Aloha Festivals Presents “Nā Mele ‘Ukulele”

By Hawaii.com Team

Photo: Aloha Festivals

A half-hour broadcast special will feature performances from Pomaika‘i Lyman, Jake Shimabukuro and Kawika Trask

Aloha Festivals has partnered with its presenting sponsors to feature three legendary Hawai‘i artists on Aloha Festivals: Nā Mele ‘Ukulele, a half hour broadcast special on KHON2 celebrating the legacy of Aloha Festivals. In line with the 2020 Aloha Festivals theme, ‘ukulele artists Pomaika‘i Lyman, Jake Shimabukuro and Kawika Trask will be featured in the special which will air Thursday, Sept. 24 at 9:30 p.m. on KHON2, online at KHON2.com and on KHON2’s YouTube channel and Facebook. The special will also be livestreamed on the Aloha Festivals website, Hawaii.com and will rebroadcast on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. on KHON2, and on Sunday, Sept. 27 at 8 p.m. and Sunday Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. on KHII.

“Aloha is the act of sharing what one has with only one expectation—that this sharing be carried forward to the next,” said Pomaika‘i Lyman. “Throughout my youth, I was fortunate to witness my grandmother’s involvement in the Aloha Festivals: sporting the ribbon proudly wherever she went, attending and judging Hawaiian falsetto competitions, to sharing her own music and aloha on stage at the Waikīkī and Downtown Hoʻolauleʻa or as part of the parade lineup through Ala Moana and Waikīkī. I am grateful for the honor of being invited back each year to continue her legacy of aloha through the sharing of her music and our ʻohana.”

Photo: Aloha Festivals

Musician and falsetto singer Pōmaikaʻi Lyman is a frequent favorite on the Aloha Festivals stage, and an artist with a deep heritage within Hawaiian music. Lyman grew up within the Keawe Aiko family, learning the styles of Hawaiian music pioneered by her grandmother and legendary artist Genoa Keawe. As the descendant of a Hawaiian music legend, she continues to pave her own career path while perpetuating a legacy of music and aloha left by her grandmother. Lyman’s performance in Aloha Festivals: Nā Mele ‘Ukulele will be presented by Hyatt Regency, ABC Stores, Honolulu Festivals and Honolulu Cookie Co.

Pōmaikaʻi Lyman. Photo: Aloha Festivals

Jake Shimabukuro. Photo: Aloha Festivals

Presented by Royal Hawaiian Center, ‘ukulele phenom Jake Shimabukuro will take the stage for an exclusive performance for Aloha Festivals: Nā Mele ‘Ukulele. Shimabukuro is perhaps the world’s best known ‘ukulele virtuoso, credited with taking the four-stringed instrument beyond what many thought was possible. While his swift fret work and combination of jazz, rock, funk and other styles have allowed him to tour the world, Shimabukuro’s roots remain firmly in Hawai‘i where he grew as a player immersed in the traditional styles of Hawaiian music.

Finally, Hawaiian Airlines will present a classic performance by Kawika Trask. The ‘ukulele performances of Trask have been a staple in the traditional Hawaiian music scene and in Waikīkī for more than 30 years. With a style that is both classic and contemporary, Trask leads the Hawaiian Airlines Serenaders, a role that has allowed him to share the beauty of Hawaiian music and hula with audiences all over the world.

Kawika Trask. Photo: Aloha Festivals

In alignment with festival tradition, Aloha Festivals: Nā Mele ‘Ukulele will be shot on location in Helumoa; a once royal residence, now the home of Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Royal Hawaiian Center and Sheraton Waikiki. The Royal Court Investiture has been held on the ma‘uka facing steps of Royal Hawaiian Hotel in the Coconut Grove. The festivities would then be moved to The Royal Grove of Royal Hawaiian Center for the Opening Ceremony.

“While we are not able gather for our traditional Aloha Festivals events, we encourage everyone to tune in to the broadcast of Aloha Festivals: Nā Mele ‘Ukulele,” said Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, co-chair of Aloha Festivals and director – community & cultural relations for Hawaiian Airlines. “Our hope is that the program will bring these treasured traditions into the home and provide ‘ohana an opportunity to spend time together.”

Photo: Aloha Festivals

Aloha Festivals’ annual, month-long celebration is typically held from late August through September with its three signature events: Royal Court Investiture & Opening Ceremony, Annual Waikīkī Ho‘olaule‘a, and the Annual Floral Parade. All events have been cancelled in light of ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about Aloha Festivals: Nā Mele ‘Ukulele, visit www.AlohaFestivals.com.

The mission of Aloha Festivals is to foster the aloha spirit through the perpetuation of the Hawaiian culture and the celebration of the diverse customs and traditions of Hawai‘i. For more information about Aloha Festivals and for the latest updates about this year’s special KHON2 programming, visit www.AlohaFestivals.com.

About Aloha Festivals
Aloha Festivals was first held in 1946 as Aloha Week, and over the past seven decades has become a celebration of Hawaiian culture, integrating the traditions and cultures of the Islands through music, dance, cuisine and art. All festivities are coordinated by a volunteer board of directors. More information about Aloha Festivals and its events can be found at www.AlohaFestivals.com, Facebook (facebook.com/AlohaFestivals), Twitter (@AlohaFstvls), Instagram (@alohafestivals) or by calling (808) 923-1094.

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