Past Festivals - Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2020 Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2020

Past Festivals



Kalapana emerged as one of the most popular bands on the Hawaiian music scene in the 70s, producing a steady stream of hits. Their 1975 debut album was hailed as one of the best of the mid-70s Hawaiian renaissance. Tracks like “Naturally”, “Nightbird”, “The Hurt”, “You Make It Hard”, and “When the Morning Comes” became household tunes and still enjoy frequent play on contemporary Hawaiian radio.

Musical trends have come and gone, but Kalapana’s many hits have remained Island classics. Kalapana still stands as a symbol of inspiration for contemporary Hawaiian music today.

Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2018 Kalapana


Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2018 Manaʻo Company

The Manaʻo Company

The 7-time Na Hoku Hano Hano award winning band “Manaʻo Company” has been in the Hawaiian music scene since 1988. Their latest Hoku award was in 2013 for “Anthology Album of the year” for their efforts on a compilation cd, this project titled “A 20 year collection of the Manaʻo Company” has a mix of newly released songs as well a list of All their hits…”Drop baby drop”, “Spread a little ALOHA” and “Roots Rockin” to name a few. Continuing their legacy in the island music scene, The Manaʻo Company is kicking off 2017 with a few new songs to be available soon.

The band strives to provide quality music for all occasions and keep on “Spreading a little ALOHA” all around the world!!!


The Real Hoʻaikane

Hoʻaikane was founded in 1983 in Kona. The first three album releases were under Kahanu Records. The first two releases came in 1986, “Puʻuanahulu and Nolan Hao Kī Hōʻalu…On The Back Porch.”

Puʻuanahulu featured a mix of traditional Hawaiian and contemporary Hawaiian music such as Kaʻaahi Kahului, Ka ʻŌpae, and Mauna Kea Sugar.

Nolan Hao Kī Hōʻalu…On The Back Porch contained some of the best Hawaiian slack key music ever recorded. Punahele, Papakolea, ʻOphihi Moemoe, Radio Hula and other well-known classics were featured on the ki hoʻalu album.

In 1987 Hoʻaikane went paniolo (Hawaiian Cowboy) releasing their third album entitled Ano Kua Aina which contained a classic mix of Hawaiian and old country songs. Seven Spanish Angels and Your Cheating Heart were great recording covers, done the old paniolo way.

In 1989, their newest album A New Beginning labeled under Kahele Music featured several non-Hawaiian hits as Keep Hawaiian Lands/Waiting In Vain medley, Silver Wings, Some Guys Have All The Luck, and Jambalaya/Elena Bon Bon.

Hoʻaikāne exploded during the Jawaiian scene and in 1990 released Island Irie. This new sound of music catered to younger mainstream audiences. Romeo, Kailua-Kona, All Night ʻTil Daylight, and You Are My Rub A Dub had the entire island chain skankin’ to the feel good island music.

Kanakafari was released in 1991 under Niho Mano Records with island reggae songs Roots, Rock, Reggae, Gwarn!, and Night Nurse. The group recorded their first live album in 1992 entitled Hoʻaikāne ‎— Live when the popularity of Island Reggae music became apparent. Reggae songs from their previous albums were rerecorded as well as 54–56 (What’s My Number)/Taxi Driver Medley, Cocody Rock, One Way/Strictly Reggae, and 96 Degrees In The Shade.

The Hawaiian reggae scene was in full swing in 1993. Hoʻaikāne released Bulletproof, then in 1995 released the Massive album. Six years later in 2001 Hoʻaikāne released their second live album, Hoʻaikāne ‎— Live: The Last Set. Finally in 2012, they released a much anticipated album entitled Sweet Okole under their own music label Hoʻaikāne Music. With hits songs like Kona Red, Sweet Okole and Recipe. They also released a couple of singles, As Long As I’m With You and Good Day. While the music has changed over the years from Hawaiian, Slack Key, Country, Island Music, Jawaiian, Island Reggae, Reggae, and even Dance Hall one thing for sure, Hoʻaikāne music has been, and has continued to hit the Hawaii charts at #1 consistently.


Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2018 Hoʻaikane

Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2018 Hoʻaikane logo


Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2018 Sunplaza Nakano Kun

Sunplaza Nakano-Kun

Sunplaza Nakano-Kun is a Japanese musician and writer. He made his professional debut as a vocalist for Bakufu Slump in 1984. Among the songs the band released, “Runner” was their biggest hit. The band broke up in April of 1999. As a solo artist, he changed his name to “Sunplaza Nakano-kun” in January of 2008 and released numerous songs over the years. His latest mini album will be released in April 2018 from Universal Music commemorating the 30th anniversary of the song, “Runner”.


