Hawaiian Airlines May Day 2023 Honors “Kilohana,” Legendary Musicians

Keauhou, Robert Cazimero, and special guests to headline annual concert

HONOLULU - Hawaiian Airlines May Day 2023 presented by Kilohana continues the annual Lei Day tradition by the Brothers Cazimero with Keauhou, the 17-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning group, returning to headline the concert experience alongside special guests, Robert Cazimero and his Hālau Nā Kamalei o Līlīlehua, Nina Kealiʻiwahamana, Jerry Santos, and Hālau Ka Lehua Tuahine under the direction of Kumu Hula Kaʻilihiwa Vaughan-Darval and co-hosts Debbie Nakanelua-Richards and Billy V.

The live concert will be on Monday, May 1, from 5-9p.m. at the Great Lawn of Bishop Museum. Tickets are available for purchase at wearalei.org.

As a production of nonprofit organization Kāhuli Leo Leʻa, the concert will feature performances of mele, hula, and moʻolelo that will not only serve to entertain, but to educate. Producer and Kāhuli Leo Leʻa Executive Director Zachary Lum explains that “the theme of this year’s show is centered around the ‘kilohana,’ a cultural symbol of celebrated excellence and representation.” Lum adds, “The show will feature three legendary ‘kilohana’: Robert Cazimero, Nina Kealiʻiwahamana and Jerry Santos. Their melodies have become the soundtracks of generations, the anthems of movements, the familiar voice that brings us together. Their songs remain at the highest standard of Hawaiʻi's music, and as such, they continue to exemplify excellence in representing Hawaiʻi.”

The cultural celebration will be another memorable chapter in the series of May Day concerts with the joint support of co-title sponsors Hawaiian Airlines and Kilohana, and the following sponsors: Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Bernice Pauahi Bishop Musuem, the Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikīkī Beach, Okinakalani Ltd., mele.com and more.

“Our purpose to connect people with aloha begins with honoring the traditions of our island home, and we’re excited to set the stage for a celebration of one of our most cherished holidays by showcasing several of Hawaii’s greatest musicians,” said Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, director ofcommunity & cultural relations at Hawaiian Airlines. 

President and CEO of Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Kūhiō Lewis, also adds: “This year’s May Day concert will truly be a celebration of the values of Kilohana. The excellence required to represent Hawaiʻi is exemplified in the legendary talents and contributions of our three honorees. As Kilohana continues to engage to the Tourism industry, we look to these cultural icons as the beacons of what we strive to contribute: excellence in representation.”

For more ticket information and updates, visit wearalei.org and follow Kāhuli Leo Leʻa on Facebook and Instagram (@kahulileolea).

About Kāhuli Leo Leʻa

Kāhuli Leo Leʻa is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to catalyze aloha ʻāina through the education, composition, and presentation of mele and other cultural practices. For more information about Kāhuli Leo Leʻa, visit us at kahulileolea.org, or follow us on Facebook and on Instagram (@kahulileolea). Contact us at info@kahulileolea.org

About Hawaiian Airlines

Now in its 94th year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawaiʻi's biggest and longest-serving airline. Hawaiian offers approximately 150 daily flights within the Hawaiian Islands, and nonstop flights between Hawaiʻi and 15 U.S. gateway cities – more than any other airline – as well as service connecting Honolulu and American Samoa, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Tahiti.

Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler and TripAdvisor have placed Hawaiian among the top of all domestic airlines serving Hawaiʻi. In 2022, the carrier topped Travel + Leisure’s 2022 World’s Best list as the No. 1 U.S. airline and was named Hawaiʻi's best employer by Forbes. Hawaiian® led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for 18 consecutive years (2004-2021) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The airline is committed to connecting people with aloha by offering complimentary meals for all guests on transpacific routes and the convenience of no change fees on Main Cabin and Premium Cabin seats. HawaiianMiles members also enjoy flexibility with miles that never expire. As Hawai‘i’s hometown airline, Hawaiian encourages guests to Travel Pono and experience the islands safely and respectfully.

Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at HawaiianAirlines.com. Follow Hawaiian’s Twitter updates (@HawaiianAir), become a fan on Facebook  (Hawaiian Airlines), and follow us on Instagram (hawaiianairlines). For career postings and updates, follow Hawaiian’s LinkedIn page.

For media inquiries, please visit Hawaiian Airlines’ online newsroom.

About Kilohana

Kilohana, a segment of Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), is responsible for engaging the Tourism industry for the benefit of Hawaiʻi’s kamaʻāina.  For more information about Kilohana, please visit hawaiiancouncil.org/kilohana. Follow updates about CNHA on Facebook, Twitter (@hawaiiancouncil) and Instagram and  (hawaiiancouncil).

About May Day

Hawaiʻi’s cultural phenomenon is best explained in the simple words of Leonard Hawk: May Day is Lei Day in Hawaiʻi. Since 1927, May Day has hosted countless kamaʻāina and malihini who joined in the annual celebration of the flower lei and all things Hawaiian. Besides the making, wearing, and giving of lei, May Day celebrations eventually became synonymous with music, hula, crafts, and so many cultural practices.

In 1977, the celebration expanded further with the first May Day concert by the Brothers Cazimero at the Waikīkī Shell. This annual tradition would last decades and become the dependable beacon and culmination of this lei celebration. After what seemed to be the last May Day in the early 2000's, Robert Cazimero approached Keauhou, the group consisting of Jonah Kahanuola Solatorio, and brothers, Nicholas and Zachary Lum, to see if they would be willing to carry the torch forward – continuing the immense legacy of music, hula, and, of course, lei. Keauhou humbly accepted this kuleana and began a new chapter of this celebrated tradition on May 1, 2019, at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. In 2020, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing cultural/educational programming, Kāhuli Leo Leʻa, took on the mantle of producing the annual spectacle in partnership with Keauhou and with the support of other community partners.