Feel that island breeze with Kanekoa performing at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

Feel that island breeze with Kanekoa performing at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley

Kanekoa has been playing together since 1999. They combine elements of Hawaiian, rock, folk, reggae and blue into a unique sound.
Submitted photo to Prospector |


WHAT: Kanekoa

WHEN: 8 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: The Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley

TICKETS: $22 members, $24 general public. Tickets at: The Center for the Arts Box Office or by calling 530-274-8384 ext 14, BriarPatch Food Coop — 530-272-5333, or online at http://www.thecenterforthearts.org

WEBPAGE: http://thecenterforthearts.org/event/kanekoa/

Hawaiian ukulele jamband and California WorldFest favorite Kanekoa returns to Nevada County for a concert at The Center for the Arts on Sunday.

Kanekoa describes its music as ukulele powered Hawaiian reggae folk rock. Kanekoa has been playing together since 1999, melding elements of Hawaiian, Rock, Folk, Blues, Reggae and improvisation into a truly unique sound.

Bill Kreutzman, drummer for the Grateful Dead and the 7 Walkers, called Kanekoa “The Hawaiian Grateful Dead.” Kanekoa was invited to play Kreutzman’s wedding on Kaua’i.

Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac) said of Kanekoa: “The band is amazing, and Vince is amazing,” said Fleetwood, who also plays uke. “I saw him playing electric guitar years ago on Maui, and it was pretty stunning. He’s now uniquely applying all his influences, stepping out of the traditional ukulele approach. He’s great.”

James “Hutch” Hutchinson, bassist for Bonnie Raitt, said of Kanekoa: “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.”

Kanekoa has shared the stage with Jake Shimabukuro, Los Lobos, Joan Osbourne, John Mayall, Marshal Tucker Band, Makana, Steve Kimock, Willie Nelson, John Cruz, Trombone Shorty, Fruition, Ian Neville’s Dumpstafunk, David Nelson, Afromassive, and others.

Kanekoa has toured and played festivals in Hawaii, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, North Dakota, and Colorado and were featured in Ukulele Magazine. The band appeared in the Farelly Brothers feature film “Heartbreak Kid” with Ben Stiller and two of their songs were used in the movie.

In 2014 Kanekoa was invited to play the JamBase Live video series. The band’s 2007 CD “Under the Coconut Sky” is distributed worldwide.

Kanekoa’s 2017 studio album “Sonic Fruit Volume IV” is nominated for a 2017 Na Hoku Hanohano award in the Alternative category.

Kanekoa includes Kaulana Kanekoa (rhythm ukulele, lead vocals, lyrics), Vince Esquire (lead ukulele, backing vocals, sounds), Travis Rice (cajon/congas, kit, electric pads, backing vocals), and Don Lopez (u-bass, electric bass, backing vocals).

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