Kaua’i Composers 30th Anniversary Contest Winners

Press Release   9/30/2014
Malie Foundation, PO Box 13, Kapaa, HI  96746
Carol Bain  246-2111  cdbain@kauai.net
Maka Herrod  bslm07@hawaii.rr.com  808-822-2166

Kaua’i Composers Celebrate 30th Anniversary
as part of
Kaua’i Mokihana Festival 9/22/2014

Darryl Gonzales wins first place in the professional category in the 2014 Kaua'i Composers's Concert and Contest for his song "Na Kuahiwi 'Ekolu".

Darryl Gonzales wins first place in the professional category in the 2014 Kaua’i Composers’s Concert and Contest for his song “Na Kuahiwi ‘Ekolu”.

The 30th anniversary of the Kaua’i Composer’s Contest & Concert was celebrated September 22, 2014 as part of the Kaua’I Mokihana Festival.  A dozen composers competed in the competition held at the Waimea Theatre.

“As a composer,” Darryl Gonsales observed, “ an event like this makes a tremendous difference in motivating songwriters  like me to improve and keep at it.” Gonsales had competed in this event before, and this year he won first place in the professional category for his Hawaiian mele “Lei Pukui”.

First place winner of the Contemporary Hawaiian category, Blu Dux, said, “I have competed several times in this event. Each year is more fun than the last. One judge gave my song a perfect score this year.”  Dux’s band wore matching rooster vests for a lively composition called “Shaka Boka Baby”.

Composer, Blu Dux, singing the "chicken" song, wins first place Contemporary Hawaiian Category Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Kaua'i Composers Concert & Contest held at Waimea Theatre.

Composer, Blu Dux, singing the “chicken” song, wins first place Contemporary Hawaiian Category Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 at the 30th Anniversary Celebration of the Kaua’i Composers Concert & Contest held at Waimea Theatre.

Winner of the “Na Poe (People’s Choice)” award went to Sherri “Puni” Patrick for “A Song for Dennis” which mesmerized the audience with a sweet melody.

Contemporary Hawaiian:

Song / Composer Place /Award
Shaka Boka Baby / Blu Dux 1st
Lilikoi Lizzy / Frank Nestel 2nd
My Kaua’i Hula / Art Umezu 3rd
E Hiamoe / Seth Yamamoto 4th


Hawaiian Category:

Song / Composer Place
Eo E Lili’u / Kalalei Kauhane 1st
Keapokuaokalani / Kalei Valasco 2nd
A Song For Dennis / Sherri Puni  Patrick 3rd   +Na Po’e Award

Open Category:

Song / Composer Place
As Long as I’m With You / Joni Keamoai 1st
You Make it Easy / Seth Yamamoto 2nd

Professional Category:

Song / Composer Place
Na Kuahiwi ‘Ekolu / Darryl Gonsales 1st
Mu Rising / Craig Davies 2nd

In addition, judges awarded Darryl Gonsales the following: Performers award, Best Lyrical Content, Best Commercial Potential, and highest score.

Composer, Sheri Puni Patrick (on right) accepts the prize for the "Na Poe - People's Choice" award at the 30th annual Kaua'i Composers Concert and Contest held Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.

Composer, Sheri Puni Patrick (on right) accepts the prize for the “Na Poe – People’s Choice” award at the 30th annual Kaua’i Composers Concert and Contest held Monday, Sept. 22, 2014.

“The audience really enjoys this event and all the Kaua’i composer’s creativity is demonstrated year after year,” festival coordinator Maka Herrod said. “This theater in Waimea continues to be the best choice on Kaua’i for size and acoustics for this event, so we will be back next year.”








‘Ukulele Winner: David Jeng

The winner of a new, curly Koa ‘ukulele, David Jeng, was thrilled to learn his ticket was selected during the Kaua’i Mokihana Festival hula competition held Saturday, September 27. “I got the announcement from Uncle Onio, who was as excited as I was about the outcome of the raffle, and he immediately hand-delivered it to my hotel room,” Jeng said.

Winner David Jeng (center) with his wife, Janet, accepts the curly Koa 'ukulele hand crafted by Eugene "Onio" Punzal (right).

Winner David Jeng (center) with his wife, Janet, accepts the curly Koa ‘ukulele hand crafted by Eugene “Onio” Punzal (right).


Visiting from California, Jeng said, “I’m so glad my wife, Janet, and I were still on Kaua’i to receive the ‘ukulele. It is beautiful, and I have a friend at home who has offered to teach me to play it.”

“This was the third year we attended the Kaua’i Mokihana Festival. My wife and I enjoy this event each year, and we will be back in 2015.”

