 p.m. features Haumea Warrington Monday through Thursday. On Fridays (Jan. 7, 14, 21 and 28) it’s Na Hoku Hanohano award-winner Maunalua, and Sunday (Jan. 9, 16 and 23) legendary Henry Kapono takes the stage.


Switching off on Saturday are Ten Feet (Jan. 8 and 22), Beach Band 5 (Jan. 15) and Sean Na’aua’o (Jan. 29).

Late-night music from 9:30 p.m. to midnight brings another handful of seasoned musicians including Ellsworth Simeona every Monday through Wednesday and Lawrence Kidder

Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The Saturday rotation is Kona Chang Duo Jan. 8 and 22, and Simple Souls Jan. 15 and 29.

And it’s all free. For more on Duke’s live music, visit www.dukeswaikiki.com ...

January also brings two shows presented by Bluegrass Hawaii. For those unfamiliar with the group, it’s a society on a mission to promote bluegrass and traditional music in the Hawaiian Islands. Join the group as it hosts a free blue-grass and traditional music jam session Jan. 16 from 1 to 6 p.m. at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Wahiawa. Coffee will be provided, and food will be potluck-style.

Musicians of all skill levels are welcome to attend with their stringed instruments. And anyone who enjoys acoustic bluegrass, newgrass, mountain, roots, traditional country, Hawaiian, American, folk, Western, Celtic and Irish music is invited to come down to sing, clap and/or dance along.

SOJA hits Hawaii in January on an Island-hopping tour

“Our jams are great fun and always spontaneous,” says Caroline Wright, president and founder of Bluegrass Hawaii.

“Jammers generally gather in a loose circle, taking turns playing lonesome, old ballads and toe-tapping instrumentals. We often have visitors from all over the world.”

On Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m., Bluegrass Hawaii presents Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter/fiddler Laurie Lewis with Tom Rozum at Tenney Theatre. The talented duo will be joined by Oahu’s premier progressive bluegrass ensemble, Saloon Pilots.

“Grammy winner Laurie Lewis and her musical compadre Tom Rozum come to Hawaii every year for their annual R&R, but they haven’t performed on Oahu since early 2004,” adds Wright. “Bluegrass Hawaii is so excited to be hosting them in our first official concert. Laurie has one of the warmest, most beautiful voices in bluegrass music. As a duo, Laurie and Tom have a vocal blend that makes some of the sweetest harmonies I’ve ever heard.” Tickets cost $28 in advance,$30 at the door.

Bluegrass Hawaii has approximately 75 paid members and continues to grow. New members are always welcome. For tickets or membership information, visit http://www.bluegrasshawaii.com ...

As it has done in years past, reggae band SOJA returns in January for the fifth consecutive year on an Island-hopping tour with stops on Oahu (Jan. 21), Maui (Jan. 22) and the Big Island (Jan. 23).

SOJA’s Hawaii tours have been so successful that the group returned in 2008 with an award-winning filmmaker and five-man camera crew to capture its Honolulu, Kona, Maui and Kauai performances. Along with behind-the-scenes footage featuring Hawaii through the eyes of SOJA, the footage was released in 2009 as a DVD, SOJA Live In Hawai’i: A Marc Carlini Film.


Hailing from Washington, D.C., SOJA released its first album in 2000. Since then the band has traveled the world sharing music with a message that tells the story of reggae from an American perspective.

“We loved rock and hiphop, but there was something missing in the message,” says lead vocalist and guitarist Jacob Hemphill. “With our favorite artists in the reggae genre, Bob Marley and PeterTosh, they were singing about something beautiful that truly mattered in every song. We never really got over it.”

SOJA is touring with two additional horn players: Hellman Escorcia on saxophone and Raphael Rodriguez on trumpet.

Rounding out the group are Bobby Jefferson on bass, Ken Brownell on percussion, Ryan Berty on drums and Patrick O’Shea on keyboards.

Lucky for us, SOJAkicks off its Hawaii tour Jan. 21 at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Taking the stage with them is Hawaii’s Ooklah The Moc. Tickets cost $25. For tickets or more on the group, visit http://www.sojamusic.com. ...

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