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Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival to feature workshops, free concerts

By Staff | Apr 21, 2011


KAANAPALI — The 2011 Maui Invitational Music Festival and Kaanapali Beach Hotel will present the third annual Henry Kaleialoha Allen Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival on April 29-30 and May 1.

Celebrating the music created on Hawaiian steel guitar, the festival features free concerts, presentations and hands-on workshops throughout the weekend at Kaanapali Beach Hotel. For a complete schedule, visit www.aecg.org.

Honoring one of “Hawaii’s Living Legends of Hawaiian Music” in Allen, the festival also welcomes well-known Hawaiian steel guitar players, cultural enrichment specialists and special guests.

In addition to Allen, Hawaiian steel guitarists Duke Kaleolani Ching, Greg Sardinha and Japan’s Kiyoshi “Lion” Kobayashi will perform, along with Alan Akaka & the Islanders, Japanese singing sensation Masami Sato and, from Yokohama, Japan, the Kani Ka Pila steel guitar trio.

A star-studded free concert under the stars in the Tiki Courtyard beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, is the gala event of the festival. Allen and his band, “Tropical Swing,” will headline an evening featuring Hawaiian steel guitar players, vocalists and hula dancers. The music continues with a late night jam session.

The schedule of free workshops includes a daily hands-on Hawaiian steel guitar making class with Dr. Neil Scott. Building kits will be provided.

Free presentations by Hawaiian cultural enrichment specialists Danny Akaka Jr. and Aloha Keko’olani; a tribute to Joseph Kekuku, inventor of the Hawaiian steel guitar; and workshops and performances by festival participants are also on the schedule.

For all three days, island arts and crafts, educational displays and Hawaiian cultural activities will be presented throughout the hotel.

The festival begins with the only ticketed event offered during the weekend — an exclusive opportunity to meet and talk story with Allen on Thursday, April 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. The $150 per person price includes food, wine, champagne, beer, individual photo sessions and gift bags. The evening will be hosted by Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and First Lady Ann Arakawa. For reservations, call 669-6189.

The festival ends on Sunday, May 1, at Kaanapali Beach Hotel’s famous Sunday Champagne Brunch. Some of the festival’s Hawaiian steel guitar players, hula dancers and special guests will entertain at this May Day event.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit www.aecg.org.