Pappara Kawai

Born on September 14th, 1960
Hometown: Kashiwa-shi, Chiba-prefecture.
Blood type: B

He made his debut as a guitarist for Bakufu Slump in 1984. Their first album was titled “Yoi” and the 1st single was titled “Shukan Tokyo Shojo A”.

In 1988, their single titled “Runner” became a huge hit and gained much popularity. They kept releasing hit after hit such as “Rizo lava (resort lover)” (1989), “Okina Tamanegi no shita de ~haruka naru omoi~”(1989), “Tabibito yo ~the longest journey~”(1996) and became steadily popular in the music scene.

Since the band’s break up in 1999, he has been producing songs for other artists, writing, and sharing his talent through various projects.

Official website is


Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2018 Pappara Kawai


Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2018 May J.

May J.

May J. is a multi-lingual singer-songwriter with her background rooted in Japan, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Spain, and England. As a child, she studied dance, piano, and opera. She can compose, write lyrics, sing and play the piano. In 2014, she sang a Japanese version of the theme song for the Disney film, “Frozen”, and went on her very first performance at the 65th annual Red and White singing contest on NHK that same year.  In January 2015, she performed live at Tokyo Budokan for the first time.


Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku

Shiritsu Ebisu Chugaku (literally Ebisu Private Junior High School) is a Japanese all-girl idol group consisting of six girls. The group was formed in August 2009 despite the fact that none of them were Junior High School students at the time.

Since their single, “Kari Keiyauku No Cinderella” debuted within the top ten of the Oricon chart in Japan on May 5th, 2011, all of their other singles have placed in the top 10 ranking. December of that following year, they performed their first solo concert at Saitama Super Arena.

They are currently active on TV variety shows, movies, stage performances (Theater), summer music festivals, and even modeling in Japan. They also continue to perform at large concert venues.


Rika Mayama (aka Ebi-chu’s high tension girl)
Birthday December 12th, 1996. Born in Tokyo. Height 154.2cm

Ayaka Yasumoto (aka lycopene girl as she loves tomato)
Birthday June 27th, 1986. Born in Tokyo. Height 160cm

Mirei Hoshina (aka the idol from 360 angle)
Birthday November 2nd 1997. Born in Kanagawa. Height 161.2cm

Hinata Kashiwagi (aka Ebi-chu’s smiley toy box)
Birthday March 29th, 1999. Born in Chiba. Height 156cm

Shikaho Kobayashi (aka dancing rice, singing inaho)
Birthday June 12th, 2000. Born in Saitama. Height 167cm

Riko Nakayama (aka scorpio junior high student)
Birthday October 28th, 2000. Born in Tokyo. Height 161cm

Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2018 Ebisu



Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2017

Dirty Heads

After two decades spent chiseling their unique, multi-genre infused sound, Dirty Heads have finally come into their own. Since the release of their 2008 debut ‘Any Port in a Storm,’ the five-piece band — Jared Watson (vocals), Dustin “Duddy B” Bushnell (vocals/guitar), Jon Olazabal (percussion), Matt Ochoa (drums) and David Foral (bass) — has consistently experimented with their sunny style, leaning heavily on reggae fused with hip-hop cornerstones and scaling back for more acoustic fare, darting between extremes. But it’s with their fifth and self-titled album that the group has felt fully confident in a body of work, ready to bring their unique style to the masses.


Gin Blossoms

In late 80’s Gin Blossoms started to grow a huge following as the #1 local music draw in Phoenix and certainly were the hometown heroes of their favorite hang, Tempe, Arizona. Gin Blossoms indelible jangle-pop sound was evolving during radio’s diverse mix of hair bands and grunge music superstars like Nirvana. After the Phoenix New Times chose them the city’s best rock band, they qualified to play at the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas in 1989. That same year, College Music Journal dubbed them the “Best Unsigned Band in America” and added an invitation to perform on MTV’s New Music Awards in New York City. The Gin Blossoms have been defining the sound of jangle pop and indie rock for more than two decades.



Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2017

Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2017

Piko Taro

Piko Taro is a singer/ songwriter from Chiba prefecture, Japan. His video, “PPAP (Pen Pineapple Apple Pen)” went viral on the Internet after being posted on Youtube last summer. Shortly after that, Justin Bieber posted on his twitter saying it is his favorite video on the Internet, which stirred more buzz. Global media including CNN and BBC then picked up the story and turned him into a globally recognized star. Piko Taro’s song also reached American Billboard Chart Hot 100, which was the first in the last 26 years as a Japanese artist. His song is also registered as “the world’s shortest song” in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Currently his video has been viewed more than 100 million times. His latest video “I like OJ” is up on YouTube.



