Hawaii Today edited by Derek Paiva Page: 1 2 Next>>

Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_Big_Island_Hilo_lei_dayTomorrow is May Day, also known in the Islands as Lei Day — a day dedicated to celebrating Hawaiian culture. If you attend a Lei Day event here, you’ll see our fragrant symbol of aloha draped over many sets of shoulders. 

One of the largest gatherings will be the 85th annual Lei Day Celebration, Honolulu’s official city festivities, held at Waikiki’s Kapiolani Park Bandstand, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It’s free and open to the public. The musical lineup ranges from the Royal Hawaiian Band to a steel guitar concert.

If you go, make sure your camera is ready for the investiture of the 2012 Lei Queen and her court, set for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Selection of Lei Day royalty is based on lei-making skills, hula, poise and other attributes, according to the pageant’s organizers. You’ll also want to snap photos of stunning entries in the Lei Contest, which will be displayed from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information about the celebration, organized by the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation, click here.

In Waikiki, the Royal Hawaiian Hotel will host Lei of Stars, a musical event, set for tomorrow evening that will honor the 2011 Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame inductees including: Benny Kalama, Alice Namakelua, Sam Li’a, James Pihanui Kuluwaimaka Palea, Akoni Mika, Joseph Ilalaole, and Olomana. For information about tickets for the concert and dinner, click here. Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_Big_Island_Hilo_lei_day

On the Big Island, Lei Day, He Moolelo O Na Lei — a free event in its eighth year — is set for from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow in downtown Hilo at the East Hawaii Cultural Center. Festivities will include lei-making demonstrations as well as Hawaiian music and hula performances. For additional information, click here.

The origins of Hawaii’s celebration of May Day as Lei Day date back to 1927, when Honolulu Star-Bulletin writer Don Blanding advocated for the creation of a day dedicated to honoring lei-making and the custom of wearing lei. Blanding’s co-worker at the newspaper, columnist Grace Tower Warren, suggested holding the celebration on May 1 and coined the phrase “May Day is Lei Day.” Soon after, musician Leonard “Red” Hawk, and his wife Ruth Hawk, penned the tune May Day is Lei Day in Hawaii. The ditty was reportedly first presented as a foxtrot but was rearranged in the late 1920s as a Hawaiian mele for hula.

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Photos: (top) Queens' Marketplace, (bottom) Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)

Hawaii_Oahu_Big_Island_Maui_Kauai_Molokai_Lanai_plastic_bag_banThey drift about on trade winds, marring Hawaii’s landscapes and posing threats to marine life.

Floating plastic bags can kill marine animals, such as green sea turtles (hono) that become entangled or ingest the buoyant trash, mistaking it for a jellyfish snack. Also, in addition to cluttering beautiful scenery in the Islands, non-biodegradable plastics and non-recyclable paper place avoidable burdens on landfills.
What to do? One by one, Hawaii’s counties have passed green-minded bills that ban businesses from distributing non-biodegradable plastic bags and non-recyclable paper bags. They're also encouraging both residents and visitors to bring their own reusable shopping bags to stores and restaurants.  

Bans are already in place on Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai and, starting in January 2014, on the Big Island, too. Pending Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle’s signature on a ban bill backed by the Honolulu City Council, Oahu could follow suit in July 2015. With an Oahu ban in effect, Hawaii could become the first state in the U.S. with a statewide crackdown on non-biodegradable plastic and non-recyclable paper trash.

The Honolulu City Council approved a plan on Wednesday that will ban the distribution of both non-recyclable paper and non-biodegradable plastic bags from distribution at store and restaurant checkouts. According to the bill, which is now on Mayor Carlisle’s desk, civil fines would range from $100 to $1000 for each day of violation.Hawaii_Oahu_Big_Island_Maui_Kauai_Molokai_Lanai_plastic_bag_ban

According to the bill, Oahu businesses would be permitted to give customers reusable bags — made of biodegradable plastic or recyclable paper. Also, the bill includes a list of exceptions. Among them: bags used to contain or wrap frozen foods, meat and fish or other damp items, dry cleaning bags, and bags used to transport chemical pesticides and other caustic chemicals sold at the retail level.

