Steel Trappings

The Genesis of a Showcase

The Genesis of a Showcase

January 20, 2021 • Addison ChingFestivals and Conventions

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase presents monthly livestream broadcasts on Facebook called "Livestream Steel Guitar Saturdays." These presentations last two hours and feature two prominent Hawaiian steel guitar artists in their own segments along with selections from Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i School of Hawaiian Music's NextGen steel guitarists, ranging in age from 11 to 18.

The livestream broadcasts were developed as an alternative to the Hawaiian steel guitar festivals, the majority of which were largely postponed or canceled during 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Live steel guitar festivals will be on hold until further notice and resume when they are deemed safe by municipal authorities and directives. In the interim the livestream broadcasts will be offered on a regular basis.

Livestream broadcasts are usually planned for the last Saturday of each month. The broadcast originates from steel guitarist Greg Sardinha's Sma'kine Recording Studios in Kailua, Hawai‘i.

What goes into creating a Showcase?

Greg Sardinha in his back yard
Greg Sardinha performing on the grounds of his Sma'kine Recording Studios in Kailua Hawai‘i – his back yard

Initial planning is done by HIMELE chairman Alan Akaka and Vice Chairman Addison Ching.

Artist selection begins about three months prior to a Showcase presentation. Artists are contacted by Alan for availability and commitment. At the same time Alan is working with Huana Productions to schedule the livestreaming video and sound technicians

In addition, Alan works with NextGen steel guitarists to develop their presentations and creates backing tracks for their performances (except where artists can provide their own backing.) Backing tracks that are furnished to NextGen steel guitarists are not included in the raw video recordings. The finished raw videos are then sent to HIMELE director Natan Goore for editing and final processing which includes synchronizing the backing tracks with the raw video to create a finished product. The completed videos are then furnished to Huana Productions for real-time integration into the livestream presentation.

NextGen steel guitarists are also assigned the task of interviewing performing steel guitarists via Zoom or Skype. Nate oversees these interviews and records the video sessions for editing and final processing.

According to Nate, about an hour's worth of raw video is obtained during the interview session, with NextGen interviewers using questions prepared for the interview. Nate then edits the raw video down to an 8-minute segment for inclusion in the Showcase.

The raw view of these interviews will be re-edited and published in future editions of Steel Trappings' Steeler Stylings feature with an article accompanied by the video interview.

Separately, programming information and other Showcase specifics are submitted to Addison for development of and integration into publicity and marketing materials and for social media and website postings.

On Showcase day participants convene at the venue at least an hour prior to go-live time for equipment setup and sound checking. Participation is controlled to address current gathering restrictions with no more than five people in a performance "pod" at any given time.

It's showtime! The broadcast begins with welcoming comments by livestream host Alan Akaka while Nate and Addison both remotely monitor the broadcast quality and communicate with the Showcase personnel if adjustments are required. At this point the broadcast engineering is under complete control of Scotty Wong of Huana Productions for the next two hours while Alan coordinates the performance segments with the performers.

Scotty Wong and Anthony Narito
Sound Engineer Anthony Narito and Video Engineer Scotty Wong. PC-Alan Akaka

Pending unforeseen circumstances, the livestream broadcast will be presented without any problems and to the enjoyment of hundreds of Hawaiian steel guitar fans throughout the world.



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1st HSGA Virtual Steel Guitar Festival
January 23-24, 2021 – Prerecorded and available on Multiple Platforms

Facebook LiveHawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase
January 30, 2021 – LIVE STREAMED on Facebook 3PM - 5PM HST

Facebook LiveHawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase
February 27, 2021 – LIVE STREAMED on Facebook 3PM - 5PM HST

Facebook LiveHawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase
March 27, 2021 – LIVE STREAMED on Facebook 3PM - 5PM HST

COVID-19 Advisory: All live steel guitar festivals have been postponed Statewide until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic and health and safety directives currently in effect. Live festivals will return when HIMELE and government agencies determine it is safe to do so.

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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.