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DATE: August 11, 2011 RELEASE NBR: 80/11

Who will be the Next Star at Outrigger’s Kani Ka Pila Grille? Five finalists to compete for a month-long gig and studio time WAIKIKI, HONOLULU, OAHU – After an extensive search and listening to a myriad of musical entries, the search for the next Kani Ka Pila Grille musical star nears! Five finalists have been selected to compete during the third annual Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search, which is being held this year in conjunction with the Made in Hawaii Festival. The finals of the musical competition will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2011, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Neal Blaisdell Center, Pikake Room.

Luana Maitland, events and activities manager for Outrigger Reef on the Beach and music director for the Kani Ka Pila Grille, is proud to announce the talented finalists who made the cut. They are Ke Kani Nahe, Ke’Oahu, Kaiholu, Honolulu Lounge Lizards, and LiiNUI.

“The entries we received were exactly what we were hoping for -- true Hawaiian music still being sung, written and performed,” said Maitland. “This year we are fortunate to have newly discovered talent from every spectrum. We have a real ‘family act,’ as one of the finalists consists of members from one ohana. We also have a talented artist who produces his own original Hawaiian music,” Maitland added. Ke Kani Nahe is a musical group that formed as a result of many kanikapila sessions with friends and family. While playing at various gatherings, group members Derek Higa, Duke Domingo, Shawn Machida and Sam Sang noticed that their individual playing styles harmonized well with each other so they formed the group Ke Kani Nahe. Ke’Oahu has a musical lineage going back five generations. From dad Joseph Kalanipi`i Maio from Happy Valley, Maui, to mom Maude Leialoha Ke`Oahu of Laie, Oahu, music always has been a vital part of their ohana. Rounding out the group are JoAnn Iwalani Maio (lead vocal/percussion), Jonette Maio (vocal/bass) and Leilani Vaka`uta (vocal/guitar). - more -

Who will be the Next Star at Outrigger’s Kani Ka Pila Grille? Page - 2

Kaiholu is made up of a delightful quartet of talented artists -- Hanalei Kaanapu, Trax Enos, Al Rowland, and Mahealani Stillman. Winners of Ka Himeni Ana 2009, these talented performers have a vibrant sound and rich harmonic styling reminiscent of the Sons of Hawaii.

The Honolulu Lounge Lizards is a remix of former band members from Ahiwela - Stan Combis, DeWayne Valdez, Godfrey Hermosura and Shane Andrade. They have recently performed at various venues in Downtown Honolulu. The group is looking forward to sharing their music with a new audience.

LiiNUI has been performing as the backup band for Mike Keale in Japan. A growing friendship and traditional Hawaiian music provided the basis for collaboration between steel guitar player Bobby Ingano, slack key guitarist Andy Llanos, and bass/vocalist Kimo Naylon. Their musical foundation is traditional yet contemporary. A hint of Swing and Blues also influence their musical direction.

Each of the finalists will perform live in front of a panel of judges that will include Grammy-nominated

slack key guitar master Cyril Pahinui; Keala Chock, program coordinator for (The Music & Entertainment Learning Experience (MELE) at Honolulu Community College; Jason Genegabus, entertainment and online editor for the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and; and Outrigger’s Luana Maitland.

The winning group will receive a one-month paid contract with Kani Ka Pila Grille at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach, which includes five Thursday performances throughout the month of September (September 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29). In addition, the winning group will receive studio time at the Honolulu Community College’s Mike Curb MELE Studios, which includes tracking and mixing sessions in their newly built studio. Open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Kani Ka Pila Grille is a casual restaurant that offers delicious food infused with island flavors and a comfortable and friendly dining atmosphere. For reservation or restaurant information, call (808) 924-4992. -###-

CONTACTS: Nancy Daniels, APR, Director of PR Outrigger Enterprises Group Ph: 808-921-6839 Email:

Kathy Hansberry Outrigger Enterprises Group Ph: 808-921-6941 Email:

About Outrigger Enterprises Group Outrigger Enterprises Group is one of the largest and fastest growing privately-held leisure lodging and hospitality companies in the Asia Pacific and Oceania regions and continues to expand its presence throughout the area. A family-owned company with more than 60 years of hospitality experience, Outrigger runs a highly-successful, multi-branded line of hotels, condominiums and vacation resort properties, including Outrigger® Hotels & Resorts, OHANA® Hotels & Resorts, Outrigger Condominium Collection®, Embassy Suites®, Best Western®, Courtyard® by Marriott, and Wyndham Vacation Ownership®. Currently, Outrigger operates and/or has under development 44 properties with close to 11,000 rooms located in Hawaii, Australia, Guam, Fiji, Bali, Phuket, Thailand, Koh Samui, Thailand, Vietnam, and China. Outrigger Enterprises Group also operates and develops hotel properties and hospitality-related retail and real estate opportunities for partners in Hawaii, the Pacific, the mainland USA and Asia. For on-line information, log on at and

Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search  

On August 20, 2011, five bands compete for Outrigger's most glorious prize.