Sunday, January 29 through Saturday, March 31

All programs will take place at Kaua`i Beach Resort

E Kanikapila Kakou (EKK) — it means, literally, let’s play music together — is the Garden Island Arts Council’s grassroots Hawaiian music program now in its 29th season. An opening and a closing concert plus nine Monday night lesson/presentations make your cup runneth over.


Stephen Inglis and The Rev. Dennis Kamakahi will be in performance at EKK on Sunday, Jan. 29. Photo by Marlowe Holt

E Kanikapila Kakou is the program that the revered Kumu Hula Kawaikapuokalani Hewett called the mole, or taproot, of Hawaiian music and declared every island should have. But every island doesn’t have it. You have to be on Kaua`i to experience it.

To start with, concerts are pure performance and pure pleasure — and there is a fee. These concerts are important to the EKK program for exposure, to assist our wonderful artists in earning their livings and for increasing the artists to even wider audiences for their music.

The Rev. Dennis Kamakahi. Photo by Anne E. O’Malley

And then, each Monday night, expect the following: three hours packed with loads of joy, tons of talk story, passionate, lovely and sprightly hula, gales of laughter and warm aloha of the audience. Don’t forget that early-bird ukulele and guitar toters get an hour of secrets from the pros on how they do that fingering or construct this phrase — insider info on the how-to, and sometimes, even a quickie lesson in hula, if the presenter is a kumu hula and so moved.

Stephen Inglis. Photo by Marlowe Holt

The biggest difference between the concerts and the Monday night performances might be considered the less formal feeling that pervades the space on Monday evenings.

All around, EKK Monday nights are the best-kept secret in the state. For just a dash of cash in the calabash that helps pay for the song sheets, you get all of the above and more.

Funding for the 2012 E Kanikapila Kakou program is once again made possible by a grant from the Hawai’i Tourism Authority and managed by the Kaua’i County Office of Economic Development. The Kaua`i Beach Resort lends partial support to the program, held in their Jasmine Ballroom. The Garden Island Arts Council is supported in part with funding from the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.