Music at the Park

July 1, 2014 | By Lacy Matsumoto

Waikiki Scoop: Neighborhood news and hot picks

When I think of Hawai‘i, an image of the sunset and a vast sandy beach pops into mind. In the background of that thought is the strumming of an ‘ukulele playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” But as a local resident, and a mother with a full-time job, when reality sets in, the sunset tends to slowly fade away, and the melodies turn into the hustle and bustle of city life in Honolulu.

44th Annual Ukulele Festival. Photo: Sarah Tengan

44th Annual Ukulele Festival. Photo: Sarah Tengan

One of the best ways to transport oneself back to the “old times” of Hawai‘i when life was slower, is through Hawaiian music. Listening to the gentle strumming of an ‘ukulele or the plucking of a slack key guitar layered with the rhythmic feel of Hawaiian words is instantly relaxing. During the summer, two of the best concerts to experience are the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival and the 44th Annual Ukulele Festival.

Both concerts are held at the historic Waikiki Shell in Kapi‘olani Park where attendees can enjoy the concert on the benches or come prepared with a blanket and sprawl out on the lush green lawn. The casual, family friendly concerts are set at Kapi‘olani Park, one of the best open-air venues in Honolulu.

Some of the past entertainers who performed at the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival include musicians like Grammy-nominated Makana and legends like Gabby Pahinui. The 44th Annual Ukulele Festival also has highlighted world-renowned performers such as Jake Shimabukuro and James Ingram.

Summer is the ideal time in Waikiki to enjoy cultural events and concerts paired with warm, sunny days. Enjoy your time while you’re here and a hui hou.


Kap‘iolani Park 12-6 p.m.


Kap‘iolani Park 11 a.m.-5 p.m.