Started by Keoki Kahumoku back in 1996, this contest is held primarily so Hawaii's keiki can gain experience and be inspired to keep playing ukulele. It is now in it's 20th year because it has been so successful at turning interested kids into paid musicians. The 20th Annual is all about bringing back those it helped. "Many of the ukulele players Hula Grill employs have been past contestants" said Hula Grill General Manager, Orrin Cross. "Musicians such as Peter de Aquino, Garret Probst, John Kahaialii II, Derick Sebastian & Niawi Teruya all took part in this wonderful contest."
The contest is open to ukulele players grades K-12 and is broken down into three solo divisions (K-4, 5-8, 9-12) and one group division (all ages). 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will be announced for all divisions. Top prizes furnished by KoAloha Ukulele; Additional prizes provided by Maui Jim and Local Motion. Pre-registration is required and entries must be received by Wednesday, October 5th. Entry forms will be available at Hula Grill Kaanapali or by clicking the entry forms link provided.
For those just interested in watching these talented keiki, the contest kicks off at 10am and will be emceed by past group division winners, professional ukulele player Derick Sebastian and Native 92.5 DJ Dane Patao. The contest begins with the youngest individuals and the talent grows from there. One lucky audience member will win a KoAloha prize package and there will be a special performance by KoAloha artist partner Kamakakehau Fernandez. http://www.kamakakehau.com
In addition to witnessing these amazing keiki, this year's event will be a who's who of adult musicians. Founder Keoki Kahumoku and father George Kahumoku Jr. will be present, as will many other past contestants and ukulele greats.
After the contest,live music continues. Kamaka Fernandez performs from 3:30-5:30 and Danyel Alana & friends perform from 6-9.