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Top Hawaii slack key guitar players to perform at free Ki Ho‘alu Festival

By Staff | Jun 20, 2019

Brother Noland will return to perform at the 2019 Ki Ho‘alu Festival. PHOTO BY AMITY MASON.

KAHULUI – One of Maui’s favorite music events returns to the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on Sunday, June 23, with the 28th annual Ki Ho’alu Festival in the A&B Amphitheater.

It’s an all afternoon affair, annually enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, with some of Hawaii’s best slack key guitar players performing Hawaiian music from 1 to 7 p.m.

As always, the festival is FREE and a family-friendly event where all generations can appreciate the slack key guitar tradition, with both new music and classic favorites.

The lineup of musicians and recording artists this year includes Halemanu, Lance Takamiya, Brother Noland, Danny Carvalho, Michael Ka’awa, Wilson Kanakaole, Tavana, Dwight Kanae, John Keanaaina, Ka’eo, Kamuela Kahoano, Pa’ani, Wesley Furumoto, Will Tafolo, Aja Gample, Jonah Domingo and George Kuo (the artist list is subject to change).

Slack key has become known as one of the world’s great acoustic guitar methods, especially since the Grammy Awards recognized Hawaiian music as a category all its own. At the MACC, slack key guitar music is celebrated in a laid-back atmosphere in the annual Ki Ho’alu Festival, making it easy to linger all afternoon.

The setting is informal; festival-goers are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs, blankets or lauhala mats and relax on the grassy lawn to fully enjoy the melodious music by famed guitar players. (Sorry, no large duffels/bags, umbrellas or outside food and beverage can be allowed into the amphitheater, in compliance with legal and safety considerations.)

Besides an afternoon full of music, the festival also features island-based crafters with displays of made-in-Hawaii products. Maui eateries and food trucks will serve a variety of tasty lunch and dessert options.

For more information, visit the calendar of events at MauiArts.org or call the MACC Box Office at (808) 242-SHOW (7469).