Flow is a five-piece Japanese mixture rock band made up of KOHSHI (Vo), KEIGO(Vo), TAKE(Gt), GOT’s(Ba) and IWASAKI(Dr). Brothers, KOHSHI (older brother, Vo) and TAKE (younger brother, G) started playing together in 1993, and formed FLOW in 1998. One year later, KEIGO (Vo) and GOT’s (Ba) were added and in 2000, IWASAKI (Dr) joined the group. The group made a major debut in 2003 with a first single “Blaster,” and kept releasing hit after hit, well received for their strong twin vocal melody and their wide range of musicality. They have released numerous anime tie-in songs such as “Naruto” opening theme song called “GO!!!,” Code Geass : Lelouch of the Rebellion R2’s opening theme song called “COLORS,” Tales of Zestiria the X’s opening theme song called” Kaze no uta,” and have earned their popularity over a long period of time. Their energetic live performance is also something not to miss. In 2008, they had a successful solo live concert at Nippon Budokan. But not only in Japan, they keep getting offers to play at various festivals worldwide and performed in more than 15 countries since 2006. In 2015, they completed a world tour, which took place in eight countries including Japan, Taiwan, USA, Canada, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. The group continues to perform and deliver music across the border.


Honolulu Ekiden and Music 2017

*Ekiden registration fee includes admission to the nighttime concert at Waikiki Shell (lawn seats).  Tickets are first come first served for the first 2,000 participants.


Honolulu Ekiden and Music Festival 2016


The Honolulu Ekiden and Music Festival culminates in a star-studded concert at the Waikiki Shell, including international superstar group MAGIC!, whose smash hit “Rude” has topped the charts in eight countries. The thrilling lineup also includes the all-girl pop-rock band sensation SCANDAL and Japanese pop artist Go Hiromi.



Canadian reggae, rock and pop band!

As one half of the in-demand writing and production duo The Messengers, Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer Nasri has penned music for everybody from Justin Bieber and Pitbull to Chris Brown and Christina Aguilera. He garnered a Grammy Award in the category of “Best R&B Album” for Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E. in 2012. He has now formed a band with Mark Pelli, drummer Alex Tanas and bassist Ben Spivak to create a sound that combines reggae, rock, pop, and a little soul. That sound distills Caribbean flavor, arena-size bombast, and glistening melodies into an undeniably intoxicating musical potion. This is MAGIC! “I want everybody to join us on this MAGIC! adventure,” says Nasri. “It’s a stressful time out there, and people are struggling to find hope in balance. This music is meant to put you in a good mood. We want to bring people together to have a good time. It’s not about us. It’s about the music. We want you to be a part of that energy and a positive musical world.”.



Japanese pop-rock girl band from Osaka, Japan

SCANDAL was formed in August 2006 by four high school girls – Haruna, Mami, Tomomi, and Rina, who met in an Osaka vocal and dance school called Caless. They started thrilling live audiences every weekend at Shiroten in Osaka Castle Park. Soon, they started getting offers from clubs in Osaka and Kyoto. In 2008, they released three singles and a mini-album while performing shows in the United States, France, and Hong Kong. That October, Scandal released their major debut single, “Doll”, under Epic Records Japan. The band has performed the theme songs for many anime, including “Shōjo S” and “Harukaze” for Bleach and “Shunkan Sentimental.” for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. With numerous overseas performances and anime theme songs, Scandal has built a considerable international fan base.



Japanese Musical Icon

Hiromi Go made his debut as a singer with the 1972 single “Otokonoko Onnanoko”, which catapulted his status to top idol. Aside from his career as a musician, he has appeared in TV dramas, saw success in music programs and talk shows. After the ‘80s, released such big hit tracks as “Aishu no Casablanca” and “Nioku Yonsenman no Hitomi” in an attempt to step aside from his status as an idol. During the 90’s and on, had huge success with ballad “Aitakute Shikatanai”, along with dance tunes such as “GOLDFINGER ‘99” . From 2002, he took a break from his musical career and lived in New York for three and a half years. In April 2005, with the release of the single “Ai Yori Tsuyoku”, he officially restarted his musical career, and since then, has strongly continued on.



Honolulu Ekiden and Music Festival 2015

Save the Beach, Save The Ocean


Save beaches decreasing throughout the country. Such thought is the concept of GREENROOM FESTIVAL.

GREENROOM FESTIVAL is a culture festival of art and music, with the backbone of beach-culture and self culture.

GREENROOM FESTIVAL conveys ocean, beach lifestyles, and culture through Music and Art and maintaining precious beaches for our children.

All our artists, no matter what their nationality or genre, are sure to present to you their very best performance, leaving behind precious memories in all of your hearts.


