gigs in Hawaii?!?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Stewmc5222, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. hey all,

    my in-laws are bugging my wife and I to move to Hawaii. does anyone know what the gigging situation is in Kona? more specifically, is there anyone who'd hire an 8-stringer for a regular working band?

    from the low end,

  2. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Can't speak for Kona in particular, but I have visited Waikiki many times and, yes, even the Big Island of Hawaii where Kona is situated.

    First, I love Hawaii and it is my favorite place on Earth. Second, at least in Waikiki, there is a great demand for musicians who play in the many hotel lounges and play for convention groups.

    I don't think your playing an eight-string will be the issue. I think being able to play a broad spectrum of music styles will be what you will require, at least to get started. Also for the tourist trade, Hawaiian popular music is greatly in demand. Maybe you can buy or download some Hawaiian music, especially standards by Don Ho and others...even Martin Denny. Give it a listen and see what part the bass has in such music. I don't mean hula music, I mean Hawaiian popular music. They do have a new blend which is kind of a fusion of reggae and hula.

    There are many, many bars and lounges in the tourist cities, so you may be able to get situated right away. I say that, but I don't really know if there is a shortage of bass players or not in Hawaii, Kona in specific. I can't really tell you if "breaking in" is as competitive as, say, Nashville, or if bass players are always in demand.

    In the pure Hawaiian "hula" bands which cater to tourists, usually the musicians are Hawaiian. Your best bet may be playing in convention bands, wedding and party bands and bar and lounge bands.

    All that said, ask your relatives to check out the local music scene for you. Maybe they can send you copies of the local newspaper so you can get a feel for the entertainment scene in Kona.

    One thing I do know, Hawaii is a spectacularly beautiful place to be. I've never breathed purer air. There is no place like it on Continental U.S, except maybe Key West, which is like Hawaii without the volcanoes and mountains. The life is relaxed. Life expectancy is the longest in the U.S. I wish you all the very best if you decide to take the big step and move to Paradise.
  3. hey Boplicity,

    thanks for the great recommendation. I got to spend a little time on Kona last year and head a uke player with phenomenal jazz chops. one of the most fluent, fluid players I've heard on ANY instrument!

    I got to hear a little of the Hawaiian pop, too, and have to say that I dug it. we're on the big island for a few days and I hope to nose around, get my ears into as much as possible.

    I don't know that my wife's ready for a life in Paradise (city girl, to be sure), but it has a lot of appeal to me...


    take care, stay well, and keep it musical,

    from the low end,