Hawaiʻi ʻUkulele Festival is produced by Special Events Hawaiʻi in partnership with Kala Foundation, a 501(c)3 Nonprofit dedicated to Hawaiian culture, language, hula, mele, and spiritual preservation.
On behalf of the Kala Foundation, we are incredibly proud to present this summertime 'ukulele festival at Kapiʻolani Park Bandstand first held on Sunday, July 23, 2023. As a nonprofit organization, our mission for this event is to preserve and promote the history, cultural significance, and importance of the ʻukulele in Hawaiʻi.
The ʻukulele holds a special place in the hearts of Hawaiians, and it has become a symbol of aloha and joy around the world. Through this event, we aim to create an inclusive and immersive experience that showcases the ʻukulele's rich heritage and its deep connection to Hawaiian culture. We believe that by celebrating the ʻukulele, we are honoring the spirit of aloha and fostering a sense of unity and appreciation for diverse musical traditions.
Our festival is a platform for both seasoned musicians and aspiring talents to share their love for the ʻukulele and captivate audiences with their performances. From soul-stirring melodies to energetic strumming, the festival showcases the versatility and beauty of this beloved instrument. It is a celebration of not only the ʻukulele but also the talented artists who bring it to life.
Through our educational initiatives, we strive to educate the community and visitors alike about the ʻukulele's history and cultural significance. Workshops, presentations, and interactive exhibits offer a deeper understanding of the instrument's origins and its profound impact on Hawaiian music. By promoting awareness and knowledge, we hope to inspire a new generation of ʻukulele enthusiasts and keep this cherished tradition alive.
The Kala Foundation in partnership with Special Events Hawaiʻi extends its heartfelt gratitude to the musicians, volunteers, sponsors, and all those who support our mission. Without their dedication and generosity, our festival would not be possible. Together, we are preserving the ʻukulele's legacy and ensuring that its magic continues to resonate throughout the islands and beyond.
Join us on in July 2024, at Kapiʻolani Park Bandstand for a day filled with enchanting melodies, cultural immersion, and the spirit of aloha. Together, let us honor the ʻukulele, celebrate Hawaiian heritage, and create lasting memories that will echo through the strings of this iconic instrument.
The founders of Kala Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to Hawaiian culture, language, hula, mele, and spiritual preservation, have been organizing and promoting events in Hawai'i. Since Kala Foundation was established they have been instrumental in putting together authentic cultural events designed to preserve the Hawaiian culture.
The Kala Foundation team has over 50 years combined experience in events management, coordination, logistics, production, marketing, audio, video, hula, mele, and culture preservation. Our experiences collectively cover a wide range of practitioners from Kumu Hula’s, hula, musical entertainers and composers, Kumu ʻŌlelo, fluent ʻŌlelo speaking, and a list of other cultural-related knowledge.
Kala Foundation has been involved with the following community projects and events to varying degrees including: Kamehameha Celebrations, Hawaiʻi Academy of Recording Arts 2009-2019
Hawaiʻi Lifetime Achievement Awards, Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame 2009-2018, Lei of Stars, Aloha Festivals Parade 2008, 2010
Float Chair, Pāʻū Rider, Halau Nawahine, Float
Christmas Parade, Waikīkī 2005, Wai‘anae Community Christmas Concert 2004, Pilila‘au Army Recreation Center, Child Abuse Hawai‘i 2002-2004,
Boys & Girls Club 2000-2004
For over 31 years Special Events Hawaiʻi has been one of the largest promoters and producers of large-scale community events in the state. The force behind some of Hawaiʻiʻs best loved and well attended events including the Made in Hawaiʻi Festival (1994-2020) and Virtual Made in Hawaiʻi Festival and On-Line Marketplace (2020) as well as coordinated and provided logistical support for events such as the Hawaiʻi Book and Music Festival (2009-2023), Best of Honolulu Festival, Hawaiʻi Chocolate Festival (2011- 2018), City and County of Honolulu Mango Jam, “I Love Kailua” Town Party (2001 - 2023), ESPN Hawaiʻi Sports Festival (2019), Kauaʻi Chocolate & Coffee Festival (2018 - 2024), ‘Ukulele Festival Hawai’i (2017 - 2019), Goodwill Goes Glam Gala (2019-2024) and more.
Prior to forming Special Events Hawaiʻi, Amy Hammond was the Restaurant Row Marketing Director responsible for all local, national, and international marketing, public relations, advertising, and special events for the $100 million, 95,000 square foot complex. Amy has a strong background in public relations through her previous work with Stryker Weiner Associates. In addition, she has extensive experience coordinating and executing promotions as the KIKI AM/FM Radio Promotions Director responsible for the 1990, 1991, 1993 Brown Bags to Stardom Competitions held at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, Neil Blaisdell Arena and Waikīkī Shell respectively.
Previously, Amy was the Executive Director for the Hawaii Publishers Association for 11 years, handling all their events including the Annual Pa’i Awards recognizing excellence in the publishing industry, The Print Media Expo and the Hawaiʻi State High School Journalism Awards. She was also the event coordinator for the American Express/Better Brands Hale ‘Aina Golf Tournament for 8 years. In addition, she managed the marketing, advertising, and special events for Aloha Tower Marketplace in 2009 and 2010 for the $750 million, 165,000 square-foot retail center with more than 73 shops and restaurants. For 26 years Amy acted in various capacities with the Hawaiʻi Food Industry Association including Lobbyist, Publicist and Executive Director for the Annual Made in Hawaiʻi Festival growing the event over 700 percent from 60 booths and a few thousand people when she took the reins in year three to nearly 450 booths and 60,000 attendees at the in-person event in 2019.
Kala Foundation Founder and Special Events Hawaiʻi President have joined forces to put together a new community event, the Hawaiʻi ʻUkulele Festival. With over 55 years of combined event experience and a team of supportive volunteers, an inclusive live ʻukulele event will return to Waikīkī infused with Hawaiian culture and activities.
The Kala Foundation team on Maui supporting the efforts of the 2023 Nā Commemorative Kamehameha Parade and Hoʻolauleʻa.
Kala Foundation Kumu Hula and cultural practitioner, Kaena Oaokaena Kirkland, (right) with event planner, Amy Hammond (left).
Conceived, created and produced by Special Events Hawaiʻi, this event was held in the Kapolei Community featuring a host of amazing performers. All free to the community.
Jake Shimabukuro performing at the 2018 Hawai'i Book and Music
Festival Main Stage.
Special Events Hawaiʻi was the event coordinator.
The Kanikapila Project recently produced a dinner and benefit concert for Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children Music Therapy Program Initiative. The event featured live entertainment by Jake Shimabukuro, Kimo Hussey and Zanuck Lindsey.
Special Events Hawaiʻi was the event co-coordinator.
Amy Hammond of Special Events Hawai'i is also know as Auntie Kealoha, her pen name for a series of books she has created. Illustrated by Joanna Carolan, Auntie Kealoha and co-author Dr. Carolan take you on a journey around the world with the Magic 'Ukulele! Let whimsical rhymes and colorful illustrations take you on a musical, inspirational journey. The book comes with an audio CD narrated by Hawaiʻi's foremost ʻukulele teacher, Roy Sakuma accompanied by the award-winning sounds of Ken Emerson. Colorful chord charts and easy-to-learn songs are also included in the book.
BOOK INTRODUCTION ON KITV FEATURING MALIA JOHNSON PERFORMING