Naoki Kamayachi

Official Site:



Venue: Waikiki Shell
Time: 3:00pm to 9:00pm*

Tickets: Greenroom Festival tickets included with Honolulu Ekiden Entry Fee. Greenroom Festival tickets also sold separately at

*Subject to change


Artist Line-up:

Donavon Frankenreiter


Tommy Guerrero

Ray Barbee

Makua Rothman

Def Tech

Jake Shimabukuro

Honolulu Ekiden and Music Festival 2014

The Honolulu Ekiden experience culminated in a music festival held on the beach in Waikiki following the race as part of the Sunset on the Beach concert series.

Three popular Japanese bands and one local band performed on the beach at Waikiki.



Japanese pop/reggae duo from Kanagawa, Japan

In May 2005, Iseki (vocalist and guitar) and Kurei (vocals) formed Kimaguren. While performing live concerts at beach houses in Zushi, the duo started Otodama Sea Studio, which became known for producing outdoor music events with popular Japanese artists on the beaches of Zushi, Kanagawa. A major break came in 2008 when they debuted under Universal Music Japan and their second single “Life” was a major hit on the charts. That same year, they appeared on Japan’s annual year-end music TV show “Red and White Song Contest (Kohaku).” In 2012 they released an album and performed live at Budokan in Tokyo. One of their singles was the theme song for a Japanese movie that debuted in March 2013.



Japanese pop-rock girl band from Osaka, Japan

Formed in August 2006 by four high school girls—Haruna, Mami, Tomomi, and Rina—Scandal played live music on the streets until the group was noticed and signed to a Japanese Indie label. In 2008, the band released three singles and a mini-album while performing shows in the United States, France, and Hong Kong. That October, the band released its single debut under Epic Records Japan. In 2012, Scandal became the first girl band to achieve four consecutive top 5 positions in the Oricon Weekly charts in Japan. The band also held a concert in Malaysia in December 2012, becoming the first Japanese band to hold a solo concert there. After successfully performing at Budokan Hall in Tokyo in March 2012, they fulfilled their biggest dream since forming the group in March 2013 by performing on their own at Osaka-jo Hall in their hometown of Osaka. At present, they are considered to be one of the most powerful Japanese all girl pop-rock bands.



Japanese-Canadian pop-rock “hybrid band” from Sendai, Japan

A pop-rock band formed in 2000 in Sendai, Monkey Majik consists of Canadian brothers, Maynard Plant and Blaise Plant, on lead vocals and guitars, and two Japanese members, Tax (on drums) and Dick (on bass). The band rose to mainstream success after the 2006 success of their singles, “Fly” and “Around the World,” from the album Thank You, eventually reaching the top of Oricon charts in Japan. In January 2011, the band was named Goodwill Ambassadors and often visits and performs live acoustic concerts in Canada. The band also received acclaim in Japan after assisting hands-on with cleanup and rescue during the aftermath of the 2011 Great Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Their gesture of kindness was documented by MTV Japan and later broadcast as a part of the band’s “Send Ai, Send Love” movement. They continue to hold concerts under the “Send Ai, Send Love” theme benefiting those affected by the Tohoku disasters as well as performing live in other parts of Asia.




Opening Act: EMKE – A Hawaii teen rock band

Most of us can only dream about living on an island paradise or becoming a rock star. For the members of EMKE, that’s just everyday life.

Sisters Kira (vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass) and Ezri (vocals, bass, keyboard) Santos along with Mari Arakawa (vocals, guitar, keyboard, bass) and Payton Sekigawa (drums, percussion), burst onto the Honolulu music scene in 2005. The band members met while attending a real life ‘school of rock’ in Hawaii (Hawaii MusicWorks). While taking lessons, the group discovered they shared an interest in 80’s classic rock and decided to form a band. The choice of musical style proved to be a fortuitous one. Performing cover tunes from bands like Journey, Van Halen and Bon Jovi, EMKE quickly gained accolades for wowing audiences with their mature level of musicianship and vocal abilities.

In a short time, EMKE found themselves graduating from intimate local club gigs, to playing before huge concert crowds. To their excitement and surprise, the band was now doing opening slots for artist including BILLY RAY CYRUS, the legendary KANSAS, QUIET RIOT’S CARLOS CAVAZO, HOOBASTANK, and SWITCHFOOT and ONE REPUBLICK. EMKE has also received multiple invitations to appear at the music industries’ prestigious NAMM Show in Los Angeles, CA to perform with musical luminaries such as LEE RITENOUR, ANDY McKEE and (the band’s favorite gig) opening for JOURNEY’S NEAL SCHON. As a result of their LA concerts, the band was awarded a musical endorsement by Yamaha Music Corporation of America.

EMKE’s debut EP “Promises and Expectations” is a mixture of melodic “pop anthems” and “guitar driven” alternative rock. It’s a collection of tunes that echoes the band’s current musical influences such as, All Time Low and Go Radio with musical undertones that pay homage to their roots in classic rock.