If Mayor Carlisle signs the bill, Oahu businesses will have until July 2015 to prepare for the ban. In January, the Big Island’s Mayor Billy Kenoi signed a similar bill that will become law next year. It will ban non-biodegradable plastics starting in January 2014.

For more information about the Maui and Kauai county bans, click here and here. For additional information about the environmental dangers posed by plastic bags, click here to check out the Rise Above Plastics program organized by the Oahu Chapter of the Surfriders Foundation.

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Photos: (top) Maui County, (bottom) Kauai County

Hawaii_Oahu_food_wine_festivalTickets are now on available for the second annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, set for Sept. 6-9 on Oahu. The four-day event will feature at least 50 top-notch master chefs from the United States, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Philippines, and Australia as well as esteemed vintners.

During the festival, chefs will be serving up innovative dishes inspired by Hawaii’s diverse culinary and cultural traditions at venues including: The MODERN Honolulu, Halekulani, Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort and Spa, and Ko Olina Resort with Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, and JW Marriott Ihilani. For information about tickets for the festival’s events and travel packages, click here.

Proceeds will benefit the Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Paepae O Heeia and Papahana O Kuaola.

The festival’s theme, “Taste Our Love for the Land,” was established at last year’s inaugural Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. The theme is inspired by the ancient Hawaiian tradition of ahupuaa  — a mountain-to-sea system in which everything necessary for survival could be grown, gathered and exchanged locally. Hawaii_Oahu_food_wine_festival

In addition to signature dining events, the festival will spotlight cooking demos, wine tastings with top sommeliers, culinary workshops, industry seminars and field excursions.

Here are the signature dining events.

Enter The MODERN Dragon: Morimoto and Friends, 6-9 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 6 at The MODERN Honolulu

Building on Hawaii’s mid-Pacific location where East meets West, and once again led by “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto of Morimoto Waikiki, diners will try dishes prepared by 12 chefs from Asia and the Pacific.  Other participating chefs include: Marco Anzani, Anzani, Cebu City, Philippines; Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Cafe, Myers + Chang, Boston; Chai Chaowasaree, Chai’s Island Bistro, Honolulu; Roy Choi, Kogi BBQ, Los Angeles; Peter Doyle, est. restaurant, Sydney; Edward Kwon, LAB XXIV, Seoul; Sam Leong, Forest Cooking School, Singapore; Charles Phan, The Slanted Door, San Francisco; Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger, Wellesley, MA; Sang Yoon, Lukshon, Culver City; and Scott Toner, The MODERN, Honolulu. Tickets start at $200 per person.
Second Annual Halekulani Masters Chef Gala Series: Chefs Who Have Cooked for Presidents and Royalty, 6-9 p.m. on Fri., Sept. 7 at Halekulani

Master chefs and top sommeliers will aim to “wow” food lovers with a lavish seven-course meal and wine pairings. The chefs include: Vikram Garg, Halekulani, Honolulu; Hubert Keller, Fleur de Lys, San Francisco; Nobu Matsuhisa, Nobu, Waikiki; François Payard, Payard, New York; Michel Richard, Michel Richard Citronelle, Central Michel Richard, Washington, D.C.; Tetsuya Wakuda, Tetsuya, Sydney; and Alan Wong, Alan Wong’s, Hawaii. Tickets for reserved seating start at $1,000 per person.Hawaii_Oahu_food_wine_festival

From Farm to Table: A Makahiki Festival, 6 -9 p.m. on Sat., Sept. 8 at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa (great lawn)

