About Us

Ke Kani Nahe

Ke Kani Nahe is a traditional Hawaiian music group that had its beginnings as a result of many kanikapila (jam) sessions with friends and family.

While playing at these various kanikapila sessions it became apparent they all shared the same love of Hawaiian music.

And Ke Kani Nahe was born.

Ke Kani Nahe have been performing around the island for many years at private functions, shopping centers, restaurants and just enjoy spreading the love of Hawaiian mele.  Places they have performed regularly in the past include the International Marketplace, The Town Center of Mililani, Waianae Mall, The Willows, Lola’s Grill and Bar, Nico’s and have also been finalists in the Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Contest and KITV’s Kanikapila Showdown.

Ke Kani Nahe’s music comes from the heart and they hope to share the beauty of traditional Hawaiian music with whoever will listen. Whether it’s for friends and family or seniors at a local retirement home, they just love to jam.

Derek Higa

Derek Higa

Vocals, 12 String Guitar


Derek’s roots in Hawaiian music comes from his background in hula. As a former dancer and musician with Keolaulani Halau ‘Olapa O Laka under the late Kumu Hula Aloha Dalire, Derek brings to the group music based on hula stylings with good ole chalangalang playing and a little bit of falsetto thrown in the mix.

He gives thanks to his kumu and all those musicians that he has had the opportunity to play with while touring with the halau all around the islands and the world.

Dawne Kel'iholokai

Dawne Kel'iholokai

Vocals, Steel Guitar


 Dawne comes from a long line of talented Hawaiian musicians and steel guitar players. His grandfather is Alfred Alohikea who has penned many a great mele Hawai’i most notably Pua Lilia.

Dawne’s soothing fills and pa’ani  complements the group and brings out that signature Hawaiian sound of the kika kila (steel guitar).  


Bobby Yu

Bobby Yu

Vocals, Bass Guitar


Bobby is a local boy, raised in Palolo Valley, who began playing Hawaiian music in the 1970’s working at the Heritage Theatre in King’s Alley. He was influenced by his older brother, Johnny Yu, his cousin Steve Ma’i’i, and Randy Lorenzo, Kenny Wild and many other bass players.

He is also a songwriter who is frequently inspired when he’s flying.