BY NANCY DANIELS – The finals of the Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search were held during the recent Made in Hawai‘i Festival. It was a tough competition with all five finalists performing to loud cheers and applause; but when the votes were counted it was Nā Pali Trio who was named this year’s Kani Ka Pila Talent Search winner.
As this year’s winner, Nā Pali Trio receives a one-month paid contract to perform at Kani Ka Pila Grille every Thursday evening during the month of September. Additionally, the Hawaiian music group will receive complimentary studio time at Honolulu Community College’s Mike Curb MELE Studios.
The talent search’s four remaining finalists did not walk away empty handed, and will also perform one night each at Kani Ka Pila Grille during the month of October. All Kani Ka Pila performances are from 6 to 9 p.m.
Nā Pali Trio is made up of two brothers and a friend who together perform beautiful island music. For Ikaika Leoiki, his love of music and performing came at a young age as a member of the Honolulu Boy Choir. Along with brother Kaniala Leoiki and good friend Albert Makanani, Ikaika continues to be influenced by his Papa David, the Mākaha Sons, Nā Palapalai and Nā Hoa.
Mahalo to Luana Maitland of the Outrigger Reef on the Beach who each year coordinates the competition. Special thanks also to this year’s judges – Cyril Pahinui, Keala Chock and Duncan Kamakana. And a big mahalo to Hawaiian 105 KINE, emcee Billy V and the Made in Hawaii Festival for inviting us to be a part of the entertainment line-up offered at the festival.