Reggae Summit Hawaii
Few things shout summer like a concert under the sun. Throw in a backdrop of lush tropical mountains, a vast blue sky, a slice of the Pacific in the distance, and several of the leading reggae acts in the world, and you’ve got yourself Reggae Summit Hawaii—one of the most anticipated and electrifying events in the islands. Buy Tickets
Planning to catch the show this year? Here’s a low-down on what to expect at Maui’s chillest fest:
Saturday, June 25th, 2016 @ 4pm
What’s a reggae festival without a dope outdoor venue? Maui Tropical Plantation—a 19th-century working plantation and worldwide destination in the heart of the Valley Isle—is the perfect place to kick back and listen to live tunes. Set amidst 60 vibrant acres of abundant agriculture that ranges from pineapple to papayas, Maui Tropical Plantation’s verdant grounds and stellar views give concertgoers a feast that pleases far more than just the ears. Food and drink booths will cater to your other senses while giving you starlit vistas once the sun goes down. Parking may be limited, but rest assured, super Uber users: Centrally located, the plantation is within twenty-five miles of most major resorts.
Headlining this year’s event is ten-time Grammy Award nominee, Third World—an internationally acclaimed “reggae-fusion” Jamaican band that’s been rocking stages around the world for over forty-two years. Blending pop, funk, R&B, dancehall, rock, and rap, these are the masterminds behind a host of preeminent hits, from “98 Degrees in the Shade” to “Try Jah Love.” Take a peek at their prolific past and you’ll immediately understand why this posse is well-known and widely loved: They toured and recorded with the reigning King of Reggae, Bob Marley. They opened for Jackson 5’s first Jamaican concert. They've shared the stage with some of the greatest musicians our generation has seen, including Bono, Santana, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, Jimmy Buffett, and Eric Clapton, and have wowed audiences on six of the seven continents. They’ve been on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, and Arsenio Hall. They’ve performed at Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, and at the Rose Bowl with Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones, and Michael Jackson. And as if that weren’t impressive enough, they were awarded the United Nations Peace Medal for their incredible contributions “of music and lyrical prose” in 1993. Bright, captivating, and bursting with energy, Third World’s vibe is deeply planted in their reggae roots—but with an innovative, progressive high.
Also gracing the stage this year is “Jah Messenger” Luciano—a choir-kid-turned-worldwide-wonder straight from rural Jamaica. This inspirational singer and songwriter—who was christened Jepther W. McClymont in 1974—shot to stardom with “Shake It Up,” a smash hit that topped the U.K.’s Reggae Chart in 1993 and secured Luciano’s role as a Rastafarian master. Throughout his two-plus decades of bringing reggae to the masses, he’s accrued a number of awards, including The Order of Distinction from the Government of Jamaica, Best Male Vocalist from the Martin International Awards, Best Cultural Artist from ReggaeSoca Music Awards, and the Tamika Award for the Nelson Mandella Award for Conscious Lyrics. In 2002, Luciano also scored a Grammy nomination for Best Reggae Album of his soul-stirring LP, New Day. This year, he was nominated for a second Grammy for Zion Awake. The seventh of nine children, devout Rastafarian, and ganja enthusiast, Luciano is broadly celebrated for songs that cross into religious, social, and political spheres. With a melodious voice that evokes Marley and a distinctly gospel flavor to his groove, Luciano’s music is mellow with a message—making it no wonder that he once shared the stage with the iconic Bunny Wailer.
Homegrown Hawaiian talent George Kakala Taulani—aka Siaosi—cut his teeth in music by performing throughout his youth in both California and the islands. With a punake—or church composer—for a father and a natural gift for instruments that ranged from drums to the guitar, Siaosi’s ascent into a top-performing Polynesian artist seemed wholly predestined. His artful blend of reggae and island-irie pays homage to his Hawaiian roots while also honoring the genres that shaped his sound as a kid: Soul, R&B, and Hip-Hop. With hits like “Reggae Party” and “Everything is Good,” Siaosi’s sway-inducing tunes are like a dose of palm tree-studded paradise.
Born in Dallas and now a longtime resident of Waianae, Hawaii, Kiwini Vaitai is celebrated for his chart-topping mix of affecting lyrics and infectious beats. The half-Hawaiian, half-Tongan musician is considered one of the top “urban island” musicians working today, producing hits like “Lupeolo”—in his native Tongan language—and “Can’t Stop.” Having sung backup for a number of musicians, including reggae maestro Fiji, Vaitai’s music echoes his Old School influences while also sounding thoroughly distinct.
Kaipo Kapua is the lilting, aloha-tinged voice behind a number of reggae, R&B, and Hip-Hop songs on local radio. Born into a musically-inclined family in Waianae Valley and raised in Salt Lake, Hawaii, this songwriter and singer—who released his first album at the same time he graduated from high school—has written for and performed with a number of contemporary talents, including Kimmie, Anuhea, Three Houses Down, and Kapena. Inspired by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Usher, and Musiq SoulChild, Kaipo's hits strike a mix between upbeat and bluesy, smooth and hypnotic.
Intrigued? Jazzed? Wanna grab your friends and go? Get your tickets--and more information--at Reggae Summit Hawaii.
Can't swing it this year? Be sure to check out Maui Tropical Plantation, concert notwithstanding. With a range of outstanding sights and activities--from two ziplines and a tram tour to Kumu Farms and our award-winning The Mill House, Maui Tropical Plantation has it all--and then some.
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