Steel Trappings

2018 Maui Steel Guitar Festival

The Tenth Anniversary Maui Steel Guitar Festival

February 10, 2018 • Addison ChingFestivals and Conventions

2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the Maui Steel Guitar Festival. Originally produced by Henry Kaleialoha Allen in 2008, the festival has evolved to its present format and has been produced by Maui's Arts Education for Children Group and HIMELE - the Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences, in collaboration since the 2013 festival.

This year's program follows a similar format offered in previous festival years. Friday and Saturday ho'olaule'a programs will present a variety of Hawaiian steel guitar artists from Hawaii, the continental US, and Japan. Many artists from last year's program are returning to the 2018 festival, including Japan's Tadashi Arakawa and Lion Kobayashi, Maui steel guitarists, Joel Katz and Geri Valdriz, and O'ahu steel guitarists Alan Akaka, Greg Sardinha and Bobby Ingano. New to the main stage this year are Dave "DK" Kolars from DeKalb, Illinois, and Alexis Tolentino, a Ke Kula Mele Next Generation alumnus. Additional artists are yet to be confirmed.

The Open Stage program will be offered on Friday and will include three Japanese music schools with steel guitars as well as musicians from Ke Kula Mele Hawaii School of Hawaiian Music. Nightly public kanikapila sessions, Saturday workshops, and a vintage steel guitar exhibit, will also be included in the hotel festival.

Friday and Saturday festival events will be held at the Ka?anapali Beach Hotel in Lahaina. On Sunday the festival will relocate to Kahului?s Queen Ka?ahamanu Center. The Sunday program will feature ten different steel guitarists in 30-minute programs beginning at 11:00 AM. A vintage steel guitar exhibit will also be a part of the Sunday event.

The 2018 Maui Steel Guitar Camp, a two-day intensive experience with the Hawaiian steel guitar, will again precede the Maui festival. This tuition-based camp is a great way to become familiar and learn how to play the Hawaiian steel guitar under individual guidance from kumus Alan Akaka and Greg Sardinha. Players with some experience can also benefit from advanced training since the class curriculum will be based on the experience of camp participants. See the camp website at for additional information.

School visitations to local area schools are a major component of the festival. Presentation teams comprising steel guitar masters and Next Generation musicians visit schools to provide an introduction to the Hawaiian steel guitar, musical presentations, and hands-on experiences for classroom students under the guidance of the Next Generation musicians.

The Maui festival is supported in part by the Hawaii Tourism Authority and 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. Additional support is provided by the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, Hawaiian Airlines, and Worldwide Music Ventures. For additional festival information, see the festival website.



July, 2018
June, 2018
May, 2018
April, 2018
March, 2018


Festivals and Conventions
Instruments and Luthiers



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
Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Waikiki Steel Guitar Week
July 8-13, 2019 (tentative)
Monday-Thursday - Nightly Evening Performances
Friday-Saturday - Festival Ho'olaule'a Performances
Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikiki
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Kahala Mall - Keiki Style
August, 2019 TBD - Kahala Mall, Honolulu

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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.