Paying tribute to the Hawaiian “Makahiki” festival, or harvest season, the third evening event will showcase Hawaii’s sustainable pursuits with more than 20 celebrity chefs, many of whom promote “farm to table” sustainable sourcing and cooking practices. The chefs include: David Burke, Townhouse, PRIMEHOUSE, New York; Josef Centeno, Bäco Mercat, Los Angeles; Josiah Citrin, Melisse, Santa Monica; Todd English, Olives, Todd English Enterprises, New York; Josh Feathers, Blackberry Farm, Tennessee; Susan Feniger, Border Grill, Los Angeles; Hiroshi Fukui, Hiroshi Eurasian Tapas, Honolulu; Michael Ginor, Hudson Valley Foie Gras & Lola, New York; Robert Irvine, The Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible; Michelle Karr-Ueoka, Alan Wong’s, Hawaii; Ed Kenney, Town, Honolulu; Jon Matsubara, Azure, Honolulu; Mark Noguchi, Heeia Kea General Store & Deli, Honolulu; Ken Oringer, Clio, Boston; Justin Quek, Sky on 57, Singapore, Justin’s Signatures, Just In Bistro & Wine Bar, Taipei; Yasuhiro Sasajima, Il Ghiottone, Kyoto; Ron Siegel, Parallel 37, San Francisco; Nancy Silverton, Mozza, Los Angeles; Jeffrey Vigilla, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu; Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto, New York; Lee Anne Wong, Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats, New York; and Toshi Yoroizuka, Toshi Yoroizuka, Tokyo. Tickets start at $200 per person.Hawaii_Oahu_food_wine_festival

Cuisines of the Stars: A Magical Journey of Food & Culture, starting at 6 p.m. on Sun., Sept. 9 at Ko Olina Resort with Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa and JW Marriott Ihilani.
The festival finale will be hosted on the Westside of Oahu, with 13 chefs creating a culinary tour of ethnic foods from around the world using local produce and products. Participating chefs include: Patrick Callarec, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina; Celestino Drago, Drago Restaurant Group, Los Angeles; Patrick Fahy, Cafe des Architectes, Chicago; Dean Fearing, Fearing’s, Dallas; Scott Higa, JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa, Ko Olina; Mourad Lahlou, Aziza, San Francisco; Jacqueline Lau, Roy’s Restaurants, Hawaii; Raphael Lunetta, JiRaffe, Santa Monica; George Mavrothalassitis, Chef Mavro, Honolulu; Seamus Mullen, Tertulia, New York; Susan Spicer, Bayona, Mondo, New Orleans; Andrew Sutton, Napa Rose, Anaheim; and Marcel Vigneron, Marcelʼs Quantum Kitchen, Modern Global Tasting, Los Angeles. Tickets start at $200 per person.

Hawaii chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong (pictured, left), both James Beard Award-winners, serve as event co-chairs for the festival. For more information about the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, click here.

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Photos: Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

Fans of our favorite canned pink luncheon meat will gather on Oahu’s south shore this weekend for the 10th annual Waikiki Spam Jam Festival.

And what does it mean to be a “Spam-jammer?” Well, according to event organizers, it means that you’re up for trying the salty pork foodstuff served up in a variety of culinary styles. At the festival, set for 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sat., April 28, Spam-jammers will be sampling Spam Fusion Fajitas, Spam Katsu, Spam Won Ton, Spam Lau Lau, Spam Ravioli, Spam Tacos, and even Spam Poke.

Hawaii is jam-packed with Spam-jammers. We eat up nearly 7 million cans of Spam a year — more than any other state across the nation, according to Minnesota-based Hormel Foods, producers of the canned luncheon meat since 1937.

In a news release issued by the festival’s organizers, Barbara Campbell, vice president of Outrigger Enterprises Group, one of the event’s founding sponsors, said: “Since it’s inception in 2002, the Waikiki Spam Jam Festival has become one of the most popular festivals in Hawaii. This year, we’re expecting more than 20,000 people to join the festivities in Waikiki.”

As in years past, Kalakaua Avenue, the main thoroughfare through Waikiki, will be closed to automobile traffic during the festival, and admission is free. The blocked-off area will be lined with food booths.

A dozen or so Honolulu restaurants will be giving the humble comfort food glamorous makeovers. The expected offerings range from Spam Mahi Carbonara (Atlantis Seafood and Steak) to Spam Fried Rice Loco Moco and Spam Kanak Attack — Spam Fried Rice with Spam Katsu Loco Moco (Duke’s/Hula Grill). In case you’re wondering, kanak attack is island slang for the feeling of laziness one gets from eating too much.

Also, there’ll be entertainment stages and merchandise booths stocked with T-shirts, shorts and other Spam paraphernalia. In addition, volunteers will be on hand to collect donations of Spam products for the Hawaii Foodbank, the largest nonprofit in Hawaii that feeds the needy. Since 2004, more than 10,000 pounds of Spam have been donated to the foodbank, thanks to the festival.

