Steel guitarists from Hawai‘i, California, Japan, and Australia will be featured in the 2019 Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week and Festival. The event will be presented by the Royal Hawaiian Center and held July 15-20, 2019.
The event will include Monday-Thursday one-hour evening concerts with complete festival programs on Friday and Saturday evenings. Open stage performances will be presented on Saturday beginning at noon. All performances will be on the Royal Grove stage. Emcees will be Hau‘oli Akaka and Maui's Kathy Collins.
Hawai'i steel guitarists performing in the concerts and festival programs include Alan Akaka and The Islanders, Steve Cheney, Scott Furushima, Paul Kim and the Waimanalo Sunset Band, Kapono Lopes, and Greg Sardinha and Po‘okela. NextGen youth steel guitarists will also perform, representing the Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i School of Hawaiian Music.
Japanese steel guitarists Kiyoshi "Lion" Kobayashi and Tetsuya Ishiyama will also perform in the main festival programs. This will be the first appearance for both steel guitarists at Waikiki Steel Guitar Week.
Also participating in the Waikiki festival for the first time is steel guitarist Paul Agar and Aloha Baby from Australia. The band's website describes them as "… masters of atmospheric instrumentals and Hawaiian Hapa Haole — evoking an idyllic Island wonderland — The Soundtrack of Hawaii… simply heavenly."
For the first time, the 2019 festival will include afternoon Open Stage performances. The open stage will showcase steel guitarists and musicians from Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i School of Hawaiian music and other steel guitarists from Hawai‘i, California, and Japan, including students from Lion Kobayashi's school for Hawaiian music.
A vintage steel guitar exhibit and opportunities for festival guests to try out the steel guitar under the guidance of a steel guitar expert will be located in Helumoa Hale, site of the center's guest services desk and meeting room.
The third annual Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week and tenth annual Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival is produced by HIMELE and sponsored by the Royal Hawaiian Center with support 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.
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Ka Makana Ali‘i
February 16, 2019 — 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 — Maui site
Maui Steel Guitar Festival
April 12-13, 2019 — Outlets of Maui, Lahaina, Maui
April 14, 2019 — Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center, Kahului, Maui
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Mini-Expo at Windward Mall
June 1, 2019 — Windward Mall, Kaneohe
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Windward Mall
June 8, 2019 — Windward Mall, Kaneohe
Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week
July 15-20, 2019 — Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikīkī
Monday-Thursday — Nightly Evening Performances
Friday-Saturday — Festival Ho‘olaule‘a Performances
AISGC Winchester Convention
July 18-20, 2019 — Winchester Towne Centre, Winchester, IN
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Kahala Mall — Keiki Kine
August 17, 2019 — Kahala Mall, Honolulu
HSGA Ft. Collins Festival
September 17-19, 2019 — Hilton Fort Collins, Fort Collins, CO
Hawai‘i Island Steel Guitar Festival
December 13-15, 2019 (tentative, rescheduled) — Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, Kohala Coast, Hawai‘i Island.
Kaua‘i Steel Guitar Festival
February 28-29, 2020 — Sheraton Resort, Kapa‘a, Kaua‘i
Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival
October 9-10, 2020 — Nightly Festival Ho‘olaule‘a — Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikīkī
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.