The Junction proudly presents an evening with Kanekoa!
“The Hawaiian Grateful Dead”
— Bill Kreutzman, The Grateful Dead
Playing what is described as “ukulele-powered Hawaiian jam-rock,” Kanekoa is riding the wave of renewed interest in the instrument most closely associated with the Aloha State. Though Kanekoa has been at it for close to 25 years, the band continues to surprise and delight unsuspecting audiences, pushing the envelope of this 4-string instrument. Wherever this band plays people are mesmerized, they’ve never heard anything like Kanekoa before.
Kanekoa was founded in the early 1990’s by soulful and soothing singer/rhythm ukulele player Kaulana Kanekoa, ukulele virtuoso Vince Esquire and the talented pace-maker percussionist Travis Rice. Uncle Don Lopez, a virtuoso on the U-Bass, is a more recent addition and the latest member is master percussionist, Lopaka Colon. Kanekoa has uniquely taken the ukulele sound into new territory and continues to pave the way with their original sound.
“At first I thought it was just the novelty of the ukuleles,” says Kaulana about Kanekoa’s appeal. “People loved us on the mainland. I would meet musicians, and they’d say, ‘It’s astounding what you’re doing on the ukuleles.’ People see Vinnie and ask, ‘Is he the only one in the world playing like that?’ And I say, ‘There are a couple of guys.’”
When the guys are flying high, it’s easy to imagine Kanekoa as a Grateful Dead-inspired jam band with eclectic roots and a sound that embraces flavors of reggae, blues, funk, jazz and island music. Esquire’s fluid, liquid runs on the ukulele sometimes recall Jerry Garcia’s tonal lyricism. Some fans have even wondered if he channels Garcia.
Date & Time
Wed, Jul 5, 2023 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM