If it is mid-November and Waimea, it is almost guaranteed that local legends in Hawaiian music will be somewhere in town, strumming a guitar, plucking ‘ukulele, singing, talking story, jamming, teaching, laughing, eating, and giving their all to honor the best of Hawai‘i’s musical traditions.
The 14th Annual ‘Ukulele & Slack Key Guitar Festival takes place November 17, 18 and 19, 2016, and will offer concerts, workshops and Kahilu Theatre’s most inclusive educational outreach for students.
This year’s event features treasured Festival performers Nathan Aweau, Benny Chong, Ledward Kaapana, Mike Kaawa, Sonny Lim, and Jeff Peterson. New to the Kahilu Festival, but not to Hawaiian music, is Hilo-based musician and songbird, Kainani Kahaunaele, and from Waikoloa on steel guitar, Iaukea Bright.
The 14th Annual ‘Ukulele and Slack Key Festival includes two days of the musicians travelling from Kona to Laupahoehoe to give free concerts in Hawai’i Island schools. Organized by Kahilu Education Coordinator Lisa Shattuck, last year’s Festival musicians performed to more than 5,000 local students.
“It is a delightful confluence of our mission and vision,” says Kahilu Theatre Executive Director Deb Goodwin. “These renown musicians, many who have been regular performers since our very first ‘Ukulele and Slack Key Institute, tell us they look forward to coming together to play music and to give back. Our staff, Board members, and sponsors are all enthusiastic to know Hawaiian music and all the trimmings will once again fill the Theatre and reach out to schools across the island.”
Thursday night’s concert will invite audience members who bring their own instrument to come on stage after intermission and play along with the performers in true “kanikapila” style. The Friday night concert will feature all the Festival musicians performing new work as well as playing together in crowd-pleasing, classic collaborations. Saturday morning Kahilu will offer a slate of workshops led by the musicians and culminate in a final performance of island favorites with some special guests adding to the mix. All of the musicians are active and passionate cultural practitioners and have individually and collectively played at a variety of esteemed public and private events.
“The Festival members hope to offer a fresh new program that renews respect for the unique sounds of traditional Hawaiian music,” says Paul Buckley, proprietor of Waimea Music Center and one of the event sponsors. “What we all share in common is that we want to inspire the next generation to pick up an instrument and play.”
The 14th Annual Waimea ‘Ukulele and Slack Key Guitar Festival is sponsored by Zora & Les Charles, Ka‘eo & Mahina Duarte, Alva Kaipoleimanu Kamalani, Bob & Donna Povich, Kamuela Inn, and Waimea Music Center.
The Kahilu 2016/17 Hawaiian Series is sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines and Kapa Radio.
Ticket Pricing & Information:
- Thursday: $23 / $13 with Instrument
- Friday: $63 / $43 / $23
- Saturday: $63 / $43 / $23