Ke Kula Mele Hawaii Next Generation steel guitarists and musicians proudly represented their school at the Aloha Festivals Keiki Hoʻolauleʻa. The event was held on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at Oʻahu’s Pearlridge Center. The concert was one of several demonstrations and continuous stage performances by participating keiki musical groups and hula halau hosted that day by the center to celebrate the Aloha Festivals, now a month-long celebration of Hawaiian music and culture, previously known as Aloha Week.
Next Generation steel guitarists included Pono Fernandez (12), Joey Misailidis (12), Mālie Lyman (13), and Alexis Tolentino (18) accompanied by keiki musicians Tai and Ikaika. The ensemble was led by Kumu Alan Akaka.
Pono performed “No Ke Ano Ahiahi” and “Waikiki Medley,” an original medley for the steel guitar arranged by Kumu Alan Akaka featuring songs of Waikiki. Joey followed with “Na Ka Pueo Kahi” and “Kohala March” and Mālie performed “Henehene Kou Aka” and “Hilo March.” Alexis concluded the program with “Sand,” “How D’Ya Do?” and a country steel guitar favorite, “Steel Guitar Rag.”
Next Generation steel guitarists are school-aged students who are actively pursuing the Hawaiian steel guitar under the direction of Kumu Alan Akaka, and are often featured at steel guitar festivals in Hawaii.