Eugene Punzal, known as “Uncle” Onio to all, said, “This is the first ‘ukulele I have ever made.  I must have put 100 hours into it, and am very grateful to the craftsman, Masami Kouchi, who had the patience to mentor me.”  Jill Kouchi designed and sewed the carrying case for the instrument.

A fundraiser for the Malie Scholarship which supports Hawaiian language and education, the ‘ukulele was awarded on the final day of the Kaua’i Mokihana Festival, September 27, 2014. “A total of $2,800 was raised, which took a lot of $5 donations to add up,” Punzal said.



Cultural Workshop: Lau Niu: Eat, Drink & Weave Coconut

Press Release: September 15, 2014
Media Contact: Carol Bain (808) 246-2111
For Event information call: Maka Herrod 808-651-1868
Workshop details: Eugene Punzal 639-7722 or email oniokauai2010@hotmail.com
General information: (808)822-2166 or email KMFKauai@hawaii.rr.com

 Lau Niu/Eat, Drink & Weave Coconut
Kaua’i Mokihana Festival Hawaiian Cultural Presentation
Wednesday, September 24th, 5 pm to 7 pm at Kaua’i Museum


The fish toy makes a perfect decoration.

The wonderful benefits of the coconut fruit, with examples in different stages of its development, will be explained by Eugene “Onio” Punzal, Wednesday, September 24, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Types of basket weaving are demonstrated. All attendees will get their “hands-on” to make coconut frond weaving toys: the fish, and if time allows, the buggy whip.

Uncle Onio has been weaving coconut fronts since he was a child.  “Weaving the pliant coconut fronds is fun, and with practice you can make many useful items,” Punzal said. This introductory workshop is presented to offer a Hawaiian cultural experience for both visitors and residents. The coconut was one of the original ‘canoe’ plants brought to the Hawaiian Islands over 1,200 years ago by the original voyaging Polynesians.DSC00695 (1)

Coordinated by Mālie Foundation as part of the week-long Kaua’i Mokihana Festival, this workshop is at Kaua’i Museum, 4428 Rice St., Lihue. Coconut desserts will be available, as well as water and juice. The workshop is free; nominal donation accepted. Space is limited to 40 attendees. Estimated workshop time: two hours.

Call 808-822-2166 or email kmfkauai@hawaii.rr.com to reserve a space.


KMF PR coconut PDF

‘Ukulele GiveAway for Mālie Scholarship

Mālie Foundation’s Scholarship Drive

KMF logo color trans

‘Ukulele Giveaway

A handcrafted, curly koa ‘ukulele, made and donated by the newest member of the Mālie Foundation, Eugene Onio Punzal, will be given away at the end of the week-long celebration of the Kaua‘i Mokihana Festival in September, 2014.

For a $5 donation, you will be able to participate in this ‘ukulele giveaway to be held at the Kaua‘i Beach Resort on Saturday, September 27.

The proceeds will be used to support the Mālie Scholarship fund. The scholarship fund supports the perpetuation of the Hawaiian language and culture.

The Mālie Foundation’s mission is to perpetuate, preserve and promote the Hawaiian culture through concerts, workshops, seminars and culturally enhancing activities.

For more information on the Mālie Scholarship visit our website:  HYPERLINK http://maliefoundation.org/scholarship.html” http://maliefoundation.org/scholarship.html


Kauai Mokihana Festival Events: Sept. 21 to 27, 2014


KMF logo color transRELEASE:   DATE: July 24, 2014

Media Contact: Carol Bain, 808-2462111  cdbain@kauai.net

Festival Coordinator: Maka Herrod  808-822-1886, KMFKauai@hawaii.rr.com


The festival is a week-long Sept. 21-27 celebration, of Hawaiian culture and includes music contest, 3-day hula competition, and workshops at locations around the island of Kaua’i.

Many Hawaiian hula halau (dance schools), kumu hula (hula teachers) and individual performers have already confirmed participation and interest in the 30th  annual Kaua’i Mokihana Festival. These include: Kau’i Dalire, Keola Dalire, Wailana Dasalia, Doric Yaris, ‘Aukai La’amaikahiki & Kaau’moana Ahina Jr, Mona Yamada and Greg Lontayao; Troy Lazaro, Melissia Aki-Sugai, Puna Kalama-Dawson, Kapu Kinimaka, Leina’ala Jardin, and Anna Velasco (Kahaunaele ‘Ohana).

