The 2022 Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week returns in full force on July 11, 2022, with Monday through Thursday nightly programs, the Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival on Friday, and the Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival on Saturday.
This will be the 4th annual Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week and the 12th Annual Waikīkīi Steel Guitar Festival. Also included in the weeklong event will be the 1st Annual Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival, featuring steel guitar players and bands from Japan. This event is the culmination of many years of planning by Hawai‘i and Japan-based steel guitar event planners, including Japanese steel guitarist Tadashi Arakawa who passed away earlier this year and was unable to realize the fruits of his planning. The 2022 Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival will be dedicated to him in his honor.
NextGen steel guitar players from Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i School of Hawaiian Music will kick off the nightly concert series. Appearing this year will be two new additions to the group of youth steel guitarists. Isabella Bertelmann and Makamae Lyu-Napoleon made their performance debut in the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Windward Mall held in June.
The Monday-Thursday evening concerts will begin at 5:30 PM and last for one hour.
Tuesday's nightly concert will feature Paul Agar, visiting steel guitarist from Northern Rivers, New South Wales, Australia. Paul last participated in the Waikīkī event in 2019.
Greg Sardinha and Po‘okela will perform Wednesday night, and Alan Akaka and The Islanders will be Thursday night's offering. Both Po‘okela and The Islanders are fluid groups, comprising selected musicians chosen by Greg Sardinha and Alan Akaka for the event.
Friday night's Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival will begin at 4:00 PM. Japan's Matt Kobayashi, a versatile ‘ukulele and steel guitar player, will perform first, followed by Noriko and Shuji Tomita at 4:30 PM. Noriko will offer solo performances and accompany husband Shuji's vocals.
The Lion Ladies Steel Guitar Ensemble, an all-female group of steel guitarists organized and directed by Japanese steel guitar legend Kiyoshi "Lion" Kobayashi, will perform at 5:15 PM. Two of the four-member ensemble were unable to participate in the Waikīkī festival, and another member of Kobayashi's students will supplement the ensemble. Lion himself will perform following the Ladies Ensemble as the final performer of the Japan-Hawaiian festival. His performance will begin at 5:45 PM.
Saturday's Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival will be presented in two segments. The first segment will begin at 11:00 AM and feature Hawaiian steel guitarists Greg Sardinha and Po‘okela, Steve Cheney, Geronimo "Geri" Valdriz from Maui, Joseph Zayac, Kapono Lopes, and Jeff Au Hoy in 30-minute performances concluding at 2:30 PM.
The second segment will begin at 4:00 PM with performances by Australia's Paul Agar, Bobby Ingano, Japan's Kiyoshi "Lion" Kobayashi, and Alan Akaka and The Islanders. The second segment will run through 6:30 PM.
The complete event schedule is available from the festival website.
Both the Friday Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival and the Saturday Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube.
Emcee for the Monday-Thursday evening concerts and Saturday's Festival will be Kimo Kahoano. The Emcee for the Friday Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival will be KZOO radio personality Maggie Jackson. Hula will be provided for Friday's and Saturday's performances by Kapuanani.
The Royal Hawaiian Center and Festival Companies provides the venue and support for the event. Additional support comes from the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority through the Kūkulu Ola Program, administered by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, the Hawai‘i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA), through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawai‘i or grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and the Laurence H. Dorcy Hawaiian Foundation.WSGFW
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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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