The Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Ka Makana Ali'i was an overwhelming success! The event was held on Saturday, March 17, 2018 and featured steel guitar masters Alan Akaka, Greg Sardinha, Bobby Ingano, and Jeff Au Hoy. Next Generation steel guitarists and musicians Joey and Tai Misailidis, Pono Fernandez and Malie Lyman and Next Generation alumnus Alexis Tolentino also amazed festival guests with their musical skills.
"Today's event was a major success. Good turnout, great music and the NextGen were crowd pleasers," says HIMELE chairman Alan Akaka. Adding to festival guests' music experience, visiting Ke Kula Mele Hawaii steel guitar student Dan Tremblay offered steel guitar demonstrations, and at least 20 children and adults tried out the steel guitar.
The outdoor event was held under beautiful Hawai'i skies in Kapolei. Although the event was designed to bring the steel guitar to the West O'ahu community, festival guests included people from East O'ahu as well as some Japanese tourists from Waikiki.
A front-page article by Honolulu Star-Advertiser's John Berger in the newspaper's Friday TGIF entertainment section featured 13-year old Next Generation steel guitarist Malie Lyman and talked about her interest in music, her steel guitar skills and her participation in the West O'ahu festival. The article included interviews with Malie, her mom Pomaika'i Lyman, and HIMELE officers Alan Akaka and Addison Ching, and helped publicize the free event.
Due to the Kaua'i festival date change resulting from a hotel renovation project, the 2019 Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Ka Makana Ali'i is tentatively scheduled for February 16, 2019, from 11 AM to 3 PM. This festival is one of two festivals designed to bring the Hawaiian steel guitar to local O'ahu communities. The Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Windward Mall will be held in June. These festivals are produced by HIMELE, the Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences, and are supported in part by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaii and by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Information about all festivals is available at www.himele.org/events.
July 9-14, 2018
Monday-Thursday - Nightly Evening Performances
Friday-Saturday - Festival Ho'olaule'a Performances
Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikiki
Hawai'i Island Steel Guitar Festival
September 7-9, 2018 - Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, Kohala Coast, Hawai'i
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Ka Makana Ali'i
February 16, 2019 (tentative) - Ka Makana Ali'i Shopping Center, Kapolei
Kaua'i Steel Guitar Festival
March 1-2, 2019 - Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach, Kapa'a, Kaua'i
Maui Steel Guitar Camp
TBD (tentative) - Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, Lahaina, Maui
Maui Steel Guitar Festival
TBD - Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, Lahaina, Maui
TBD - Queen Ka'ahumanu Center, Kahului, Maui
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Windward Mall
June 8, 2019 (tentative) - Windward Mall, Kaneohe
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.