2014 Kaua’i Mokihana Festival Events List by Date: (all events at Kaua’i Beach Resort unless otherwise noted below)
DATE:                                    EVENT:

For detailed information on events, tickets, times and locations scroll below or visit maliefoundation.org. 2014 is the Year of Na Loea O Na Mea Hana Lima (Master Crafters) and a craft fair featuring cultural products will be held during the 3-day hula competition at Kaua’i Beach Resort. TICKETS available beginning August 20th at these TICKET OUTLETS:

  1. Vicky’s Fabrics Kapa`a (808)822-1746
  2. Kaua’i Beach Resort, Lihue (808)246-5515
  3. Kaua‘i Music and Sound, Kapa‘a (808)823-8000

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE HERE  maliefoundation.org or http://www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/401720 TICKET INFORMATION:   Tickets for key events:  $20 advance / $25 at door Call (808) 652-4497 and ASK FOR IWA DAWBARN BEST IDEA: GET THE MOKIHANA PASS: The Mokihana Pass was created for those who desire to support the Kaua’i Mokihana Festival and allows any person to utilize the pass at events listed below. If you are unable to make one or more events, you are welcomed to pass on your MP to someone else. The Mokihana Pass is available for sale at $75.00 per pass. Purchase in advance. The Mokihana Pass is good for admission to all of the below listed events. For event information call Maka Herrod (808)651-1868 or email: KMFKauai@hawaii.rr.com

SPONSORS INCLUDE: HTA/County of Kaua’i; Hawai’i Community Foundation; Hawaiian Airlines, A&B Foundation; Kukui’ula Development, Co.; Kauaʻi Beach Hotel; Aston Aloha Beach Hotel; Queen Liliʻuokalani Children Center; Malie Foundation


Kaua’i Mokihana Festival Fact Sheet for 2014

Kaua`i Mokihana Festival Fact Sheet Sept. 21-27, 2014

For event information call Maka Herrod  (808)651-1868 KMF Hotline: 808-822-2166 kmfkauai@hawaii.rr.com

Each year, the Kaua`i Mokihana Festival celebrates the Hawaiian culture and values by presenting events coordinated by the non-profit organization, Mālie Foundation. Grants, large and small, continue to come in to support our Festival, in addition to corporate sponsors and many thousands of in-kind donations and volunteers over the years. Major sponsors include the County of Kaua`i Office of Economic Development and the Hawai`i Tourism Authority. Kaua`i Mokihana Festival also offers the Mālie Scholarship. All efforts serve to promote and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture. Donations are greatly appreciated: Mālie Foundation, PO Box 13, Kapaa, HI 96746. Sponsors for major events are needed. Call 808-822-2166 to find out more, or Festival Director: Maka Herrod (808)651-1868.

Schedule subject to change and may be updated online http://maliefoundation.org/ This year’s seven-day festival includes the following cultural events in chronological order:

Hawaiian Church Services: (September 21, 10 a.m.) No admission fee – All Welcome – Kapa`a First Hawaiian Church, 4-1320 Kuhio Hwy. Kapa’a. Welcome all as we celebrate with special music; even a little hula now and then in both English and the Hawaiian languages. This event is held at the historic Kapa`a First Hawaiian Church founded by Queen Deborah Kapule in 1879. KMF volunteers and supporters provide the special music for this service that is open to all residents and visitors. After the service, all are invited to join in refreshments.

The Kaua`i Composers Contest and Concert: (Monday, September 22, 7 p.m.) $20 advance/$25 at door. Waimea Theater Celebrating its 30th anniversary as a founding event of the Kaua`i Mokihana Festival, this event encourages the composition of new music through its various categories including: Hawaiian (must be in the Hawaiian language), Contemporary Hawaiian, Open, Professional and Youth (13-15 years old). Trophies and cash prizes are awarded. Participants in this contest are inspired by sharing their personal musical creations with the Island’s people and visitors.

“Eo, E Lili`u” Children’s/Youth Music Competition (Tuesday, September 23, 9 a.m.) – $10 adults / $5 keiki.  Location: Kaua’i War Memorial Convention Hall, Hardy Street, Lihue; sponsored by the Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center; This event allows students in the Hawaiian Immersion School Programs to compete musically by grades with songs to honor the Queen and other Hawaiian cultural topics.

“Under the Palms at Wailua Concert”(Tuesday, September 23, 6 p.m.) $20 / $25 at door. Join us as we celebrate our unique Hawaiian culture through hula, music, arts and crafts. The employees of the Aloha Beach Hotel, 3-5920 Kuhio Highway  Kapa’a, (808) 823-6000 at Wailua pull out all the stops to make your evening an unforgettable cultural experience. Starts at 6 pm and entertainment continues to 9 pm. Doors open at 5 pm. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Parking is available. Contact concierge desk: 822-7377 or Maka Herrod 651-1868.

