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Band giving up the funk at free concert

ANAHOLA — People who love good music and a good cause will find both at the Anahola Marketplace this Saturday, when local band Da Funk plays a free concert benefiting Malama Kaua‘i.

Da Funk, a relatively new group covering funk, disco, soul and Motown classics, has a personal connection to the nonprofit it’s decided to support.

The band’s lead male vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Mike “Huggy Daddy” Vallee, first contacted Malama Kaua‘i last year when he moved onto a Kalaheo property covered in fruit trees.

He knew the organization is dedicated to increasing both local food production and food access.

“I said, ‘Hey, do you guys want to come and harvest our fruit and use it for school lunches?’” Vallee said in a recent interview. “I saw that they worked hard and they did a lot of good in the community.”

Sometime later, management of Anahola Marketplace at 4523 Iaone Road invited Vallee to hold an event at their venue. Vallee and his band then knew how they could give back to their community and Malama Kaua‘i — through the power of funk.

“We all love funk music,” Vallee said. “Songs like ‘Brick House,’ Donna Summer, disco stuff, Bee Gees, Sly and the Family Stone, ‘Play That Funky Music.’”

There is no cover charge to attend the all-ages, open-air concert and dance, but donations to Malama Kaua‘i will be accepted.

All proceeds will go to the nonprofit, according to Vallee, who said Da Funk is donating its time and will cover any costs associated with renting the venue.

Da Funk’s Saturday show comes just as Malama Kaua‘i gears up for its summer food distribution programs.

“We’re so appreciative of Mike and his band for doing this for us,” Malama Kaua‘i Executive Director Megan Fox told The Garden Island.

“Mike regularly lets us harvest his trees for our keiki programs, and we were so happy he wanted to do even more. With the costs of everything rising so fast, every effort really makes a difference for us and the people we serve through our programs.”

Malama Kaua‘i recently announced one of its programs, “Kaukau 4 Keiki,” will not operate this summer, after Congress excluded U.S. Department of Agriculture waiver extensions from its latest spending bill.

Last summer, Malama Kaua‘i provided over 87,450 meals to keiki through the Kaukau 4 Keiki program, according to the group’s latest e-newsletter.

“While we are incredibly disappointed that this effective program model can no longer operate without the federal funding, we haven’t given up,” the announcement reads. “We are exploring opportunities to do a mobile congregate meals model with partners in several high-need areas for this summer or securing private funding to keep the Kaukau model going.”

Malama Kaua‘i has issued a request for proposals for vendors to make hot lunches this summer, with applications due Friday, April 15. Participants will receive a commercial discount through Malama Kaua‘i’s food distribution website,

The nonprofit is also seeking host sites and volunteers in high-need areas on the island’s east, south and west sides, to help serve the lunches.

Application links for the RFP, host sites and volunteers can be found in Malama Kaua‘i’s April 2022 e-newsletter.

Vallee will be joined onstage by Gaither “G-Licious” Rosser on lead guitar and vocals; Susie “Soul Sista” Patey on lead vocals; Buddy “Boogie” Lizama on drums and vocals; and Randy “Velvet Jones” Reider on bass guitar and vocals.

Concert seating is both indoors and outdoors. Attendees are advised to bring beach chairs or blankets for outdoor seating, BYOB and their dancing shoes. Food will be available at Anahola Marketplace’s on-site café.

The event will run from 6 to 9 p.m.

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Scott Yunker, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or
Source: The Garden Island

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