Beautiful Maui weather embraced this year's 8th Annual Maui Steel Guitar Festival, which was held on April 15-17, 2016, at Lahaina's Ka'anapali Beach Hotel. Thirteen steel guitar masters from Hawaii, California and Japan graced the Friday and Saturday evening programs, hosted this year by celebrity emcees Kimo Kahoano and Kathy Collins. Kimo's weekly Aloha Friday Morning radio show on Hawaii's AM940 was done live Friday morning from the festival. The broadcast featured interviews with Addison Ching, Alan Akaka, Greg Sardinha and Troy Brenningmeyer.
Education of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar is an important cornerstone of the festival. Festival education components include both the tuition-based Hawaiian Steel Guitar Camp and free school presentations. Eighteen steel guitar students enrolled in this year's camp and enjoyed group instruction at various levels offered by Alan Akaka and Greg Sardinha. Some Maui students applied to and were awarded scholarships to attend the camp by Arts Education and Children Group, one of the camp's sponsors and producers.
Presentation teams that included Alan Akaka and Bobby Ingano along with Next Generation steel guitarists Malie Lyman and Alexis Tolentino visited several Maui schools, providing information about the Hawaiian steel guitar and presenting musical programs to inspire and invoke interest in the instrument.
Players from Hawaii, Washington, New Jersey, Colorado, Illinois, New Zealand, and Japan performed during the daytime open stage performances. Japanese steel guitar masters Kiyoshi "Lion" Kobayashi, Tadashi Arakawa, and Tetsuya Ishiyama brought members of their respective Hawaiian music and steel guitar schools to the festival. Each school gave performances to the delight of audience members. In total, five steel guitar schools were represented on this year's open stage, including the three schools from Japan, students from Joel Katz' University of Hawaii-Maui College steel guitar course, and students from Alan Akaka's Ke Kula Mele Hawaii School of Hawaiian Music.
The Sunday brunch entertainment featured Alan, Greg, and Bobby in individual programs. The finale was a jam session including all three of the Sunday performers and the Next Generation steel guitarists.
Next year's festival is tentatively scheduled for April 28-30, 2017.MSGF
July 9-14, 2018
Monday-Thursday - Nightly Evening Performances
Friday-Saturday - Festival Ho'olaule'a Performances
Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikiki
Hawai'i Island Steel Guitar Festival
September 7-9, 2018 - Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, Kohala Coast, Hawai'i
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Ka Makana Ali'i
February 16, 2019 (tentative) - Ka Makana Ali'i Shopping Center, Kapolei
Kaua'i Steel Guitar Festival
March 1-2, 2019 - Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach, Kapa'a, Kaua'i
Maui Steel Guitar Camp
TBD (tentative) - Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, Lahaina, Maui
Maui Steel Guitar Festival
TBD - Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, Lahaina, Maui
TBD - Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, Kahului, Maui
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Windward Mall
June 8, 2019 (tentative) - Windward Mall, Kaneohe
HIMELE is a Hawai'i non-profit corporation that supports music enrichment and education for people of all ages. Our purpose is to educate, promote, and perpetuate Hawaiian music, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian musical instruments.