Posted on: January 25, 2012

Top Hawaii Performers to Appear at World Whale Day Celebration

Award-winning Hawaii performers Anuhea, Hapa, John Cruz, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Marty Dread, Nuff Sedd, Willie K and Manute'a Nui E will be just some of the live entertainment that will be featured this year at World Whale Day on Saturday, February 18, from 9 am to 8 pm at Kalama Park in Kihei.

This free event, presented by Pacific Whale Foundation as part of the Maui Whale Festival, is one of Maui’s biggest and best-attended festivals. With newly expanded hours and a second entertainment stage, World Whale Day (formerly known as "Whale Day") is expected to attract more than 17,000 people this year.
"We've expanded the hours of World Whale Day to accommodate those who are working during the day, or who want to enjoy the fun, food and live music after sunset," says Toula Vivilakis, Event Coordinator at Pacific Whale Foundation.
World Whale Day features an all-star line-up of musical entertainment including:
With a delicate balance of fragility, strength and sass, Hawaiian born singer/songwriter Rylee Anuheake'alaokalokelani Jenkins (Anuhea) blends engaging lyrics, acoustic soul, pop, rap and reggae into a style that has earned her a reputation as Hawaii's #1 female artist. Her debut album "Anuhea" released in April of 2009 shot to #7 on the
iTunes Pop Charts, #4 on R&B, and #3 on the World/Reggae Billboard Charts. (Learn more and listen at
Hapa (Barry Flanagan and Ron Kuala'au)
The award-winning world music duo Hapahas been called "the most successful Hawaiian music group in recent history” by the New York Times. Hapa's music can be heard in the Adam Sandler Movie “Just Go With It." Hapa's benchmark self-entitled first release in 1994 still remains the number one selling recording by a group or duo in the history of recorded Hawaiian music, sweeping all six categories it was nominated for at the 1994 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, the Hawaiian equivalent of the Grammy's. (Learn more and listen at
John Cruz
A native of Honolulu, John Cruz burst into the Hawaiian music scene as the bass player in the popular band Ka'au Crater Boys. His first individual album, Acoustic Soul was released in 1996, and sold over 150,000 copies in Hawaii alone, spawning radio hits "Shine
On," "Sitting in Limbo" and "Island Style," which has become a local anthem known around the world. John Cruz is the recipient of three Na Hoku Hanohano awards and in 2005, won a Grammy Award with his original song "Jo Bo's Night" which was featured on the compilation CD Slack Key Guitar Volume 2, which won the first Grammy ever awarded for
Hawaiian music. In October 2011, John's rendition of the traditional Hawaiian song "Hi'ilawe" was released on the official Hawaii Five-O soundtrack and featured on an episode of the hit show, along with artists like Bob Dylan, Train, the Goo Goo Dolls, Ziggy Marley and Jimmy Cliff. John's recent touring has included stops at Bluesfest in
Australia, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Summerstage in New York's Central Park, Carnegie Hall and prominent national venues up and down both coasts. John headlined four galas during Barack Obama's inauguration and recently performed for and met with the President during a visit to Hawaii. (Learn more and listen at
Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real (POTR)
An American rock & roll band based out of Paia (Maui) and Southern Calfornia, consisting of Lukas Nelson (Vocals/Guitar), Anthony LoGerfo (Drums), Tato Melgar (Percussion) and Corey McCormick (Bass), POTR released their debut record “Promise of the Real” in December of 2010 and have toured extensively throughout 2011 in support of the
album.The band has appeared at Farm Aid and on the Late Show with David Letterman and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno .Lukas and his band have also opened shows for Dave Matthews, Blues Traveler, Toots & The Maytals and blues legend B.B. King. (Learn more and listen at
Manutea Nui E
A professional dance group with over 50 years of combined hula and Tahitian experience, Manute'a Nui E shows their love of their culture in their exquisite costumes, astounding choreography and incredible music.  (Learn more at
Marty Dread
Local reggae star Marty Dread has performed around the world with such greats as Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and reggae legend Pato Banton. Marty's 1992 release "Wicked Wahine" sold-out as a cassette single and skyrocketed to the top of the Hawaiian charts. Three of Marty Dread's songs were featured in the international motion picture
