WAIKIKI, HONOLULU, HAWAII
– Outrigger Hotels and Resorts invite kamaaina and visitors to enjoy the sweet and soulful sounds of the Hawaiian slack key guitar during Slack Key Jam 3 at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. On Friday, Aug. 12, from 5 to 9 p.m., some of Hawaii’s most notable slack key guitarists will take the stage at Kani Ka Pila Grille to celebrate this unique part of Hawaiian culture, and one lucky member of the audience will take home a brand new Taylor guitar. The event ushers in the much-anticipated 34th Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival at Waikiki Beach Walk® on Aug. 14 from noon to 6 p.m.
“Outrigger is honored to be a presenting sponsor for this year’s festival and to host such a fantastic event at Waikiki Beach Walk®,” said Bitsy Kelley, vice president of corporate relations for Outrigger Enterprises Group. “Celebrating this distinctive art, as well as the slack key guitarists who continue to engage and entertain us, is so satisfying and a wonderful way to help preserve and perpetuate the vital role music plays in our island culture.”
Slack Key Jam 3 is free and open to the public. The third annual event will feature musical performances by renowned slack key guitarists including Aja Gample, Dwight Kanae, Paul Togioka, Glen Smith, Jeff Dayton, Donald Kaulia, Stephen Iglis, Keale, Kawika Kahiapo and Danny Carvalho.
Guests can enjoy the jam session while indulging in delicious local food and beverages at Kani Ka Pila Grille. In addition, one lucky member of the audience will leave with a brand new Taylor guitar valued at $1,000. For a chance to win this prize, individuals can complete and submit an entry form at Kani Ka Pila Grille. The drawing will be held during Slack Key Jam 3. You must be present to win.
On Sunday, Aug. 14, from noon to 6 p.m., the 34th Annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival will sound off at Waikiki Beach Walk®, featuring “ki hoalu” music all afternoon long. This is a brand-new location for the festival, as it was held at Kapiolani Park in previous years. Outrigger Hotels and Resorts provides its support as the presenting sponsor of the event that will include performances by Aja Gample, Blayne Asing, Bobby Moderow, Brother Noland, Danny Carvalho, Donald Kaulia, Dwight Kanae, Glen Smith, Jeff Dayton, Kawika Kahiapo, Keale, Michael Keale, Moses Kahumoku, Patrick Landeza, Paul Tagioka, Stephen Inglis, Swinging Hawaiians and Weldon Kekauoha. The festival is free to attend and a second Taylor guitar will be given away to one lucky event attendee.
The slack key guitar originated in Hawaii. Ki hoalu, which literally means "loosen the key" in the Hawaiian language, is the solo finger-picked style in which the strings of the instrument are "slacked" to produce the melody. Many Hawaiian songs and slack key guitar pieces reflect themes based on stories of Hawaii’s past and present, people's lives and the state’s beautiful tropical surroundings.
The first Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, organized by event producer Milton Lau, was held in 1982 as a tribute to the late Gabby Pahinui and it was officially called the Gabby Pahinui Slack Key Guitar Festival. Today, the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival is a group of one-day music festivals that take place on four different islands.
One of the most prominent and appreciated aspects of this festival is that it is free. In early 2002, to draw more attention to the art form and generate interest nationally, Milton Lau founded The Ki-hoalu Foundation, a non-profit organization that makes these annual events, featured on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii and Kauai, possible. Lau works diligently throughout the year to obtain art grants nationally from other foundations and government institutions to offer scholarships to interested young people to learn slack key guitar, produce videos, books, audio CDs and continue the festivals statewide and overseas.
For more information about the festival, visit SlackKeyFestival.com.