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Free concert encourages residents to ‘Get Involved’

  • STAR-ADVERTISER / 2014

    Makana at a recording studio in in the Chinatown section of Honolulu.

Hawaii slack-key virtuoso Makana and rising star Taimane, known for her pyrotechnics on the ukulele, will join Kenneth Makuakane, Black Square, Jamarek, Men In Grey Suits, Hawai’iki and more island musicians, activists and community organizations in presenting a free concert, Power to the Positive: A Night of Unity, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Jan. 20 at the Waikiki Shell.

Spurred by the 2016 presidential election, and the departure of Hawaii-born outgoing President Barack Obama, the free music festival has the theme “Get Involved,” and mission of “Creating Positive Outcomes in Hawaii & Beyond” — encouraging Honolulu residents to engage with local and national organizations, and to speak out on issues including climate change and the environment, health care and human rights.

“There is a tremendous opportunity to get more people engaged and active than ever before; in addition, there is a higher need than ever before to do so,” said organizer Mark Tarone, in an email announcing plans for the concert. “Power To The Positive is about getting involved, taking action and lifting our communities and hearts. … It’s important to give people channels to act, here in Hawaii.”

The concert will be modeled in part on Jack Johnson’s past Kokua Festivals at the Waikiki Shell, with most stage time dedicated to music, while organizations are represented on site. The event will be open to all ages. Food vendors will include Hawaiian Fresh Farms, India Cafe and Istanbul Restaurant.

Organizations participating include the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Sierra Club of Hawaii, Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, The World Can’t Wait Hawaii, Community Alliance on Prisons Hawaii and Hawaii Center for Food Safety.

Mark J. Tarone, an events producer with T-Rx Entertainment, who has organized the annual Hallowbaloo and Mardi Gras festivals in Honolulu, is co-producing this event with Tim Vandeveer, chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. Vandeveer is coordinating with national & local organizations on the event, Tarone said. “Moving forward starts with local engagement. Hands-on involvement by many — local voices speaking up — are the N0. 1 drivers of action,” Tarone said, in an email announcing the event. He attributes the drive to create Power to the Positive to President Obama, who has exhorted citizens to get involved and be active following the November elections.

Gates at the Waikiki Shell will open at 5 p.m. on Jan. 20. There will be no outside food, drink or water permitted. Blankets or mats are OK. Bags will be checked at the entrance. Info: BlaisdellCenter.com. Organizations interested in participating may contact Tarone: mark@rootsmusichawaii.com.

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