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Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival to celebrate tenth anniversary in April

By Staff | Apr 5, 2018

KAANAPALI – The tenth anniversary of the Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival will be commemorated on Friday and Saturday, April 13-14, at Kaanapali Beach Hotel and expanded on Sunday, April 15, at Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Kahului.

Produced by Arts Education for Children Group (AECG) and the Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences (HIMELE), the festival is presented for public awareness, education and community outreach as well as entertainment.

Festivities at the Kaanapali 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 Hawaii Next Generation student musicians include Tai, Joey and Pono.

Special guest performers from Japan include 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.

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 will open the pageant.

The Maui Steel Guitar Camp precedes the festival on Wednesday, April 11, and Thursday, April 12, on the grounds of Kaanapali Beach Hotel.

Tuition-based, 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 Hawaii’s steel guitar masters.

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 Hawaii.

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.

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

Maui’s event oversaw the renaissance of the Hawaiian steel guitar, considered to be the only modern instrument indigenous to Hawaii.

Joseph Kekuku, a young Hawaiian from La’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 Kauai, Oahu and Hawaii Island.

The festival is sponsored by Hawaii Tourism Authority and supported in part by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaii and National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional support comes from WorldWide Music Ventures and Cord International with air travel provided by Hawaiian Airlines.

For information, visit MauiSteelGuitarFestival.com or HiMele.org.

For hotel reservations, see KBHMaui.com or call (800) 262-8450 and mention the Maui Steel Guitar Festival for a preferred rate.