Ho and Lim to perform at Slack Key Show’s anniversary concert
NAPILI – The glitz and the bling, the crooning and tunings, the hula, mele and mo’olelo, like a flower-scented tropical breeze, will sweeten the air over Napili Bay on Wednesday night, Oct. 17, at Napili Kai Beach Resort during the Slack Key Show Masters of Hawaiian Music’s 15th Anniversary Show.
It’s going to be a star-studded, wanna-see, don’t-miss, backyard kanikapila evening.
Among the talented, multi-award-winning musicians on stage next week for the two-hour performance are show founder, co-producer and host George Kahumoku Jr.; regulars, ukulele talent and, on occasion, substitute host Peter deAquino and slack key guitar player Sterling Seaton; and newest member Max Angel Becerra on the “uke.”
Entertaining with her lovely Hula Hands, sway, beauty and grace is dancer-chanter Wainani Kealoha.
Adding more star power to the celebratory lineup on the 17th are Daniel Ho and Sonny Lim.
Ho is a Hawaii-born, Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist. The ukulele virtuoso is a six-time Grammy Award winner, composer, arranger, singer-songwriter, record company owner, producer and audio engineer.
“I’ve been playing at Uncle George’s slack key show at least once a year since it began 15 years ago,” the international artist told the Lahaina News.
“Experiencing his show,” Ho continued, “is not only a chance to hear beautiful slack key music but also a glimpse into the Hawaiian way of life and the true feeling of aloha.”
Lim enjoys the backyard, kanikapila-style jamming on stage.
“It’s going to be a special celebration for sure! I am going to have fun to be with Daniel Ho and George and the gang will be a beautiful collaboration of styles and slack key tunings, which makes for an awesome evening of music,” the Big Island, Lim Family, Grammy Award-winning slack key guitarist described.
Highlighting the anniversary opening ceremonies will be special recognition of Napili Kai Beach Resort for its generous support; the three original producers, Paul Konwiser, Wayne Wong and Kahumoku; and the dedicated duo, Seaton and de’Aquino, working through the ranks, from setup to breakdown, eventually earning a place on stage.
“The aloha, support of Gregg Nelson and the Napili Kai staff has contributed significantly to our success. They welcome our show staff and patrons. Their love and support of Hawaiian culture is evident at every level of resort management, from the front desk and behind the scenes staff to the GM. Also, they have always made sure that all of their guests, shareholders and visiting travel writers know about our show. We deeply appreciate all of the support they have given us all these years,” Kahumoku’s spouse and partner, Nancy, acknowledged.
It’s no small feat that the weekly Grammy Award-winning concert series has had staying power.
To Nancy, it was the magical connection between the show co-producers. “It was Paul Konwiser’s determination and tenacity that got us started; Wayne’s expertise in business and computers took us to another level; and George?s charisma, Hawaiian heritage, musicianship and networking made him a great host for the show,” she said.
Gregg Nelson, president and CEO of Napili Kai, reasoned, “Most visitors to Maui are seeking something more than just good weather and great beaches. Many are in pursuit of authentic cultural experiences that help them better understand and appreciate our island. One of the best ways to experience the culture of Maui is through music.
“George’s Slack Key Guitar Show provides a perfect venue to not only enjoy great music by a variety of well-known artists; but, at the same time, it gives visitors and residents alike the opportunity to learn more about this important aspect of Hawaiian culture through the generous sharing of both song and story in a casual atmosphere.”
Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Cultural Advisor Clifford Nae’ole agreed. The Ritz provided a venue for the Hawaiian Masters the first two years of their ongoing run.
The Native Hawaiian speaks eloquently of Kahumoku’s character and values.
“George doesn’t really promote the culture… he LIVES the culture. If there were a precise example of ‘grassroots,’ George qualifies in every aspect. He lives the culture with his hands that dig into the ‘aina to create a hole… to plant a seed… to harvest the crop… and to feed whomever he can.
“His fingers can easily pluck the strings of an ukulele or guitar in the classic tones… and his voice can relay stories of his kupuna… his experiences in life… art and, of course… the language and songs of our people/nation. All of this… with a smile of course!
“George talks to people from his heart,” Nae’ole observed.
A Native Big Island son, Kahumoku recounted his kanaka connection: “My soul and spirit are buried in the ‘Aina, the land that I work, and the Kai, the ocean that I swim and fish, and in the Heavens that bless us.
“These vibrations of our environment are re-vibrated and reflected in our voices when we speak and in the songs or mele that we sing. These vibrations also help us to reconnect to the wind in the trees, the waves in the ocean, connections to our Mother Earth and our environment, and help us to connect with each other.”
Kahumoku shines when he shares; he is humble.
Ho has been a recipient of this gift.
“Uncle George has been my Hawaiian music mentor for 20 years and has taught me so much about the ‘aina and culture,” Ho said.
Seaton has had like experiences with the master.
“I have learned more about Hawaiian culture/practices from Uncle George than actual music. The show is a small facet of everything that is ‘The Kahumoku Experience.’ The music and lyrics of the songs we sing do tell stories of Hawaii, and the musical style is unique,” he said.
Konwiser nailed it: “George is the perfect host. He makes the audience feel like they’d been invited to a Hawaiian backyard.”
Doors open on the 17th at 6:45 p.m., and the show starts at 7:30. Cake and complimentary flavored water will be served; and, according to Nancy, one complimentary beverage from the cash bar will be offered to each ticket holder.
Show prices range from $37.99 (general admission) to $95 (includes dinner at the Sea House). Visit slackkeyshow.com for reservations.
“The show is great for music lovers of any age,” Seaton observed.