Aloha, and welcome to Bluegrass Hawai`i!

If you're looking for bluegrass and traditional music in the Hawaiian Islands, you've come to the right place. Our little community of pickers and grinners from all over the island of O`ahu is growing every day!

Please drop us a note with your name, email address, and any other contact info you'd like to share, and and we'll add you to our database and let you know in advance about upcoming jam sessions and concerts.

Here are a few things that might be of interest to local-kine bluegrass fans!

Local Bluegrass News
Local Events
Local Bluegrass & Acoustic Bands
Bluegrass Classifieds

Local Bluegrass News!

Bluegrass Beat Meets Hawaiian Heat--Concert Series

It's happening! The first event in the unique concert series from Tim Bostock Productions, BLUEGRASS BEAT MEETS HAWAIIAN HEAT, will take place on Sunday, March 28 at Kapono's, Aloha Tower Marketplace, Honolulu! For the first show, Pete "Dr. Banjo" Wernick and his wife, Joan, will perform with slide guitar master Ken Emerson. O`ahu's own Squirrel Hunters will open the show. This will be a red-hot event at one of the most delightful outdoor venues on this island! Click here for details!

Come Jam With Dr. Banjo!

Pete "Dr. Banjo" Wernick has added a new event to his Hawai`i visit: a jam workshop for amateur bluegrass musicians, followed by an exclusive master-level jam session led by Wernick himself! Click here for details!

Bluegrass Hawai`i Makes The News!

We were delighted to see George F. Lee, photographer for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, at our jam session on September 14th, 2003. Three of the photos he shot during the jam were printed in next day's paper! Visit to see the archived photos. And if you click here, you can send a little note to George, thanking him for visiting our jam session, and inviting him to the next one!

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Local Events
Tell us about your recurring music event!

Various Sundays

Come join Hawai`i's traditional and bluegrass music society at one of our hot jam sessions! Bring a blanket or lawnchair, picnic lunch and beverage--and your traditional bluegrass instrument, if you have one! Jammers of all abilities are welcome, and listeners, too. If you can't make it, send Caroline a note with your name, email address and phone number. She'll be happy to add you to the Bluegrass Hawai`i mailing list, to let you know about upcoming jams and concerts!

DATE: Various Sundays
TIME: 1:00--5:00 PM
PLACE: Thomas Square, 900 South Beretania Street, Honolulu (between the Honolulu Academy of Art, Straub Medical and Blaisdell Concert Hall; take the Kinau cut-off on H1)
COST: FREE to everybody!
PARKING: Free parking on streets surrounding Thomas Square; $3 to park in Blaisdell Concert Hall's garage
WHAT TO BRING: And don't forget your blankets and lawnchairs, beverages, friends and family, and traditional stringed instruments like banjoes, fiddles, mandolins, guitars, Dobros, and upright basses!

If you have any questions or comments, or if you'd like to be added to our email list, please call 808/622-1077, or email

Various times
Traditional Music Jam (TradJam)

EVENT: Traditional music jam (Celtic and old-time music). Acoustic or acoustic-style instruments; music stands helpful; singers and beginners welcome! TradJams usually happen about 1-2 times each month, either on Saturday or Sunday afternoons from 2:00 til 4:30 or 5, depending on availability of space and conflicts with other musical activities. For the past few months, this group has been meeting either at the Church of the Crossroads at 1212 University Ave. or at Manoa Gardens Elderly Housing at 2790 Kahaloa Dr., both in Honolulu. Please see the TradJam website for details or contact Maggie Brown at or Wilson Pang at

DATE & TIME: Various (2-3 times each month)
LOCATION: Church of the Crossroads, 1212 University Avenue, OR Manoa Gardens Elderly Housing, 2790 Kahaloa Dr.
BRING: Acoustic and acoustic-style instruments; music stands
NOTES: Temporary parking passes are available for the pay lots closest to the church and by the Early School.
MOTTO: "We're slow, but we're fun."

Various times
Contra Dancers of Hawaii

Music and dancing in the Celtic tradition, as influenced by the American experience. The musical traditions of Irish, Scottish, and English settlers of the Northeastern United States were perpetuated in rural New England, and are experiencing a modern-day renaissance. The dances include jigs, reels, waltzes, hornpipes, and airs. There are two Contra groups on O`ahu, and they've always got live music played by some really fine musicians! Visitors to Hawai'i are particularly invited to attend.

