The First Annual Hawai'i Steel Guitar Festival at Mauna Lani kicks off in two weeks! The festival will be held on November 10-12, 2017, and bring the sounds of the Hawaiian steel guitar to the Island of Hawai'i and will help perpetuate this instrument and its importance in Hawaiian music and culture. Hawai'i island residents are encouraged to join in the festivities, learn more about the instrument, and enjoy performances by their favorite Hawaiian steel guitarists.
Prior to the first public performace at the festival, teams of festival musicians and keiki and adult steel guitarists will visit local area schools to give presentations about the Hawaiian steel guitar. Students will be given an introduction to the Hawaiian steel guitar including its history and importance in Hawaiian music and culture, provided with Hawaiian steel guitar musical selections for their enjoyment, and offered a hands-on experience under the guidance of the keiki steel guitarists on the presentation team.
The festival's main programs on Friday and Saturday evenings will feature eleven steel guitaists in separate programs. Six Hawai'i island steel guitarists are included in the program: Iaukea Bright, Pomai Brown, Sonny Lim, Dave Soreff, "Konabob" Stoffer, and Dwight Tokumoto. Also included in the programs are the Next Generation keiki steel guitarists, Alan Akaka and The Islanders, Bobby Ingano, Dave "DK" Kolars from Dekalb, Illinois, Greg Sardinha, 18-year old Alexis Tolentino, and Geronimo "Geri" Valdriz from Maui.
Saturday workshops will include various Hawaiian steel guitar presentations and a workshop on Hawaiian Mele. Also offered will be a Hawaiian Cultural Experience, where masters of various Hawaiian crafts including feather-lei making and coconut basket weaving, will demonstrate their techniques. The Open Stage will offer additional performances by steel guitarists and bands.
Sunday brunch guests will be treated to a kanikapila jam session on the lawn by the festival's featured steel guitarists and musicians.
Hawai'i County Mayor Harry Kim will issue a proclamation for the festival, proclaiming Friday through Sunday, November 10-12, 2017, as Hawai'i Steel Guitar Appreciation Days.
The festival is sponsored by the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows. Additional support is provided by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, and this program is supported in part by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaii and by the National Endowment for the Arts.
HIMELE produces steel guitar festivals statewide to promote and perpetuate Hawaiian culture and the Hawaiian steel guitar. As with all other HIMELE-produced festivals, the Hawai'i Steel Guitar Festival is free and open to the public.
Photo 1: Hawai'i Island Steel Guitarists Include Pomai Brown, Dwight Tokumoto, and Iaukea Bright. pc-Pomai Brown, Pua Tokumoto, Iaukea Bright.
Photo 2: More Hawai'i Island Steel Guitarsts "Konabob" Stoffer, Sonny Lim, and Dave Soreff. pc-Chris Stewart, Sonny Lim, Faline Kini.
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.