Cultural Presentation: Lau Niu /  Eat, Drink & Weave Coconut (Wednesday September 24 – 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Free / donation accepted.  Location: Kaua’i Museum, 4428 Rice St., Lihue; Free/donation accepted.  Eugene Punzal will explain the wonderful benefits of the coconut fruit, with samples to share in different stages of its development.   Different types of basket weaving are demonstrated. All attendees will get their “hands-on” to make two coconut frond weaving toys: the buggy whip and the fish.  Space is limited to first 40 attendees. Estimated workshop time: 2 hours.

Hula Competition: Solo/Group Kahiko Nei, (Thursday, September 25, 6 p.m. ) Admission Fee: $20 in advance / $25 at door; Location: Kaua’i Beach Resort, 4331 Kauai Beach Drive, Lihue; (808)245-1955) This event demonstrates a creative and unique idea in hula in the ancient style (kahiko) with a slight twist of Kaua’i flavor. Newer chants are encouraged by judges. Chants that are 10 years old or less get five bonus points. Three bonus points are given to chants 20 years or younger.

Hula Competition: Group `Auana, (Friday, September 26, 6 p.m. ) Admission Fee: $20 in advance / $25 at door, Location: Kaua’i Beach Resort, 4331 Kauai Beach Drive, Lihue; (808)245-1955) This is the second evening of hula competition and features Auana, modern hula. This group competition allows the hula school (halau) to use traditional, borrowed or newly created implements to add a “contemporary” flavor to hula. This event encourages the ingenuity and creativeness of our kumu hula. Categories include Kaikamahine, Keikikane, Wahine, Kane, Kupuna and Hui/`Ohana. Come early, as Kaua`i’s Aloha Festival’s Royal Court will attend this event in full regalia with ceremonial entrance.

Hula Competition Solo `Auana & Finale at the Kaua’i Beach Resort (Saturday, September 27 begins at 11 a.m. ) Admission Fee: $20 in advance / $25 at door, Location: Kaua’i Beach Resort, 4331 Kauai Beach Drive, Lihue; (808)245-1955) The finale cannot be missed. First, solo competition enchants the audience. Then, all the competing halau and audience wait breathlessly to see the winners announced by the judges. Special solo hula awards are offered by Hawai’i Community Foundation.

PRESS photos are available upon request: Contact Carol Bain, 808-246-2111 cdbain@kauai.net Kaua’i Mokihana Festival website is updated regularly with latest announcements on this schedule: http://maliefoundation.org/ Festival Director: Maka Herrod 808-822-2166 Event Information: email kmfkauai@hawaii.rr.com

For individuals requiring an auxiliary aid or additional support to participate call Jodi Omo at 808-635-3295 ten (10) working days before the event. NOTE: a KMF professional photographer and videographer will be at major events with images for sale. Competing or other professional photographers should check with event coordinators prior – call Maka (808)651-1868.


Tickets are $20 in advance/$25 at door; $5 children ages 6-17; free for children under 6.

For ticket information only, call Iwalani at (808)652-4497. For event information call Maka Herrod  (808)651-1868. email: bslm07@yahoo.com

************** A 3-day Kaua’i Mokihana Festival Craft Fair featuring Hawaiian gifts and locally-made items will be in the lobby of the Kaua’i Beach Resort. Booth hours: (Thursday 9/25 and Friday 9/26) 3 pm to 9 pm; (Saturday, 9/27/14) 9 am to 3 pm (finale).

Food and beverage will be available for purchase on premises.

For updated information, visit KMF Website: http://maliefoundation.org

Mother & Daughter First Place Hula Competition Winners

KAUA`I MOKIHANA FESTIVAL Press Release 9/30/2013

Mother and Daughter Are First Place Hula Competition Winners
at Kaua’i Mokihana Festival

Two generations of hula grace and skill were recognized when mother and daughter received separate first place awards at the Kaua’i Mokihana Festival hula competition Saturday, Sept. 28. Kupuna Mokihana Hula award winner Maryanne Dearmore won the Kupuna Mokihana Hula first place and her daughter, Marie Dearmore, received the first place Miss Mokihana Hula.