Saturday Evening Contra Dance at the Atherton

DAYS & TIMES: 7:30-9:30 PM, on the first and third Saturdays of each month
LOCATION: The Atherton YMCA, 1820 University Avenue.
DIRECTIONS: Bus #4 will get you there from Waikiki.
COST: $5 helps cover costs.
MUSIC: Live music is provided by Whiskey Starship (Jeff Klein, mandolin; Alison Sherwood, whistle; Robert Bley-Vroman, piano). Ann McLaren and Robert Bley-Vroman call the dances. Jeff Klein tells us: "I'm also looking for Contra Dance musicians or dancers. If you felt like spreading the word around to the other bluegrass folks about our dances, we would appreciate it. We play mostly Celtic based, but some old time and other tunes that Bluegrassers would recognize."
NOTES: Because the Atherton dance is rather short (just two hours), this group begins promptly at 7:30. It's helpful to have a substantial crowd at the beginning; try to arrive by 7:25. The venue has a cushioned wood floor and air conditioning. The crowd tends to consist of experienced dancers, and the muscial fare is mostly contemporary, active, and "zesty." Though there is no beginner's session, new dancers are welcomed into the group by the many friendly experienced dancers. However, some newcomers might prefer to attend the beginners' orientation at the second-Saturday KCC dance (see below). Dances are held on the first and third Saturdays of each month; click here for the schedule!

Second-Saturday Evening Contra Dance at KCC

DAYS & TIMES: 7:30-10:30 PM, on the second Saturday of each month
LOCATION: Kapiolani Community College on the mauka slope of Diamond Head.
DIRECTIONS: From Waikiki, take Bus #3 on Kapi'olani near the Hard Rock Cafe.
NOTES: Come at 7:00 for a beginners' orientation. Mix of traditional and modern contras, circles, occasional squares. There is a fine old resilient wooden floor in the KCC Chapel, where the dances are usually held. No air conditioning. Live music by the Kaimana Ceili Band.

Every Tuesday
Music for peace & US troops

EVENT: Dinner, prayers and songs at Wailana Coffee Shop in Waikiki. Mary and her husband have printed song lyrics to share with participants.
DAY & TIME: Tuesdays from 5:00-7:30 PM
LOCATION: Wailana Coffee Shop, Ena and Ala Moana Blvd., across from the Hilton Hawaiian Village, at Ena and Ala Moana Blvds. in Waikiki (please call 947-9993 between 9AM and 10PM for more explicit directions!)
PARKING: Two hours for 50 cents with validation
DINNER: $4.00 and up
CONTACT 947-9993 between 9AM and 10PM

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Local Bluegrass & Acoustic Bands
Send us an email to add your band and its gigs!

Joel Veach and Lewai Huelana

For the very best in classic Hawaiian and Island contemporary music, don't miss Lewai and Joel at one of their occasional gigs on O`ahu, or at their regular gig at the Turtle Bay Hilton! You're likely to hear songs in Spanish, Japanese, German, Hawaiian, and English, interpreted by two of Hawai`i's finest musicians.

For more information, please contact Joel or Angelika at

Turtle Bay Resort (regular appearances)

DATE & TIME: Every Saturday, 5:00-8:00 PM, and every other Sunday, 5:00-8:00 PM
LOCATION: Turtle Bay Hilton Resort
DETAILS: Contact Joel or Angelika at

The Kaimana Ceili Band

Formerly known as the Hawaii Contradance Band, this ensemble still plays for the Second Saturday Evening Contradances each month, and they also have regular gigs at Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki. Regular band members are Wilson Pang on mandolin, tenor banjo, guitar, and bodhran; Hazel Twelker on guitar, Benedict on tin whistle and mandolin; Maggie Brown on fiddle, Mary Landolt on flute, whistle and vocals; Dennis Suyeoka on mandolin and mandocello; and Hewett Madigan on fiddle. Wilson and Maggie also play piano for contradance events.

Their contradance sets include jigs and reels, with occasional polkas and hornpipes and a few waltzes; their repertoire also consists of Irish, Scottish and American old-time/roots music, and is played at brisk dance tempos. They are increasing their stock of vocal numbers both for the pub and the dance, and, according to Maggie, they aren't too proud to sing sentimental favorites like "Danny Boy" and "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," or typical pub songs like "Whiskey in the Jar". They've played for weddings, baby luaus, special dances, and parties. For the past two years, they've performed at the Elks Club on St Patrick's Day and at the Highland Games. The format for the Kelley O'Neil's gigs is fairly open, and people are welcome to ask about sitting in by e-mailing Wilson Pang at

Kelley O'Neil's Pub--First and Third Sunday Gigs!

DATES & TIMES: First and third Sundays of each month, from 4:00-7:00 PM
LOCATION: Kelley O'Neil's Pub, 311 Lewers St. in Waikiki (their number's 926-1777)
COST: FREE (no cover charge); a full pub menu is available
BUS DIRECTIONS: Take the #2 or #13 bus; get off at Lewers
PARKING: Parking at the Galleria's parking garage for $4; entrance is on Lewers
NOTES: This group alternates, every second and fourth Sundays, with Green Island, another gang of acoustic musicians! Please call Kelley O'Neil's at 926-1777 for details.