For additional information about the Waikiki Spam Jam Festival, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

 Photos: Spam Jam Festival

Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_ukulele_world_recordA Guinness World Record was set on Aug. 20, 2011 when exactly 1,547 ukulele players performed in unison. And where do you suppose that upbeat, bouncy performance took place?

On Oahu’s sunny Waikiki Beach? Nope. Big Island? Maui? Kauai? Not even close, globally speaking. The recent record was set in Helsinborg, Sweden.

In the interest of Island pride, passion for music, a fundraising effort and, yes, just plain fun, ukulele players from Hawaii and elsewhere are now getting ready to strum in an ensemble dubbed GO FOR DA RECORD … HANA HOU!
The event get-together will get under way at 4 p.m. and wrap up 9 p.m. on Sat., April 28 at Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu. Led by Hawaii’s ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro (pictured, below), the ensemble will assemble at 7 p.m. for a performance attempt to top the current world record.

Shimabukuro will be joined on stage by other Hawaii ukulele artists including Kalei Gamiao, Jody Kamisato, Bruce Shimabukuro, Derick Sebastian, Taimane Garner, Brittni Paiva, Chris Salvador, Aldrine Guerrero, Bryan Tolentino and groups Heart and Soul and Kanilea. In addition, young ukulele sensation Sungha Jung, from Korea, has also offered his support and will be in attendance and give a brief performance.Hawaii_Oahu_Honolulu_ukulele_world_record

The musical piece that will be performed was composed by Shimabukuro. Click here to check out a previous performance of the composition and an instructional video.

The composition was first played during the first GO FOR DA RECORD effort to topple to world record, held on Oct. 22 at the Waikiki Shell Amphitheater. That performance, which fell a bit short of the world-record requirements, prompted organizers to push for a second try.  

So, want to take part? Grab an ukulele, practice the piece — and go for it! Participation in GO FOR DA RECORD … HANA HOU!” is free to all ukulele-playing participants. Player registration is required. To register online, click here. Registration will also be available at the arena on the day of the event. (Online registration is encouraged, however, to avoid long lines.) Admission for spectators and other attendees is $10 (Children under age of 5 will be admitted for free).
In addition to striving for a music-making record, the event will serve as a fundraiser for music and arts program initiatives led by the Music For Life Foundation. Music for Life will also donate a portion of the net proceeds to support Rainbow For Japan Kids, a program that, with the help of corporate sponsors and volunteer organizations, identifies Japan earthquake and tsunami-affected children and brings them to Hawaii for educational, learning and healing experiences. The majority of the proceeds from the event will be used to purchase ukuleles and other musical “tools” for Hawaii’s schools.

In a news release issued by the event’s organizers, Shimabukuro said: “I am delighted to support this event that will benefit the needs that are very important to me.”  He added, “Bringing music education back into our local schools and helping the children of Japan who were devastated by the tsunami and earthquake through Hawaii’s Rainbow For Japan Kids program, are two causes that I hold close to my heart.”

Click here for additional information about GO FOR DA RECORD … HANA HOU!

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: (top) scene at first record-breaking attempt/ Randy T. Fujimori, (bottom) Jake Shimabukuro

Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_resort_photo_contestDo you have an amazing Hawaii photograph? One that captures the breathtaking beauty of our lush landscapes and shorelines. Or a memorable moment depicting people and culture in the Islands. It could also be an artistic abstract shot.

If so, enter your best photos in HAWAII Magazine’s 14th annual Photo Contest. Your photography could win you a grand-prize six-night stay at a Waikiki resort, on Oahu, airfare and accommodations included.

The contest is open to entries through Aug. 3, 2012. In previous years, contest categories were organized by island. So, all shots snapped on Maui, for example, were included in a single category. This year, we’ve changed up the lineup. You may enter photos in the categories listed here.Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_resort_photo_contest

People — Photos depicting individuals or groups, residents or visitors doing anything or nothing at all (outdoors or indoors) on any island.

Outdoors — Photos depicting Hawaii’s landscapes/seascapes — natural or man-made, country or urban, mountain/beach (mauka/makai), close-up or at a distance.

