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Willie K

Local Spotlight: Willie K


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When the Honolulu Pulse said, “Willie K can play or sing almost anything an American audience might ask for,” that wasn’t hype, it was the literal truth. The Hawaiian phenomenon Willie K is undoubtedly the only artist in the world who can go into an Irish pub in the middle of Maui and play anything from indigenous acoustic Hawaiian music to jazz, reggae, rock, country and even opera—and not only get away with it but leave everyone within earshot slack-jawed in astonishment.

Blayne Asing

Local Spotlight: Blayne Asing


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Born and raised on the island of O’ahu, singer/songwriter Blayne Asing began playing ʻukulele at age eight; singing in the Kamehameha Schools Children’s Chorus at age nine; playing guitar at age 14; and playing percussion in the Kamehameha Schools marching, concert, and pep bands at age 12. Although he grew up loving the music of popular Hawai’i artists such as Ernie Cruz, Jr., Brother Noland, Gabby Pahinui, Olomana, Kalapana, Cecilio and Kapono, Country Comfort, and the Kaʻau Crater Boys, his own music is heavily influenced by country and folk music artists such as James Taylor and Jackson Browne.

Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole

Local Spotlight: Kaumakaiwa Kanaka‘ole


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Kaumakaiwa Kanaka‘ole has been on the stage since she could walk. With five Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards to her credit and a growing reputation as “the voice of Hawai’i’s new generation, she was the first Hawaiian performer invited to appear at New York’s globalFEST. As an ‘olapa (dancer) of Hālau O Kekuhi, she is experienced in all aspects of hula, oli [chant], haku mele [poetry & lyrics] and choreography. In 2013, Kaumakaiwa began to identify as female with the support of her family, in accordance with Hawaiian cultural tradition (māhū wahine).

DeAndré Brackensick

Local Spotlight: DeAndré Brackensick


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California native DeAndré Brackensick, found his start to singing in his local gospel church. Although he is widely known for his run to the Top 8 on American Idol – Season 11, DeAndre continues to show his cultural influence and musical versatility by performing traditional Hawaiian music and hula across the island. His professionalism, creativity, and undeniable zeal for music makes him a sought-after artist and has worked with the likes of Sammy Johnson, Jamie Jones (All-4-One), Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child), Shoshana Bean, and John Legend.

Ron Artis II & The Truth

Local Spotlight: Ron Artis II & The Truth


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Ron Artis II is an American musician/singer-songwriter. He is best known for his work as Ron Artis II and Thunderstorm in Hawaii. Named after his father Ron Artis, Ron is the eldest son of 11 children. He has enjoyed music since before he could walk, crawling across his father’s piano at age 1. Ron has grown in all genres of music and loves to create new songs on the spot in his concerts. He believes that “Music is meant to be lived, as life is meant to be lived”. His Blue Note sets will feature special guest John Cruz.