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Dennis Kamakahi Music Festival brings authentic Hawaiian music to Downey

The Aloha Everywhere Concert Series continues at the Downey Theatre with The Dennis Kamakahi Music Festival, for an afternoon of Hawaiian music to honor the late great slack key master and Hawai`i’s most prolific songwriter, Rev. Dennis Kamakahi, a three-time Grammy Award-winner and member of the 2009 Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.

The concert begins at 3 pm on Sunday, April 7. Tickets range from $55-$54.

Rev. Dennis Kamakahi was considered one of the most prolific Hawaiian songwriters of all time, with a mission to bring excellent music, cultivate community, and a nurturer of the culture by spreading aloha everywhere.

Rev. Kamakahi’s proteges and contemporaries will join the stage for an afternoon celebrating his lifelong musical works. Special guests include Mike Kaawa, Kawika Kahiapo, Patrick Landeza & Sons and Jon Yamasato. Brook Mahealani Lee, former 1997 Miss Universe, will be the MC and hula dancer for the evening.

“I am honored to be a part of the festival,” exclaimed producer and musician Patrick Landeza, who is not only the executive director of Hawaiian Island Creation (HIC) Lifestyle which presents the entire Aloha Everywhere Concert Series in Downey, but a protege of Rev. Kamakahi and an accomplished musician in his own right.

Landeza was born and raised on the mainland and is a two-time Na Hoku Hanohano award winner which is the equivalent of a Grammy Award and is the only mainland-based recipient of this prestigious award. He will feature his band “Patrick Landeza & Sons” with Justin Firmeza on steel guitar and PJ Landeza on bass.

Joining Landeza will be Mike Kaawa, one of the key figures in modern Hawaiian music, and famous for his 12-string guitar stylings. Kaawa has been part of many landmark recordings over the years and is a composer, arranger, singer, band leader, as well as a master instrumentalist. Like Rev. Kamakahi, Kaawa was recruited by Eddie Kamae to be a member as the final version of the legendary “Sons of Hawai`i.” Together, they had a successful band in the 90’s called Na Oiwi which included a young David Kamakahi, Shawn Ishimoto and Jon Yamasato.

Jon Yamasato has been part of the Hawaii music industry for over half of his life. He began his career as the lead singer for the award-winning trio Pure Heart and has performed throughout Hawaii, the West Coast, Texas and Japan, with acts such as Herb Ohta Jr., Na Oiwi and guitarist/singer Justin Young. Yamasato has accumulated five Na Hoku Hanohano awards and has recorded with many Na Hoku winning bands. While in his 20’s, he became an apprentice to Rev. Kamakahi, explaining “Dennis was a big influence on my music and taught me so much.”

Kawika Kahiapo has been on the professional music scene for over 40 years, having been on over 120 recording projects, including six of his own. He is a multi–Na Hoku Hanohano Award recipient, Slack Key Master, and known for his “voice of velvet.” He was also a featured artist on the Grammy-winning CD, “Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key.”

“Dennis and I traveled and toured together on numerous occasions, super excited to share his music with everyone,” shared Kahiapo. Kahiapo’s passion for music started as a young boy, when his earliest mentors included his own father, and “Pops” Gabby Pahinui. His passion for music is very much intertwined in his life, as a day rarely goes by without him picking up his guitar.

Kahiapo stays committed to perpetuating Hawaiian music, the culture, and the art of ki ho’alu.

Tickets to the Dennis Kamakahi Music Festival can be purchased at the Downey Theatre box office or online at


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