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Lanai Slack Key Guitar Festival draws top Hawaii musicians for five free performances



Hawaii_Lanai_slack key guitarIf you happen to be on Lanai this week, consider heading over to the inaugural Lanai Slack Key Guitar Festival, slated for Fri., Aug. 26 and Sat., Aug. 27 at the Four Season Resorts Lanai and in Lanai City.

The event will feature performances by several award-winning Hawaii musicians in five venues on laid-back Lanai — the “Private Isle,” previously known as the “Pineapple Isle” because at one time most of its land was used to grow pineapples.

The musical lineup includes Grammy award and Na Hoku Hanohano winners including John Keawe (pictured, below), Sonny Lim, Dennis Kamakahi, Kevin Brown, Cindy Combs, Benny Uyetake, and Brother Noland (pictured, right). Na Hoku Hanohano awards are the Hawaiian music industry’s equivalent of the Grammys.

There is no charge for attending performances and workshops during two-day event. However, festival organizers request that donations be made to the Lanai Community Association, which assists families on the island.

Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, or ki-hoalu, which translates as “loosen the key,” in the Hawaiian language, is a solo finger-picked style that’s unique to Hawaii. It originated here in the 19th century with Hawaii cowboys (paniolo). In recent years, slack key collection albums have won Grammy awards in the Best Hawaiian Music category.

Here’s the schedule.Hawaii_Lanai_slack key guitar

Fri., Aug. 26

• 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. — Slack Key Dinner under the stars at the Four Seasons, Manele Bay, with performances by John Keawe, Sonny Lim and Brother Noland and other guests. Call 808-565-4000 for dinner reservations and more information.

Sat., Aug. 27

• 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.  — Slack Key Java Jam, with Kevin Brown, Coffee Works in Lanai City.

• 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Slack Key Guitar Lunch at CafĂ© 565 in Lanai City. Live music.

• 12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. — Workshops, at the Four Seasons, The Lodge at Koele. John Keawe offers a complimentary slack key workshop in the music room, while his wife, Hope Keawe, teaches a hula workshop on the croquet lawn.

• 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. — Lanai Slack Key Guitar Festival at the Four Seasons, The Lodge at Koele.  The lineup includes Dennis Kamakahi, John Keawe, Sonny Lim, Cindy Combs, Brother Noland, Kevin Brown, and a hula performance by Hope Keawe.

• 8 p.m. - 10 p.m. — Ki Ho alu Fireside Jam at the Four Seasons, The Lodge at Koele. Performances by the Grammy-winning musicians.

For additional information about the first-time event, click here.

Photos: (top) John Heckathorn, (bottom) Lanai Slack Key Festival

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