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‘Ukulele-powered Hawaiian jam-rock

Kanekoa - 'ukulele jamband

Island Contemporary - 3 'Ukuleles plus percussion

Photos: John Henry, Bruce Forrester

Ukulele-powered Hawaiian jam rock

“The Hawaiian Grateful Dead” Bill Kreutzmann, The Grateful Dead
“These guys scare me, they are that good” David Hidalgo, Los Lobos
“The band is amazing…stepping out of the traditional ‘ukulele approach” Mick Fleetwood, Fleetwood Mac

“Kanekoa takes the ‘ukulele and uke-related music to another place…Vince has a much different and funkier pocket than any other uke player I’ve heard or have played with.” — James “Hutch” Hutchinson, Bass Player for Bonnie Raitt’s band

Kanekoa is one of Hawaii’s premier live music experiences. Sailing in on a wave of multi-layered sound, Maui’s Nā Hōkū Hanohano (Hawai’i’s “Grammy”) Award-winning band Kanekoa has become a global phenomenon. Powered by electric ‘ukuleles and driving rhythms, these ‘ukulele masters draw inspiration from the Hawaiian roots of this instrument and erupt with jam-band energy to create a unique sound they call “Hawaiian jam-rock”. Most recently Kanekoa was featured on the cover of Ukulele Magazine as “Hawaiian Trailblazers.”

For the past 25 years, live audiences have raved over their soulful originals and insightful covers interpreted with pure originality. Kanekoa is right at home playing any genre from traditional Hawaiian to 80’s Pop to Jamband Blues. Led by 3 ‘ukuleles — soulful singer/rhythm ‘ukulele player Kaulana Kanekoa, ‘ukulele virtuoso Vince Esquire, and U-bass player Uncle Don Lopez, Kanekoa adds drums and percussion to fill out the sound that has audiences up and dancing.

Kanekoa has taken the ‘ukulele sound into new territory. The band continues to surprise and delight audiences, pushing the envelope of this 4-string instrument in a jam band with eclectic roots and a sound that embraces flavors of reggae, blues, funk, jazz and island music. Esquire’s fluid, liquid runs on the ‘ukulele sometimes recall Jerry Garcia’s tonal lyricism.

— To hear this band, and the music that comes from their four strings…is to love this band.–


Tour Schedule


Fri, May 24, 2024, Windmill Library, Las Vegas NV
FREE – 7:00 PM
Info Link

Fri, July 19, 2024, Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley CA
9:00 PM
Ticket Link


Sat, Apr 19, 2025 – Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Wilmington NC
7:30 PM
Ticket Link


Past Tours Dates

Kanekoa at Millennium Stage, The Kennedy Center

Hands of the True (original)

Bustin Rock