Maryanne Dearmore

Maryanne Dearmore, dancing hula to “Wai’akeakua” won her the award of 2013 Kupuna Mokihana Hula in the Kaua’i Mokihana Festival hula competition. Her daughter who also competed, Marie Dearmore was awarded the title 2013 Miss Kaua’i Mokihana Hula. (Photos by Joe Olivas)

Miss Mokihana Hula 2013, Marie Dearmore

2013 Miss Mokihana Hula, Marie Dearmore, performs “Mele O Ke Ke’ana Kalaunu” in the three-day Kaua’i Mokihana Festival hula competition. Her mother also competed in the hula competition and won first place in a separate kupuna category.













“This is the first time in the 29-year history of this hula competition that first place solo award winners were from the same family,” said Nathan Kalama, Kaua’i Mokihana Festival founder. “To see Hawaiian cultural traditions pass down through generations is a key objective of this festival and of the Mālie Foundation.” Mālie Foundation coordinates the annual week-long annual contemporary Hawaiian cultural festival that includes workshop presentations, music concerts and competitions.

Both dancers were from Hālau Hi’iakaināmakalehua of O’ahu, which racked up first place awards in many categories, including Group Kahiko Wahine, Group Kahiko Kane, Solo ‘Auana Wahine, Solo ‘Auana Kane, Group ‘Auana Wahine, and Group ‘Auana Kane. In both Kahiko and ‘Auana Solo Opio Kane, Elijah Makana Pakele of the same hālau won first place.

Hālau from Maui, O’ahu and Kaua’i participated in the three-day hula competition held at the Kaua’i Beach Resort Jasmine Ballroom. Complete results can be found on maliefoundation.org/blog###


Ni’ihau Composers Slam Kaua’i Composers Contest – Press Release

Press Release: 9/23/13
Media Contact: Carol Bain (808) 246-2111
For Event information call: Maka Herrod 808-651-1868
Kaua’i Mokihana Festival event tickets: (808)652-4497

Ni’ihau Composers Slam Kaua’i Composer’s Contest

Fresh, young composers from Ni’ihau demonstrated their music and talent at the Kaua`i Composer’s Contest and Concert and walked away winners at Waimea Theater Monday night.

In the Open Music category, Sydney Kaaumoana Morton and Naniwaiui Kanahele won first and second place respectively. In the Contemporary Hawaiian category, Love Kelley won first place. Sydney Kaaumoana Morton’s song “I Will” also won a special Most Commercial Potential award. All three hail Ni’ihau as home island.

Composer, Love Kelley, performs “Ni’ihau”, the island that inspired his song that won him first place in the Contemporary Hawaiian category at the 29th annual Kaua’i Composers Contest & Concert held at Waimea Theater Monday night.

Master of ceremonies, Lady Ipo Kahaunaele-Ferreira said, “A primary purpose of this Kaua’i Mokihana Festival event is to motivate new composers to share their songs. Many beginning composers are hesitant and need the encouragement that this event brings.”

A first-time composer using Hawaiian languate to participate in this event, Darryl Gonzales, entered the Professional category with his song “Na Kuahiwi ‘Ekolu” which won the Performer’s Award by judges and the coveted People’s Choice Award from the appreciative audience.

Judges included Doric Kaleonui Yaris, Hau’oli Akaka, and Kamakakehau Fernandez. Fernandez entertained the audience while the People’s Choice Award was tallied with two Hawaiian mele performed in beautiful falsetto.

First place Professional category went to a skillful Kaua’i composer, Shilo Pa, for “Another Song” that received the Lyrical Content award and received Highest Score by judges.

The  Kaua’i Mokihana Festival continues through Sept. 28 with Hawaiian cultural presentations, music and hula. A full is schedule online http://maliefoundation.org

Results of 29th annual Kaua’i Composers Contest & Concert:

Category: Contemporary Hawaiian

First: “Ni’ihau” Love Kelley
Second: “Pretty Lady” Rolly Rull
Third: “Love Me” Frank Nestel


Category: Open

First: “I Will” +Most Commercial Potential award Sydney Kaaumoana Morton
Second: “My God” Naniwaiui Kanahele
Third: “Love Never Change” Rolly Rull


Category: Professional

First: “Another Song” +Lyrical Content & Highest Score Shilo Pa
Second: “Na Kuahiwi ‘Ekolu” +Na Poe & Performance Award Derryl Gonzales

Kaua’i Mokihana Festival continues through Sept. 28, 2013, Island Wide -

Click for full festival schedule online at http://maliefoundation.org


photo credit:  Joe Olivas

Syndey Kaaumoana-Morton, a composer from the island if Ni’ihau, won first place in the Open category and was awarded “Most Commercial Potential” at the annual Kaua’i Composers Contest and Concert held Monday night with her song “I Will”.