Twelve featured Hawaiian steel guitarists and their bands will perform in the Friday and Saturday Ho'olaule'a programs at the 2nd annual Hawai'i Island Steel Guitar Festival. This year's festival will be held on September 7-9, 2018, ahead of the closing of the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows for a major hotel renovation. The festival is expected to return to its normal November scheduling in 2019.
Headlining the Friday evening program will be Robert "Konabob" Stoffer, Dave "DK" Kolars, Ke Kula Mele Hawaii Next Generation steel guitarists and musicians, Alan Akaka and The Islanders, and Geronimo "Geri" Valdriz. These steel guitarists also performed at last year's Hawai'i Island festival and have appeared at other steel guitar festivals statewide.
Friday's ho'olaule'a will also feature Masami Sato and her group from Tokyo, Japan. Sato is a well-known vocalist and musician and is also the proprietor of Aloha Station, an intimate Hawaiian music nightspot in the Rappongi District in Tokyo, Japan. Sato and her group Makana performed at the 2017 Maui Steel Guitar Festival.
Saturday's Ho'olaule'a will feature Alexis Tolentino, Iaukea Bright, Greg Sardinha, Pomai Brown, and Bobby Ingano. Also included in Saturday's program will be Makana, Masami Sato's all-female Hawaiian music band from Tokyo, Japan. This marks the first appearance of Makana at the Hawai'i Island Steel Guitar Festival. Makana specializes in Hawaiian music with beautiful, blended harmony.
Iaukea Bright will be the emcee for both evening shows.
This year's festival will be held indoors in the hotel's ballroom, avoiding any conflict with inclement weather. Last year's outdoor performance segments were delayed as they were relocated to alternate indoor locations because of the threat of inclement weather.
This year's Saturday Open Stage performances will also be held in the ballroom. Requests for performance slots can be made at the Contact page of the festival website. Segments are 30 minutes and must feature Hawaiian music with a Hawaiian steel guitar included. Backup musicians are available upon request.
Steel guitar workshops, nightly public kanikapila, a steel guitar exhibit with hands-on opportunities, and Sunday brunch entertainment on the lawn are also included in this year's festival. Detailed information will be published on the festival website as it is developed.
The hotel has announced a special room rate for festival guests staying at the hotel. A link to the festival reservations website is available on the festival website reservations page.
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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.
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