release, "Maui Heat" - still seen on television screens around the world. His recent albums, "Keiki Reggae"  and "On the Beach" were each nominated for "Best Reggae Album of the Year" at the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. (Learn more and listen at
Nuff Sedd
Their cutting edge sound incorporates many influences including ska and reggae, funk and R&B, classic and alternative rock, oldies but goodies, and even today’s top 40 hits. With the release of their debut album, “Open Doors for Strangers,” Nuff Sedd emerged as one of Hawaii’s premier bands with sell-out crowds throughout the Hawaiian Islands, Japan and the South Pacific. The band was recognized in 2005 with several prestigious awards at the Hawaiian Music Awards: Group of the Year, Best New Artist, and Song of the Year with their hit single “Cherry Bomb,” while also being nominated at the Na Hoku Hanohano
Awards for “Reggae Album of the Year.” All the members of Nuff Sedd were raised on the slopes of Haleakala and continue to call Maui their home. (Learn more and listen at
Willie K
A Maui native who has won more than 18 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, Willie
K is a winning singer, songwriter and musician -- and most recently starred in the movie, "Get a Job."  When you experience his energetic and riveting performances, you'll understand why he has been voted multiple times as the best male vocalist and #1 entertainer in Hawai`i. Willie K has played with legends including B.B. King, The Commodores, Prince, Willie Nelson and Mick Fleetwood. His most recent Na Hoku Hanohano Awards include Christmas Album of the Year (2011) for his album Willie Wonderland  and Male Vocalist of the Year (2010) for his album Uncle Willie K (DVD).  (Learn more and listen at (Learn more and listen at
“This is an opportunity to see and hear some of Hawaii’s most beloved and noted musicians, including several Hoku award-winning performers, all in one place – for free,” says Greg Kaufman, President and Founder of Pacific Whale Foundation. “We often have performers sharing the stage with other entertainers in our line-up, so you'll see and hear
amazing combinations of musical talent throughout the day."
"Many people bring their beach chairs and make a day of it – they don’t want to miss any of the great acts," he notes.
 A second stage will feature music including performance for keiki and adults by Uncle Wayne and the Howling Dog Band, Evakali Ribbon Dancing, Peter and Melinda Wing (drama for youth), Lily Meola (youth vocalist), Keisha the Hoopnatizer, Chestemere High School Jazz Band (from Canada), Zumba with Roya, Marty Dread and Friends, and Pacific
Whale Foundation's Naturalists, who will lead a workshop in knot tying.
Kicking-off the World Whale Day festivities is the Parade of Whales at 9:00 a.m. This colorful parade begins at Alanui Keali’i Drive, proceeds north along South Kihei Road, and ends at the Kihei Library on Waimahaihai Street. The theme is “World of Whales.” Don’t miss the costumed sea characters, and floats of all shapes and sizes created by
local organizations.
Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa will serve as the official Grand Marshal. Whale Day’s opening ceremonies immediately follow the parade on the main stage.
For children, there are inflatable rides, activities, cotton candy, shave ice and games at the Keiki Carnival area.
Nearly 100 local artisans, including jewelers, basket makers, potters and more will display and sell their wares at the Made on Maui Artisan's Fair. Whale Day’s Eco-Alley offers booths by Maui nonprofits, businesses and government agencies that are working to protect the environment including Community Work Day, Friends of Haleakala, Haleakala National Park, Hawaii Nature Center, East Maui Watershed Partnership, Hawaiian Humpback Whale Sanctuary, West Maui Watershed Partnership, Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, Marine Mammal Response Team, Maui Ocean Center, Montessori Hale O Keiki, Monterey Bay Seafood Watch, State of Hawaii Department of Land and
Natural Resources -- Department of Aquatic Resources, Eyes on the Reef, Makai Watch Kaanapali, Coral and Maui Cultural Lands.  Pacific Whale Foundation's tent will feature displays of whale artifacts, information about ongoing whale research and presentations about whales and the ocean throughout the day.