Second-Saturday Evening Contra Dance at KCC

DAYS & TIMES: 7:30-10:30 PM, on the second Saturday of each month
LOCATION: Kapiolani Community College on the mauka slope of Diamond Head.
DIRECTIONS: From Waikiki, take Bus #3 on Kapi'olani near the Hard Rock Cafe.
NOTES: Come at 7:00 for a beginners' orientation. Mix of traditional and modern contras, circles, occasional squares. There is a fine old resilient wooden floor in the KCC Chapel, where the dances are usually held. No air conditioning. Live music by the Kaimana Ceili Band.

Mississippi Full Steppers

Kevin's Two Boots is a quaint little Cajun cafe at 35 Kainehe Street in Kailua. The food includes Jambalaya, Gumbo, and Etoufee'. "Like I said," writes our pal Carl Barton, "a Cajun joint!" Every Thursday at Two Boots from 7:30--9:30, Carl and his guitar are joined by Adam Kyser on harmonica/flute and Alex Morrison on upright bass. The trio calls itself the Mississippi Full Steppers, and they all kick in on vocals.

Kevin's Two Boots--Thursday nights!

DATES & TIMES: Thursday Night from 7:30-9:30 PM
LOCATION: Kevin's Two Boots at 35 Kainehe Street in Kailua, tel.: 230-8111
COST: FREE (no cover charge); a full pub menu is available
DIRECTIONS: If you are coming over the Pali, take a left at the first light you get to in Kailua. This is Kainehe Street. Kevin's Two Boots is a little past the Kentucky Fried Chicken. There's usually a sign on the street, because the cafe is actually back off the road a bit. It's a small place, so call 230-8111 for reservations.

The Revelators

WHO ARE THE REVELATORS? Why, Charley Myers and James McCarthy, of course! The Revelators have two weekly gigs: a Friday night show at O'Toole's Pub in Honolulu, and a Sunday night show at Kelley O'Neil's in Waikiki. As James describes it, they're "laying down a geomusical stew from all kinds of roots," fueled by Charley's hot and tasty slide playing and James' rich repertoire of Celtic songs. "We've been doing a lot of pared down arrangements of old faves," he adds, "and audience participation and spontaneity remain our bag as we make any place we play into a place you want to be." Wow, that's a pretty strong commitment to your listening pleasure! But these two wonderful musicians deliver the goods.

O'Toole's Pub--Friday nights!

DATES & TIMES: Every Friday night from 5:00-9:00 PM
LOCATION: 902 Nu`uanu Ave., Honolulu, Tel: 536-4138
NOTES: Call James at 739-6624 or Charley at 263-3215 for details.

Kelley O'Neil's--Sunday nights!

DATES & TIMES: Every Sunday night from 8:30 PM-1:00 AM
LOCATION: 311 Lewers St., Waikiki, Tel: 926-1777
NOTES: Call James at 739-6624 or Charley at 263-3215 for details.

The Wild Orchids String Band

The Wild Orchids String Band, L-R Angelika Veach, Jay Linskey, Joel Veach, Lesley Kline, Rene Berthiaume)Rollicking bluegrass, old-time, and traditional music by the Wild Orchids, a seasoned O`ahu band which has opened for bluegrass legends Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum for many of their Honolulu performances. Regular band members include Rene Berthiaume on guitar and harmonica; depending on the performance, you might also see him playing autoharp, mandolin, or dulcimer! Angelika Veach adds tremendous spirit and sunshine to each performance, taking turns on guitar, banjar, and mandocello. Her husband Joel Veach plays dobro, lap steel, harmonica, and he's one of the very best doghouse bassmen in the Sandwich Islands! All three regular members contribute vocal work to the mix, on tunes like "Dark Hollow", "Phoebe Snow", and "Wildflowers Don't Care Where They Grow".

Several friends appear regularly with the Wild Orchids at their gigs. Guitarist Eric Peterson is a legendary local musician and a master of the steel string tradition. Jay Linskey is a local fiddler who adds fine classics like "Take Me Back To Tulsa" to the Wild Orchids' repertoire. Enjoy!

For more information about the Wild Orchids and their gigs, please contact Angelika at or Rene at


Gypsy Pacific

If you're going to be on Maui, be sure to catch gigs by Gypsy Pacific! Fiddler Willy Wainwright has an extensive bluegrass/country background and has toured the United States with musicians like Patty Loveless and Ricky Van Shelton. Detroit native Tom Conway is a guitarist living on Maui; his album, Hot Gypsy Nights, is filled with splendid musical treats. Bassist Marcus Johnson and rhythm guitarist Phil Benoit round out the lineup.This year, the band performed on O`ahu at the Hawai`i International Jazz Festival. They've also performed with Willie Nelson. In February 2004, they will open the Fiddlers Four show on Maui!

