Steel Trappings

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase

Student Steelers to Appear in Livestream Showcases

September 23, 2021 • Addison ChingFestivals and Conventions

Student steel guitarists will perform live in upcoming Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase Livestream Steel Guitar Saturday programs broadcast from Kaua‘i and Maui.

The Kaua‘i livestream will be broadcast on October 30, 2021 and begin at 2 PM instead of the normal 3 PM time. The broadcast is starting an hour earlier to provide sufficient time for Honolulu staff to meet airline schedules.

The Kaua‘i Showcase will feature Kaua‘i steel guitarists Ed Punua and Kilipaki Vaughan. Both Punua and Vaughan have been regular featured performers at previous in-person festivals on Kaua‘i.

The broadcast will also feature live performances by Kaua‘i steel guitar students of Heu‘i Bandmann.

Kaua‘i Student Steel Guitarists
Kaua‘i Student Steelers from left: Ki‘leiah Jeffries, Ginger Kamalei, and Corrie Desierto.

11 year-old Ki‘ileiah Jeffries previously appeared on the 2020 Kaua‘i Steel Guitar Festival Open Stage program.

"I played ‘ukulele in the Kaua‘i Steel Guitar Festival in 2020 and I was inspired to learn by watching my Kumu (instructor) U‘i and Ginger play. It keeps me connected to my culture and I love Hawaiian music," says Ki‘ileiah.

2020 Kaua‘i Steel Guitar Festival
2019 Kaua‘i Steel Guitar Festival Open Stage from left: Rhonda Murotake, Ethan Goore, Ki‘ileiah Jeffries, Heu‘i Bandmann, Ginger Kamalei, and Nate Goore. PC-Larry Holu

The "Ginger" mentioned above is 15 year-old Ginger Kamalei. Instructor Bandmann gifted Ginger a steel guitar in 2019.

Ginger recalls, "I knew my teacher Aunty U‘i played because in lessons she always had her lap steel and I'd walk into her lesson while she played 'Sleepwalk'. After learning my first song for the steel guitar festival as well as taking lessons with Uncle Alan (Akaka) at the Aloha Music Camp, I was inspired to learn more."

Corrie Desierto is also 15 years old and has been taking lessons for about a year. She was also gifted a steel guitar by her Kumu to allow her to practice.

"I was taking ‘Ukulele and Voice lessons with Aunty U‘i for two weeks and she introduced me to the steel guitar with a song I was familiar with (Sleepwalk!!!). I enjoyed the sound and the song so I continued," says Corrie.

The Maui Showcase will be broadcast on November 20 beginning at 3 PM from the Old Wailuku Inn. Maui steel guitarists Geronimo "Geri" Valdriz and Joel Katz will headline the showcase. Katz has appeared as a featured artist in prior Maui festivals. Valdriz has also appeared in festivals statewide.

The showcase will also include two Maui steel guitar students of steel guitarist Ross Ka‘a‘a.

Maui Student Steel Guitarists
Maui Student Steelers Maka‘iwa Ho and Greg Juan.

Maka‘iwa Ho is 13 years old and a freshman at Kamehameha Schools Maui.

Greg Juan is no stranger to Hawaiian music. The Kamehameha Schools Maui and University of Hawai‘i graduate was a member of the group Nā Wai ‘Ehā that received a Grammy award nomination and multi Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards.

Greg says, "My passion and love for Hawaiian music has been instilled by many of my kupuna and I in turn hope to instill and inspire the future generation to Hawaiian music as well."

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About HIMELE
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.