Culture — Photos depicting Hawaii’s diverse cultures — from Hawaiian to Japanese to Filipino and everything in between. Images may feature events, activities, artifacts, memorabilia, architecture, people, etc. Images may spotlight a single culture or many.

Abstract — Photos depicting Hawaii or elements of Hawaii in a creative or rarely seen way. This category serves as an invitation for you to get experimental. Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_resort_photo_contest

Your submitted photos can be of anything that falls into one of the four categories, but all entries must have been photographed in Hawaii after May 2009. Entries that fail to comply with photo contest rules will be disqualified. Photos will not be returned.

Here are this year’s prizes. Grand-prize (one winner) is airfare for two to Oahu from the winner’s nearest Alaska Airlines gateway city, plus a six-night stay the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort.

First-place prizes (one winner in each category) will score $100 in cash plus goodies from Lanikai Bath and Body, Oils of Aloha and Hawaiian Bath & Body. Second-place prizes: $75 in cash along with the same goodies awarded to first-place winners.Hawaii_Oahu_Waikiki_resort_photo_contest

American photo icon Ansel Adams (1902-1984) also said: “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” True enough, artistically speaking. However, please note that we do have some photo contest rules. Click here to check out the official contest rules. And click here to take a look at the official entry form.

Need some visual inspiration? Check out photo galleries of our 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 HAWAII Magazine Photo Contest winners and finalists by clicking the links below.

2011 HAWAII Magazine Photo Contest winners and finalists

2010 HAWAII Magazine Photo Contest winners and finalists

2009 HAWAII Magazine Photo Contest winners and finalists

2008 HAWAII Magazine Photo Contest winners and finalists

The winner photos will be published in the January/February 2013 issue of HAWAII Magazine. Additionally, winners and finalist photos will be published on HawaiiMagazine.com.

Entries must be postmarked no later than Fri., Aug. 3, 2012. That leaves you with about three months to sort through your best shots or to focus your lens on anything in the Islands that evokes a Hawaii sentiment.

Good luck, photographers! We’re looking forward to seeing your best shots!

A big mahalo to all of our 14th annual HAWAII Magazine Photo Contest sponsors. Please click on their links above to find out more about them.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: (top to bottom), 2011 grand prize winner (Kaneohe Bay, Oahu), Henry Aguilar; 2011 second-place winner, Kauai (Kuilau Ridge Trail) Lisa Boyer; 2011 second-place winner, Oahu (Mokulua Islands, from Lanikai Beach) Dwight Morita; and 2010 first-place winner, Big Island (Kamehameha Day Parade in Kapaau) Douglas Walch. 

Entrance fees at three Hawaii national parks will be waived for a nine-day stretch, starting tomorrow, to celebrate National Park Week.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historical Park, both on the Big Island, and Maui’s Haleakala National Park will waive the fees from Sat., April 21 through Sun., April 29.

The theme of this year’s nationwide celebration, during which nearly 400 national parks will offer free admission, is dubbed Picture Yourself in a National Park. The National Park Service and the National Park Foundation are encouraging visitors to celebrate with activities ranging from hikes along the 18,600 miles of trails in national parks and to swims and snorkeling sessions along 43,000 miles of national park shoreline.

At Hawaii Volcanoes, visitors will be encouraged to share photos or videos of themselves, their families and friends exploring and enjoying the park during National Park Week on the Hawaii Volcanoes Park’s Facebook page. Also, the park will offer ranger-led hikes and other programs, including a challenging hike into Kipukaakihi in Kahuku, slated for tomorrow (registration required, call 808-985-6011), and a special "After Dark in the Park" program set for Tues., April 24 about the park’s endemic flowering plants. For more information, click here.

Hawaii boasts a total of eight national park sites, with five on the Big Island and one on Maui, Molokai and Oahu, respectively. Three regularly charge admission: Hawaii Volcanoes (pictured, above and left), Haleakala and Puuhonua o Honaunau. Admission is always free at the other five: Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail (Big Island), Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park (Kailua-Kona, Big Island), Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site (Kawaihae, Big Island), Kalaupapa National Historical Park (Molokai), and World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (Pearl Harbor, Oahu).

