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21st Richard Ho‘opi‘i Falsetto Contest and Moloka‘i round out the 2023 Festivals of Aloha : Maui Now


The 2023 Festivals of Aloha culminates this month with the 21st Richard Ho‘opi‘i Falsetto Contest on Saturday, and events next week on the island of Molokaʻi.

“Amidst the highs and the occasional lows, the vibrancy of Wailea was brought to life through enchanting hula performances and the mesmerizing melodies of Amy Hānaiali‘i. Meanwhile, Hāna displayed unwavering resilience as they brought their week-long events to a powerful conclusion, despite the heartfelt loss of their esteemed Hō‘ike Night Chairperson and longstanding FOA Hāna committee member, Ipo Mailou. May her legacy continue to rest in aloha,” said festival director Daryl Fujiwara. “As we cherish the memories created, let us anticipate the remaining spectacular events, including the upcoming Richard Ho‘opi‘i Leo Ki‘eki‘e Falsetto Contest, the enchanting evening of “Mahalo Moloka‘i” on Nov. 17, and the melodious “Mele O Moloka‘i” scheduled for Nov. 24.”

Schedule of Events:

  • Richard Ho‘opi‘i Leo Ki‘eki‘e Falsetto Contest – Nov. 11 at the Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua. Admission is $5 or a festival ribbon.
  • Moloka‘i – Nov. 17 “Mahalo Moloka‘i” at Hiro’s ‘Ohana Grill at Hotel Moloka‘i. A dinner concert – sold out!
  • Nov. 24 “Mele O Moloka‘i” at Paddlers Restaurant and Bar at 5 pm. Admission is $10 and includes one (1) pupu. Entertainment by: Kala, Homesteady, Esther Kaholoaa, Keldin from High Watah, iRoots, Miah Music, and a special appearance by Pound 4 Pound.

The 21st annual Richard Ho‘opi‘i Leo Kiʻekiʻe Falsetto Contest will take place at the Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua, on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with music by the group Hoaka, featuring Champion Kason Gomes and Kalani Miles. The contest will commence at 6 pm with a performance by ‘Ohana Ho‘opi‘i. The Afterglow will run from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Salon Pre-function area with music by Nuff Sedd.

The recipient of the ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i award will enjoy a two-night stay at the Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua. The 2023 Champion will receive a Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele, $600 Cash sponsored by Honua Consulting, a wooden award, Hawaiian Island Creations Lifestyle Apparel, a $150 Pulelehua Gift certificate, lei hulu by Hulunani Leo Meyer and a performance opportunity at Keauhou Shopping Center on Hawaiʻi Island. Second place will receive $400 cash, and third place will receive $200 cash from Honua Consulting.

Local artists will be showcasing in the Salon Foyer from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Featured artists include Missing Polynesia, Kapa Curious, Hulunani, Art by Tioni, and Pearls by Eke.


To get you warmed up, view last year’s competition on the Festivals of Aloha Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/FestivalsofAloha/videos/1171868633738535

Hiro’s ‘Ohana Grill will play host to a sold out audience who will enjoy a dinner buffet and entertainment by Keaka and the award winning vocals of Josh Tatofi Nov. 17. “We just wanna say thanks to the boat folks who helped take supplies and support immediately after the Lahaina fire. That’s why we’re naming the dinner show ‘Mahalo Molokaʻi.’ Those guys and the community are real heroes,” said FOA Moloka‘i Entertainment Chair Raymond Hiro. 

Closing out the 2023 festivities will be a concert at Paddlers Restaurant and Bar in Kaunakakai. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Come ready to dance to: Kala, Homesteady, Esther Kaholoaa, Keldin from High Watah, iRoots, Miah Music, and a special appearance by Pound 4 Pound. Tickets are $10 and includes one (1) pūpū and can be purchased in advance at Rawlins Texaco.


2023 has been officially declared the Year of the Kāhuli by Governor Josh Green on Feb. 23. This proclamation inspired the festival’s theme – Kāhuli leo leʻa–Hoʻōla o ka wao. Sweet-voiced kāhuli–Savior of the Forest. Once, the islands were home to approximately 750 species of kāhuli, or Hawaiian land snails, found nowhere else in the world. The kāhuli are both ecologically important, serving as cleaners of fungus and bacteria from native plants, and culturally significant, as they are featured in Native Hawaiian mele, hula, oli and lei. Of these 750 species, 60% have now been lost forever. The remaining kāhuli face severe threats, including invasive species predation, habitat loss, and climate change. Without additional action, 100 or more species may go extinct in the next 10 years.

To learn more about Festivals of Aloha, visit festivalsofaloha.com and “like” them on Facebook.

Source: Maui News

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