The Entertainers

John Keawe

There was music every evening from 6:00 to 9:30 on the small stage on the Bora Bora Terrace.  Mainly designed as dinner entertainment, Monday evening featured the very well-known slack-key guitarist, John Keawe.  John has a number of CDs, and a growing audience wherever Hawaiian slack-key is appreciated. Click on the pictures to hear the musicians.


The Paniolo Dinner

On Tuesday evenings, the Paniolo dinner was set up on the lawn in front of the Bora Bora terrace or on the Paniolo lawn out near the lu'au stage, depending on attendance. The entertainment was provided by the excellent Paniolos.

The Paniolos were the cowboys, and the meal and dress reflected that part of the Hawaiian past.  It was a rollicking evening for fun, but if the fare wasn’t to one’s liking, a regular meal was available from the menu, and could be enjoyed indoors or out. 

Left was the setup.  The chairs were tipped because it was breezy, but the wind usually went down with the sun.

The Yodel Song was their signature piece, and for reasons that will become clear, they play it just before their break (listen to the end).  Put another way, they took a break after they played it.


David Gomes

For the regular Hale Moana dinner on Friday, David Gomes played both slack key and classical guitar.  He’s a very talented player, and had been with KVR almost from the beginning.  The first few times I was a guest at the village, David, then a very shy young man, sat with his head down, and played wonderful guitar music, almost as if to himself.  He acknowledged applause by looking up, nodding his head, and going back to his playing.

He then took some time out to go to Spain to study the craft of guitar making, and now makes guitars for the best, including John Keawe.  Gentle but no longer shy, he played slack key until the sun set, then switched guitars from one with steel strings to one with nylon strings, took the picks off his fingers, and played classical music until it was time to leave.  Wonderful.

Na Leo Kolu


Randy, Lezlie, and Bobby are very good, and when the trio entertained, the dance floor came out.

Pomai Brown

On Sunday evening the dinner music was supplied by what I consider to be an example of perfect dinner music.  Pomai Brown is mellow, his singing is mellow, his music is mellow, and one could listen or visit, or both.  After dinner I stuck around, just to listen.

Kona Village was not big on the night life scene.  The musicians played until 9:30, and by that time the diners were finished and had drifted off, or were lingering at the Bora Bora Bar for a nightcap.  I suppose one reason was that many guests came in from the mainland, and if one had a three to six hour time difference to make up, it took a while to readjust.  The fact that the birds had no need to adjust and were making lusty noises at first light of dawn didn’t help the transition.  But mostly it was just that Kona Villagers were laid back, relaxed, and treasuring a few days in the Soft Lane.