In all, there are 397 national parks, which include: national historical parks, national historic sites, national historic trails, national monuments, and, yes, national parks. The National Park Service will waive entrance fees again on Sat., June 9 for "Get Outdoors Day," on Sat., Sept. 29 for Public Lands Day, and on Sat., Nov. 10. through Mon., Nov. 12 in observance of Veterans Day. For more information on special offerings at parks nationwide, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: (top) fissure in Mauna Ulu area, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, (bottom) Halemaumau crater — both photos by Jay Robinson, National Park Service


Big Island vocalist/songwriter/musician Kuana Torres Kahele and his debut solo album Kaunaloa collected the most nominations for the 35th annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards for Hawaii music. Kahale, a founding member of multi-Hoku-award-winning duo Na Palapalai, has 10 nominations on the 2012 Na Hoku Hanohano ballot, released last week.

Na Hoku Hanohano music award winners in 27 categories will be announced at an awards ceremony and live show, May 27 on Oahu.
Kahele (pictured above) and his Kaunaloa album received Na Hoku Hanohano nominations for album of the year, male vocalist of the year, Hawaiian music album of the year, Hawaiian language performance, song of the year for “Na Vacqueros,” and two technical nods for graphics and liner notes. Kauhele also earned two haku mele (composer) nominations for the songs “Waikahuli” and “Waimanu i Ka Lauoha,” and a nod for entertainer of the year. The latter is the only Na Hoku Hanohano award category that is voted on by the general public.

Eight nominations each went to vocalist/musician/composer/kumu hula (hula teacher) Robert Cazimero (pictured below) for his album Hula, and traditional Hawaiian duo Waipuna for its second album E Ho‘i Mai. Vocalist Natalie Ai Kamauu’s ‘A album and traditional Hawaiian trio Hi‘ikua’s Aia I Hi‘ialo album received six Na Hoku Hanohano nominations each.
The majority of Na Hoku Hanohano’s award categories are voted on by members of the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, an organization made up of Hawaii recording industry professionals, journalists and others with an interest in Hawaiian music. The 2012 Na Hoku Hanohano Music Awards ceremony will be held at the Hawaii Convention Center as the culminating event of Mele Mei, a month-long celebration of Hawaiian music, which begins April 27.

kuana_torres_kahels_na_hoku_hanohanoHawaii TV station KFVE will broadcast the awards ceremony live at 7 p.m. (Hawaii time), May 27. The entire broadcast, complete with performances by current Na Hoku Hanohano nominated artists and other top Hawaii musicians, will also be live streamed on KFVE’s website.

Click here for a complete list of 2012 Na Hoku Hanohano nominees. For more information on the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, click this link.

Cast your vote for Na Hoku’s “entertainer of the year” category by clicking here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: Kahele and Torres, The Mountain Apple Co.; Waipuna, Waipuna Music



Beginning in May, tours to Shangri La, the opulent oceanside Oahu estate that was once home to American heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke, will have new hours. Start times for tours will be 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays, from May 2.

In a news release issued this month by the Honolulu Museum of Art, which manages the estate, per Duke's wishes, as a center for Islamic arts and cultures, Shangri La executive director Deborah Pope said: “We listened to visitors about when they prefer to visit and how they want to spend their time.” She added, “The new tour schedule presents convenient tour times Wednesday through Saturday and will allow for a more efficient check-in process. Visitors will continue to enjoy an hour and half at Shangri La with a guided tour in the public rooms of the main house and portions of the gardens.”

Shangri La is owned and supported by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, established after Duke's death in 1993. Estate tours are conducted by the Honolulu Museum of Art (formerly the Honolulu Academy of Arts), by reservation. For more information about tour tickets, click here or call (808) 532-3853.

The feature below, published in HAWAII Magazine's March/April 2011 issue, offers a colorful overview of the Shangri La tour and the Hawaii life of Doris Duke.


A tour of Doris Duke's private Diamond Head estate offers a look at her life and interests, on her own terms.

Story by Catherine E. Toth

The life's passions of wealthy American heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke are on display the moment you enter her sumptuous Oahu estate, Shangri La.

Throughout Duke’s home, nestled on the slopes of Diamond Head crater, are more than 3,500 objects from the Islamic world, including massive painted and gilded wood ceilings, elaborately carved doorways, intricate mosaic ceramic-tile panels and several mihrab, or prayer niches (pictured below, bottom of page), common in Islamic mosques.