Vintage Guitar magazine says Gypsy Pacific "may just be the hottest Hot Club-style band in the U.S." Their repertoire includes classic material from Django Reinhardt and Sonny Rollins, as well as modern Romane compositions. If you like Django, Stephane Grappelli, and David Grisman's 'Dawg' music, you'll love Gypsy Pacific! Catch them every Monday night from 7:30 - 9:30 PM at Mulliganís on the Blue in Wailea.

Visit Tom Conway's website at

Mulligan's On The Blue--Monday nights!

DATES & TIMES: Every Monday night from 7:30-9:30 PM
LOCATION: Wailea, Maui
DIRECTIONS: Visit Mulligan's on the Blue for directions & info.

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Bluegrass Classifieds

BLUEGRASS MANDOLIN & GUITAR LESSONS AVAILABLE! Learn your favorite singing or pickin tunes and increase your understanding of music theory. Kilin Reece has played in several bluegrass bands in California and Oklahoma, and before moving to Hawai`i, he gave mandolin lessons for the Double Stop Fiddle Shop in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Feel free to call with questions or for more information: 262-1848 -- Mahalo from Kilin Reece

WAIPAHU MANDOLINIST SEEKS GUITAR PICKER to jam with. Chris Cerna, a uniquely gifted musician, would like to hear from guitarists who want to jam. You may have seen Chris at our jams--he happens to be visually impaired, but that doesn't slow him down. He has a billion megawatt smile, a deep love for bluegrass music, and extraordinary mandolin talent! He plays piano, too, and will be giving a concert in November--click here for details. Please call him at 677-7361 if you play the guitar and want to jam!

DOBRO PLAYER into bluegrass, old-time string and jug band looking for like-minded. Also plays slide blues, hokum and ragtime fingerstyle guitar, blues harp. Growly vocals. East Honolulu. Contact: Don at 396-6048 or email

GUITARIST SEEKS OTHER PICKERS: Our pal Bob plays guitar, likes traditional bluegrass and loves to listen to Rice, Watson, Crary, Blake, White, etc. He says, "It's hard to rate my level. I guess the best way to say it is more than a beginner but not ready for the stage. Right now, I'd just like to get together with others to have some fun and get in some practice." To reach Bob and set up a pickin' party, email

HEY, NEIGHBOR ISLAND BLUEGRASS LOVERS! Send us an email, and we'll add you to the Bluegrass Hawai`i mailing list! Some spectacular bluegrass and traditional acts are headed this way next year--and they'll be doing some inter-island touring! Sign up for our mailing list today, and we'll make sure to let you know about it!

ROOM WITH A VIEW: Creative, inexpensive O`ahu lodging sought for visiting mainland bands, Spring 2004. Are you a bluegrass lover with a big heart and a hotel chain? Does your fabulous island estate have a charming (and vacant) little cottage that you'd be willing to rent cheap to one or two visiting musicians for a couple days? Do you run a B&B, or know somebody who does? The space should be clean, safe, and (preferably) beautiful, but we'll settle for clean and safe! Please email or call 622-1077.

THE WEB'S COOLEST BLUEGRASS LYRICS SITE has been located at last! We've never seen anything like it, folks. It's Barb Diederich's Bluegrass Lyrics, a great index to links to lyrics for a zillion songs--usually with a couple links per song! Visit

Place an ad for FREE! Aloha, bluegrass lovers! Do you have a fiddle to sell or swap? Are you looking for lessons, or maybe just a few new folks to pick with? Seeking a banjo picker for your new band or an audience for your next gig? Please let us know! We'll be happy to list your classified ad right here, for FREE! Just send us an email with the full text of your ad; don't forget email and telephone contact info. You can email a photo or two, and we'll include that, as well!

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GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT to Mike Kear in Australia for providing us with server space for the images on these pages. Mahalo, Mike!

MAHALO MIKEMike is a New Zealander living in Australia who LOVES bluegrass. He's host of a wonderful radio show, heard on the Web by thousands of people all over the world, called Music From Foggy Hollow. It can be heard at He even interviewed Caroline (that's me!) about Bluegrass Hawai`i, way back in May when we had our first jam--check it out here.

Mike's Bluegrass Australia pages can be found at He has an incredible knowledge of bluegrass music, and his show is a favorite of many professionals in bluegrass music--I know it's true; they've told me so themselves!

He's also a serious techie. His company, AFP Webworks, handles web design, hosting, and promotion. He has servers and other fascinating and intimidating tools of the trade at his disposal. Mike has kindly offered to host a website on his server for Bluegrass Hawai`i, and he's even paid the domain registration fees for our first year! This is an INCREDIBLY generous offer from a fellow a half a world away. The value of the site hosting alone: at least $150/annually. On behalf of Bluegrass Hawai`i, MAHALO NUI LOA, MIKE!