Waikiki Steel Guitar Week will feature more steel guitar playing this year. An Open Stage has been added to the festival's Saturday programming. The preliminary schedule provides opportunities for up to eight performances beginning at 11 AM. The Open Stage program will be held on July 20, 2019.
The Open Stage, similar to the Open Mic, provides performance opportunities for steel guitarists to showcase their talents, overcome their performance anxieties, perfect their stage persona in front of a performance-friendly audience, and build performing confidence.
Dr. Kris Oka from San Francisco performs on the Open Stage at the 2018 Hawai'i Island Steel Guitar Festival.
Each program is about 30 minutes in length, sufficient for several songs and "talk story" between songs if the performer is so inclined. Many performers also include vocal selections in their presentation. Some performers use prerecorded backing tracks, while others rely upon available backup musicians to assist with their presentation.
Open stage programs at outer island festivals have previously featured steel guitarists, steel guitar groups and music schools from Hawaii, the mainland U.S., and several countries including Germany, New Zealand, and Japan. At least two such groups and several steel guitarists from the mainland U.S. and Japan are expected to participate on the 2019 open stage.
Open stage performance slots can be requested at the festival website.WSGFW
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