Monday, September 11, 2006

A Taste of Lahaina "Willy K" steals the Show!

The 15th annual Taste of Lahaina was our 1st! Very impressive, nice location, great with view of the Pali and full moon, well organized, and the Music of Maui was impressive but some better than others. We frankly expected the crowds to be larger- Maybe it is time for some changes? How about a new name? "The Willy K Taste of Lahaina"? He was by far the best performer over the two days! WOW! Maui is so lucky to have him here 24/7. I also think they should pull in the dates by one week to get more of the holiday tourist trade. People go to this event for (3) reasons: Taste the Food, Hear good Maui Music and to support the Lahaina community charities. They were not disappointed. The local Maui restaurants went all out! "Best in Show" was a tasty seafood offering from Kaanapali Beach Hotel (winning for the past 4 years). Others included Kimo’s Sansei, Roselani, Gaby's, Pioneer Inn, Hyatt Regency, Zuihao and more. These are photos of the winning dish!

Music highlights:
Willy K:
Closing act was “Willy K”, simply amazing, what a talent. Maui has to be proud of their homegrown superstar. From yodeling to rock he sent everyone home happy! If you ever visit Maui don’t miss him at Hapa's Nightclub in Kihei!

Makaha Sons:
Together for more than 30 years. Formerly called Makaha Sons of NiHau with Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole. IZ left the band to so solo in 1993. He weighed as much as 750 pounds and died at 38 in 1997. After IZ left they changed the name to Makaha Sons. They were on their “A” game at the festival. At the end of the set Barry Kimokeo joined them and showcased his amazing guitar and singing talents. Very good show!

The group was formed in 1995 and has a very unique harmonic sound and features another Maui heavyweight singer, Lukela Keala.
We also liked Makana, especially his Hawaiian slack-key guitar renditions.
Henry Kapono:
Henry goes "Wild Hawaiian" Hard Rock with local Slam Poetry- we like the C&P stuff like "Butterfly". Here is Henry!. The music overall was good but like most festivals you have to hear the good with the bad!
The radio DJ did not add to the festivities! I was disappointed with the coverage of the Maui Times. Looked like their reporter spent a few minutes on the first day, took some token shots and then left. Their was absolutely nothing about the event in Sunday's paper..too bad.
If in Maui next year I will not miss it!


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