Where to Find the Best Live Music Experience on Oahu

From the traditional chants and percussion instruments of ancient Polyneians to moody jazz and a local reggae called Jawaiian, Hawaii’s live music scene offers a little bit of everything for everyone. Check out these nine great spots for live music in Oahu. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back afternoon activity, a bit of post-beach entertainment, or an intimate gig, we’ve got you covered.


9 Top Venues for Live Music in Oahu


1. Ala Moana Center

  • About: The Ala Moana Center is an upscale shopping mall and food court spread over four levels with a year-round schedule of free cultural events and performances.
  • Events: Daily performances of kahiko (traditional) and modern hula dances take place accompanied by oli (chants) and mele (song). 
  • Location: 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu.
  • Directions: A 10-minute drive, 25-minute bus ride (TheBus line 8), or 40-minute walk from the Waikiki Resort Hotel


2. Blue Note Hawaii

  • About: This is the Waikiki branch of a legendary jazz and blues club that started in New York City. The 326-seated venue puts on regular jazz, pop, rock, and reggae shows.
  • Events: Among the many big names on the lineup include Robert Glasper, Sergio Mendes, and The Wailers.
  • Location: 2335 Kalākaua Ave, Waikiki.
  • Directions: Less than 10 minutes by foot from the hotel.


3. Duke’s Canoe Club

  • About: Overlooking Waikiki Beach, this barefoot bar and grill celebrates the father of surfing Duke  Kahanamoku. Offers the perfect combo of the aloha spirit, music, and sunsets. 
  • Events: Local musicians perform nightly from 4 pm to 6 pm and 9.30 pm to midnight. Sundays see Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Henry Kapono take the stage.
  • Location: 2335 Kalākaua Ave #116, Waikiki.
  • Directions: About a 7-minute walk from the hotel. 


4. House Without a Key 

  • About: Iconic oceanfront bar revered for its mai tai cocktails, happy hours, and sunsets. Was the setting for the first of author Earl Derr Biggers’ Charlie Chan mystery novels. 
  • Events: Nightly (from 5.30 pm) Hawaiian music shows with hula dances performed by former Miss Hawaii and Miss Hawaii-USA winners. 
  • Location: 2199 Kālia Rd, Honolulu.
  • Directions: A 10-minute drive or 15-minute walk from the hotel. 


5. Lewers Lounge

  • About: Swanky lounge with lush velvety seating and a sophisticated atmosphere close to the Halekulani Boardwalk. Perfect spot for cocktails, small plates, and famous jazz artists.
  • Events: Gigs from 8.30 pm to midnight, Tuesday to Saturday. 
  • Location: 2199 Kālia Rd, Honolulu.
  • Directions: A 10-minute drive or 15-minute walk from the hotel.


6. Nico’s Pier 38 

  • About: Vibrant and casual harborside spot with an emphasis on locally sourced seafood and French-Hawaiian fare.  
  • Events: Lunchtime (Noon to 2 pm) and evening (6 pm to 8 pm) shows featuring country, folk, slack-key, reggae, ukulele concerts, and more. 
  • Location: 1129 N Nimitz Hwy, Honolulu.
  • Directions: About 25 minutes by car, or around an hour by bus (TheBus line 42). 


7. Vida Mia 

  • About: Vida Mia is a vintage yacht available for private charters and luxury morning coffee, snorkeling, and sunset cruises.
  • Events: Look for the Vida Mia Live cruises, which combine local chefs, local musicians, and an open bar with a two-hour cruise limited to 30 guests only. 
  • Location: 1651 Ala Moana Blvd Slip 499, Honolulu.
  • Directions: About 10 minutes by car or 30 minutes by foot from the hotel. 


8. Waikiki Beach Walk 

  • About: Buzzing open-air mall featuring award-winning eateries, boutiques shopping, and a lively arts and entertainment program
  • Events: Free weekly and monthly alfresco performances of traditional Hawaiian music. International artists put on a celebration of music and dance during March’s Honolulu Festival. 
  • Location: 227 Lewers St, Waikiki.
  • Directions: Only 15 minutes on foot or 10 minutes by car from the resort. 


9. Waikiki Shell 

  • About: Big shell-shaped outdoor venue in Kapiolani Regional Park with chair and lawn seating that hosts famous Oahu music events. 
  • Events: Everyone from Jimi Hendrix and Jack Johnson to Miles Davis and Ziggy Marley have entertained crowds of over 8,000 here. 
  • Location: 2805 Monsarrat Ave, Honolulu.
  • Directions: A 5-minute drive, 10-minute bus ride (TheBus lines 8, 13, or 23), or 15-minute walk from the Waikiki Resort Hotel.