The keiki of Pua Ali‘i ‘Ilima
Image: courtesy mutual publishing

‘Ohana / The term “hapa haole” doesn’t always have to refer to ethnicity. Turns out, the term also defines a whole musical genre. The premise behind hapa haole music is the blending of English words with Hawaiian themes, with songs centered on the idea of paradise.

This year, for the 10th anniversary of the Hapa Haole Hula & Music Festival, guests will get to watch a hula competition and learn about the history of hapa haole music. Harry B. Soria, Jr., host of the long-running Hawaiian musical history radio program “Territorial Airwaves,” will be the knowledgeable emcee, and various winners of the previous nine festivals will also be featured.

According to Takamori, who helps coordinate the festival, hapa haole music is a historical gateway where “a big part of the world was introduced to Hawaiian music . . . Hapa haole can be seen as the beginning of Hawaii’s tourism industry.” The songs attempt to convey a “Golden Age” sense of Hawaiiana, and often portray images of the alluring hula girl and picturesque beaches.

Leave the daily grind behind and lose yourself in Waikiki, in the swell of sweet melodies and graceful dance moves.

Hale Koa Luau Garden, 2055 Kalia Rd., Fri., 10/5, 5:30pm, [hapahaolefest.org]