In 1925, at age 12, Duke inherited more than $50 million from her father, tobacco and energy tycoon James Buchanan Duke—giving her the nickname, “The Richest Girl in the World.” Duke amassed her vast collection of Islamic art from Iran, Turkey, Egypt, India, Syria and other countries throughout her lifetime, displaying much of it at Shangri La. Owned by a foundation for Islamic art Duke established prior to her death in 1993, Shangri La’s opulent interiors and exteriors have since been toured by thousands of visitors.

I wasn’t among them, until recently. Still, I’d always been curious about Duke’s 5-acre waterfront retreat, which took two years, $1.4 million and more than 150 workers to complete. I also wanted to know how a woman of such vast wealth and world renown lived her life while on Oahu, my home island.


Born in 1912, Duke’s early childhood was spent far from the Islands, at the family’s 2,700-acre estate, Duke Farms, in Hillsborough, N.J.  In 1935, newly wed to American diplomat James Cromwell, Duke embarked on a honeymoon tour of the world during which her interest in Islamic art was sparked by travels through the Middle East and Asia. The couple arrived on Oahu that summer, falling instantly in love with the Island’s laid-back lifestyle.

Story and photos continue on next page

Hawaii_Oahu_golf_tournamentIf you’re on Oahu this week and you happen to be a golfer or a fan of the sport, you’re in luck.

The LPGA LOTTE Championship, presented by J Golf, is bringing the Ladies Professional Golf Association to Hawaii for the first time in two years. The inaugural tournament, which got under way with qualifying play yesterday, will continue through Sat., April 21 at Ko Olina Golf Club. More than 140 professional women golfers are slated to tee up for a share of the $1.7 million purse.

The pros will be on the course — on the west side of the island — for a practice round today. Admission is free. Also, tournament organizers are holding a free event dubbed Ladies First! Golf Clinic, set for 4:30 p.m. at the Ko Olina Golf Club’s practice range. Golfers and non-golfers (both women and men) are invited to take part in the clinic, which will feature Paula Creamer (2010 U.S. Women’s Open champion) (pictured, below), Stephanie Kono (Hawaii native and 2012 LPGA Tour rookie), and 13-year-old Mariel Galdiano (the youngest qualifier for the 2011 U.S. Women’s open).  The pros will share golf lessons and life lessons at the hourlong clinic. To register for the event, click here.

In addition to Kono, who grew up in Honolulu and started playing golf at age 6, other well-known Hawaii golfers playing in the tournament include Michelle Wie (an Oahu phenom who turned pro shortly before her 16th birthday in 2005) (pictured, above) and Ayaka Kaneko, also of Honolulu.Hawaii_Oahu_golf_tournament

The tournament’s official “pro-am” will take place tomorrow, and the first round of championship play starts on Wednesday and wraps up on Saturday.  The championship rounds will be broadcast live on the Golf Channel each day, starting at 12:30 p.m. Hawaii time.  

Earlier this year, the LPGA signed a three-year agreement with LOTTE, an industrial conglomerate in Korea and Japan, as title sponsor. J Golf, the LPGA’s television rights holder in Korea, is the presenting sponsor. The tournament will be a 72-hole stroke play event.

In a news release issued by the tournament’s organizers, LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan said: “Together with LOTTE and J Golf, we look forward to returning to the Hawaiian Islands, where our Tour has such a great history of fantastic golf.”

Admission is set at $10 per person daily, Tuesday through Saturday. Tickets are available for purchase at the main gate. Season Badges are $25 and good for admission throughout the week. Children age 16 and younger will be admitted free when accompanied by a paid adult. Parking is $5 per vehicle. The tournament provides a free spectator shuttle service from the parking area to the admissions area.

No camcorders or cell phone videos at any time throughout tournament week. No cameras are allowed from Wednesday through Saturday.

For more information about the LPGA LOTTE Championship, click here.

To subscribe to HAWAII Magazine, click here.

Photos: (top) Michelle Wie/Stuart Franklin Getty Images Sport; (bottom) Paula Creamer Scott Halleran Getty Images Sport
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