Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival Kicks Off April 13

April 2, 2018, 10:01 AM HST · Updated April 2, 10:05 AM
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The 10th anniversary of the Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival will take place Friday and Saturday, April 13-14, 2018 at the Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel and expanded on Sunday, April 15 at the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center in Kahului.

Festivities at the Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel festival include open stage performance sessions on Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., two days of ho‘olaule‘a pageants with six presentations each night from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., kanikapila jam sessions for the public hosted by master steel guitar players each night at 9:30 p.m., steel guitar workshops on Saturday, cultural activities and a vintage steel guitar exhibit courtesy of Geri Valdriz.

The lineup for April 13 and 14 features: Alan Akaka, Tadashi Arakawa, Bobby Ingano, Joel Katz, Kiyoshi “Lion” Kobayashi, Dave “DK” Kolars, Patti Maxine, Greg Sardinha, Alexis Tolentino and Geri Valdriz. Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i Next Generation student musicians include Tai, Joey and Pono.

Special guest performers from Japan are: a student quartet, Anegogumi, featuring Yoshiko Seo on steel guitar, and the 17-member Yokohama Hawaiian Music Academy Band with steel guitar, guitar, bass and ‘ukulele players.

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The April 15 festival at Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center will showcase Valdriz’ vintage steel guitar exhibit installed at the Story of Hawai‘i Museum and a ho‘olaule‘a pageant, featuring ten steel guitar presentations beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m.

The lineup includes: Alan Akaka, Tadashi Arakawa, Bobby Ingano, Kiyoshi “Lion” Kobayashi, Dave “DK” Kolars, Patti Maxine, Greg Sardinha, Alexis Tolentino and Geri Valdriz. Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i Next Generation student musicians Tai, Joey and Pono will open the pageant.

The tuition-based Maui Steel Guitar Camp precedes the festival on Wednesday, April 11 and Thursday, April 12 on the grounds of Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel. The camp’s goal is for each attendee to play class-assigned Hawaiian songs on the lap steel guitar. Three intensive sessions (two in the morning and one in the afternoon) will be conducted each day by Alan Akaka and Greg Sardinha, two of Hawai‘i’s steel guitar masters. The cost is $225 per person. No prior experience is necessary.

A silent auction will be held on April 13 and 14 to help underwrite festival production costs and perpetuate music education in Hawai‘i. Those who wish to donate certificates and items for the auction can contact AECG President Bryant Neal at 808-283-3576. Donations are tax-deductible.

Maui’s event oversaw the renaissance of the Hawaiian steel guitar, considered to be the only modern instrument indigenous to Hawai‘i. Joseph Kekuku, a young Hawaiian from Lā‘ie, is recognized as the inventor in 1889 of Kika Kila, the Hawaiian steel guitar. Since the festival’s inception, steel guitar master, Alan Akaka and his team have established steel guitar festivals on Kaua‘i, O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island.

Admission to the Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival is free and the public is invited to attend.

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