Henry Kapono has clearly become the most prolific and profound island entertainer of his era – and there’s no stopping him.

He is reclaiming his “Home in the Islands” brand, with a star-studded four-hour concert from 6 to 10 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Tom Moffatt Waikiki Shell in Kapiolani Park.

Featuring Henry Kapono & Friends, his show monicker widely promoted during the pandemic for appearances in nightclubs like Blue Note Hawaii and in virtual TV programming, continues to thrive. After all, there’s no more Cecilio & Kapono in his life, a period that produced iconic songs in his repertoire. But plenty of friends.

The show will be the first large-sized concert  in a year, in the newly-named outdoor venue named for the late and great Tom Moffatt, an entrepreneur who also branded his concerts (Tom Moffatt Presents) during his six-decade reign of rock and pop music on radio and in concert venues like the Shell, the Honolulu Stadium, and the Blaisdell Concert Hall and Arena.

Henry Kapono

Kapono, the Grammy-nominated Hawaiiian musician and entrepreneur, is assembling an all-star roster of fellow entertainers who have hungered to properly return to live performing venue: Kalapana, Keola Beamer, Jerry Santos, Amy Hanaiali‘i, Kapena, Ledward Kaapana, The Makaha Sons, Brother Noland and Robi Kahakalau. Inevitably, the list will grow larger in the weeks leading up to the event.

“We’re excited about bringing the community together in healing and fellowship as we celebrate the music soundtrack of growing up in Hawai‘i and how lucky we are to live in our Home in the Islands,” said Henry in a statement. “There’s no better Hawai‘i venue than the outdoor setting of the Waikīkī Shell and no better backdrop than Diamond Head. This concert is to bring us all together to celebrate the challenges we’ve overcome and have a once-in-a-lifetime experience through the joy of music and friendship.”

Tickets went on sale today, with three price levels: $65 for reserved seating, $35 for unreserved lawn seating, and a $150 VIP package that includes reserved seats and early entry via an exclusive VIP entry gate and access to special restrooms and a no-host bar.

For reservations, go to www.ticketmaster.com or visit the Blaisdell box office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays or call 768-5252.

The show will be a Tier 5 Outdoor Event, with a 50 per cent venue capacity (social distancing spacing). Details for optional or mandated mask-wearing have not been announced.

The concert is a partial benefit for the Henry Kapono Foundation and $1 for every ticket sale will go to a fund supporting musicians, stagehands, audio engineers, lighting technicians, and backstage crews that were unemployed during the COVID-19 lockdown.

If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember Henry’s annual end-of-summer, beginning-of-fall biggie with then-partner Cecilio Rodriguez (aka Cecilio and Kapono) … at the Waikiki Shell…

Misuse of music?

“The White Lotus,” the filmed-in-Hawaii mini-series on HBO/HBO Max (new episodes air Sundays) was wholly filmed at the Four Seasons resort on Maui.

It also is loaded with Hawaiian tunes, to heighten impact and enhance scenes, in this sudsy soap-opera in our midst.

But episode two, launched Sunday, hit a sour note on two counts:

  • “Ke Kali Nei Au,” the customary Hawaiian wedding tune, was heard over family dinner.
  • “Hawaii Aloha” closed the episode, as a son in the dinner table gathering, walked toward the beach because he couldn’t sleep in the room; the bonus, he got to see likely photoshopped images of whales. The song inspired by a Christian hymn entitled “I Left It All With Jesus,” composed  in the 1840’s by a Pennsylvania singer and composer James McGranahan, with Hawaiian lyrics composed by the Rev. Lorenzo Lyons at the request of King Kamehameha. It’s commonly sung at the end of a concert or gathering, with singers bonded by holding each other’s hands.

Both placements of familiar melodies in this “Lotus” episode provided awkward feelings. Clearly, the show lacked a Hawaiian music consultant; otherwise, these strange misuse of our island tunes might have been prevented. …

And that’s “Show Biz” …


  1. Hi Wayne,

    Mahalo nui loa for the news about Henry’s show at the Shell. Hope you will be able to go and enjoy the evening. Sure wish I was back home in Honolulu. Miss everyone so much.

    Take care. Aloha Auntie Clic Clic(Dolores)

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