Shoppers will also find great buys on artwork, gift certificates for activities, restaurants, shows, golf and more at the Silent Auction. The bidding begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m.
World Whale Day offers an array of tantalizing dishes at food booths hosted by popular Maui restaurants and food purveyors. "Join us for breakfast, lunch, dinner -- or all three," says Toula Vivilakis. "Just be sure to arrive hungry and to leave room for the shave ice and cotton candy."
Food booths at World Whale Day will be provided by Stella Blues Cafe, Monsoon India, Shaka Pizza and Sandwiches, Beach Bums BBQ and Grill, Porto, Ola Catering, Dog and Duck Irish Pub, Down to Earth Natural Foods, Maui Kazowie Kettle Corn, Sharky's Family Fun Center, Cold Stone Creamery, Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods, L&L Hawaiian BBQ, My Office (food truck)  and  No Ka Oi Nut Company. There will also be cotton candy, smoothies, shave ice, soda and drinks for sale. 
The Wild & Wonderful Whale Regatta is an opportunity to win free roundtrip airfare for two between the U.S. Mainland and Maui. Based on the popular “rubber ducky” races found across the U.S., the Wild & Wonderful Whale Regatta features little rubber whales on a twisting, turning water courseway.
World Whale Day is a green event. All food products at World Whale Day will be served on biodegradable and compostable products. In addition, water will be sold in reusable commemorative World Whale Day bottles. Purchase one for $3 and you'll receive free refills throughout the day from Menehune Water Co., the official water sponsor of World Whale Day. You can also bring your own reusable bottle and obtain ice water
refills for $1.
The easiest and most eco-friendly way to attend Whale Day is to take advantage of the Maui Bus. Take the Kihei Islander Bus and get off at Keala Place and South Kihei Road. To view bus schedules, please visit
There are also free event parking lots and free shuttle service from two Kihei locations. The lots are at Hope Chapel, at 300 East Welakahao Road, and at Azeka Place Mauka, by First Hawaiian Bank, (on South Kihei Road, just north of Lipoa Street). Handicapped parking is available at Kalama Park.
World Whale Day is also sponsored by Expedia Local Expert, Hawai'i Tourism Authority, County of Maui Office of Economic Development, KPOA, Maui Weekly, Menehune Water Co. and County of Maui Department of Parks and Recreation.
Whale Day is part of the Maui Whale Festival, a six month-long celebration of Maui’s humpback whales. The Maui Whale Festival celebrates and honors the thousands of humpback whales that migrate to Maui each winter. Maui is the principal mating and calving area of North Pacific humpback whales in the United States. It is the place of
new beginnings for the next generation of whales. Through fun and educational events, the Maui Whale Festival raises awareness about these cherished marine mammals and inspires the public to care for the vital and unique whale habitat encompassed by the four islands of Maui County.
Upcoming festival events include the Run and Walk For the Whales on Saturday, February 4, a special presentation by Pacific Whale Foundation President Greg Kaufman about the fight to end whaling on Saturday, February 4, the "Evenings With the Experts" presentations on Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11. and the Great Maui
Whale Count on Saturday, February 25. To learn more, visit
Please note that volunteers are needed to help at Whale Day. Sign up for a three hour shift and you’ll receive a free Maui Whale Festival t-shirt. To volunteer, call 808-249-8811 ext. 2 or visit
Individuals who become "Friends of the Festival" for a $50 donation to support this event will receive a free Maui Whale Festival t-shirt, and other perks, including free seating in the shaded, VIP tent at World Whale Day. To learn more, visit
Donations are also sought for the Silent Auction at World Whale Day. To donate goods or services, please contact