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2nd Annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival





Celebrate a Month of Hawaiian Steel Guitar

at Waikiki Beach Walk® this July


                            WAIKIKI, OAHUHAWAII –Waikiki Beach Walk and Outrigger Enterprises Group are pleased to present the 2nd Annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival this July as part of Outrigger’s ongoing Na Mele No Na Pua Music Heritage Program. The month-long celebration will feature some of the islands best steel guitarists, as well as artists new to the instrument, on stage at Waikiki Beach Walk every Sunday evening during the month, with performances on July 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31.


“All of us in the steel guitar community are excited to be back at Waikiki Beach Walk for the 2nd Annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival,” said Alan Akaka renowned Hawaiian steel guitarist, music teacher, and director of Ke Kula Mele Hawaii. “There was such tremendous interest in the steel guitar festival last year that this year we just had to expand it to a full month so more people and more musicians could participate.”

Ø      July 3 – Stars of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar (5 to 8 p.m.) -- The festival kicks off on Sunday, July 3rd with an expanded program from 5 to 8 p.m. featuring Alan Akaka & the Islanders with Na Keiki a Ke Kula Mele; Bobby Ingano; Casey Olsen & the Hiram Olsen Trio; Greg Sardinha; and special guest Kiyoshi “Lion” Kobayashi from Japan.

Ø      July 10- Henry Kaleialoha Allen (5 to 6 p.m.)

Ø      July 17- Eddie Palama (5 to 6 p.m.)

Ø      July 24- Greg Sardinha (5 to 6 p.m.)

Ø      July 31- Na Keiki Kika Kila (5 to 6 p.m.) – The combined schools of steel guitar masters Alan Akaka and Greg Sardinha.

A Brief History of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar -- The Hawaiian steel guitar was originally invented and popularized in Hawaii. Legend has it that in the mid 1880's Joseph Kekuku, an 11-year-old student atKamehameha School for Boys, began experimenting with ways to make different musical sounds on his guitar. The story goes that while walking along the railroad tracks, he picked up a bolt and slid it across the strings, resulting in the very first characteristic slur of steel guitar. Intrigued by the sound, he taught himself to play using the back of a knife blade.


Although the popularity of steel guitar became firmly established in Hawaii by the early 1900’s and in the country music field soon after, it had few teachers. Those early legendary steel players were so much in demand to perform and record that they had no time to teach others, had they wanted to. Thus, in the 1960s the art and technique of playing Hawaiian steel was almost lost.


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