Jerry Gibson

December 4, 2012 | By Waikiki Magazine Team

Area Vice President & Managing Director, Hilton Worldwide

The music of Hawai‘i. It truly sets Hawai‘i apart from the rest of our country, and even the rest of the world. Our islands have enjoyed centuries of beautiful music with quite a colorful evolution of styles, instruments and sounds.

From the days of ancient Polynesian chants, to the lilting sounds of the Hawaiian Monarchy era to the world-renowned radio show, Hawaii Calls, to the popular contemporary styles of today, much of what the world discovered about Hawai‘i was through its music. And the place where they discovered it was Waikiki.

Hawaii Calls enjoyed a 40-year run from 1935 to 1975, and many attribute this live Webley Edwards radio show to putting Waikiki on the map. Broadcast live from the courtyard at the Moana Hotel, listeners would tune in each week to hear the surf crashing on the shore and the wonderful voices and music of such legends as Alfred Apaka, Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman. These three gentlemen, each with their unique genre of music, hosted shows at one time or another at Kaiser’s Hawaiian Village Hotel, later to become Hilton Hawaiian Village.

In 1978, with so many local recording artists establishing themselves in Waikiki hotel and restaurant venues, the only Hawaiian radio station at that time, KCCN Hawaiian Radio, launched a Hawaiian Music Awards program. The Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, (Stars of Distinction) are entering their 36th year of recognizing Hawai‘i’s finest and are now a part of even a larger undertaking called Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of Hawaiian music encompassing concerts, workshops and tributes. Come spring, visitors and residents alike will be able to partake in dozens of events throughout Waikiki.

If you can’t be here in spring, on any given night in Waikiki you can still find a plethora of music to choose from, including slack key, jazz, traditional Hawaiian, contemporary Hawaiian, rock and roll, Jawaiian and so much more. Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort is the “Home of Hawai‘i’s Music” and we proudly present the best of Hawai‘i each and every day.

Music is such a huge part of our lives here in Waikiki. We hope you take the time to live it and breathe it as we do.