Peter was born and raised on the island of Maui. He began playing ukulele at the age of 6. Later he studied ukulele with Keoki Kahumoku and Herb Ohta Jr. Other important influences include all the masters of Hawaiian Slack Key guitar with whom he has played regularly for the last 8 years, including Ledward Kaapana and others, also Bradda IZ & Bob Marley. Peter now plays professionally around Maui both solo and in groups: Dukes-Kaanapali (Three Pounds of Poi), Kimo's-Lahaina (deAquino Braddaz), The Hula Grill (leading the band TBA), and the Hard Rock Café (Sounds of Addiction). Peter is featured on all four of the Slack Key Show’s Grammy winning compilation CDs: Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.1, Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.2, and also on the Grammy nominated Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Peter is featured in a new DVD: The Best of the Slack Key Show, Vol. 1
Known as Hawaii's Renaissance Man, George Kahumoku Jr, is a multiple Grammy & Hoku Award winning master Slack Key Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, performer, teacher, artist and sculptor, story-teller and writer, farmer and entrepreneur. George is known for playing slack key on a jumbo12-string guitar because he loves the full sound and the lower bass tones. He uses a custom Art Davis guitar, and since beginning the Slack Key Show seven years ago, has changed his favorite tuning from E flat to F to make it easier to play with others.
In October 2003, George co-created the first venue ever dedicated to presenting Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. First located at the Ritz Carlton-Kapalua, then moving to Maui's Napili Kai Beach Resort where it is now. The first show CD, produced from live recordings of the show, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Vol. 1: Live in Concert from Maui won the 48th Grammy Award for Best Hawaiian Album. The 4 of the 5 sequels to this recording were all nominated, 3 of them winning Grammies.
A renowned story-teller on and off the stage, George collaborated with long-time friend, Paul Konwiser, to write down his entertaining semi-autobiographical short stories into his first book of short stories: A Hawaiian Life. George lives on Maui, directing and teaching at the new Institute of Hawaiian Music at the University of Hawaii-Maui College. George spends his free time maintaining his small 3 acre farm growing fruit and vegetables, dry-land taro (for his famous home-made poi) and tending his goats, chickens, ducks, and miniature horses. True to his Hawaiian heritage, wherever he goes, George always brings bundles of fresh produce to share with friends and students.
Every summer in June, George Kahumoku Jr.'s Annual Maui Slack Key Guitar and Ukulele Workshop takes place featuring the finest music instructors. This workshop is one of the great musical experiences in the Islands today, and the result of George's belief in sharing, celebrating and perpetuating Hawaiian culture and music.
2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship Recipient, Ledward Kaapana is Hawaii’s premier master Slack Key guitarist. His inventiveness and fluidity, his versatility in multiple tunings, and his playfulness on stage, make him the leading master of this art, now recognized nationally by America's most prestigious award for the arts.
Led has been a professional musician for over 40 years. His mastery of stringed instruments and extraordinary baritone and leo ki
ekie (falsetto) voice have made him a musical legend. His easy-going style and charm have made him a favorite of audiences throughout the world.
Led grew up in a musical family in the tiny village of Kalapana, there were few distractions and everyone played music. It was at the frequent family gatherings that Led learned to play in the old style, watching, listening, then imitating. Chief among his teachers were his mother, Mama Tina Kaapana, and his uncle Fred Punahoa.
As teenagers, Led and his twin brother Ned and cousin Dennis Pavao formed the Hui
Ohana, one of the hottest groups of the 70s and 80s and now legendary among Hawaiian musicians. The 70s saw the blossoming of the Hawaiian Renaissance, and HuiOhana was a key part of that return to traditional Hawaiian culture and music. Young Hawaii Sings Old Hawaii, the title of their first recording, was also their statement of purpose.
The group produced 14 best-selling albums and made countless hundreds of live appearances, proudly sharing Kalapana's musical traditions.
Led later formed another trio, I Kona, releasing 6 albums with that group, including Na Hoku Hanohano Award winner, Jus' Press. He has also released solo albums, including two Na Hoku Hanohano Instrumental Album of the Year winners, Lima Wela and Black Sand, the latter of which was recorded on George Winston’s Dancing Cat Records. Led also recorded Led Live, Waltz of the Wind, Kila Kila Meets Kihoalu, and others on Dancing Cat..
In 2006, Led’s Kiho'alu-Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar was nominated for the 48th GRAMMY Award for Best Hawaiian Music Album and won the 2006 Na Hoku Hanohano Award for Instrumental Album of the Year. Led was featured on three compilation CDs winning Grammy Awards for Best Hawaiian Music. His solo Grandmaster Slack Key and Force of Nature (with Mike Kaawa) received Grammy nominations and Force of Nature also earned Led & Mike the Favorite Entertainer Award at the 2009 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. His newest recording is The Legend.
Led tours the US extensively. When home in Hawaii, he can be found on Sunday evenings at Kona Brewing Company in Hawaii Kai or once a month on Maui playing at George Kahumoku’s Slack Key Show.
Recognized as one of Hawaii’s most versatile musicians, Jeff Peterson is at the heart of the Hawaiian music scene today. His passion for the guitar has allowed him to shine as a solo artist and his deep knowledge of multiple open tunings as well as standard tuning, and his ability to both read music and play by ear, has given him the opportunity to collaborate with a wide variety of solo artists, groups, and orchestras. His focus on Slack Key guitar, classical, and jazz music has allowed him to develop a unique and transcendent voice on the guitar while being deeply rooted in the traditions of his Hawaiian heritage. He has contributed to two Grammy Award-winning recordings and has been honored with three Na Hōkū Hanohano Awards in Hawaii. His latest solo CD, Maui on My Mind, won a hoku for Slack Key Album of the Year in 2010 and was nominated for a Grammy. His most recent release features his songwriting, performing, and producing on Amy Hanaiali`i and Slack Key Masters of Hawaii, which also won Hoku Awards and another Grammy nomination.
Born on the Island of Maui, Jeff Peterson grew up on the slopes of Haleakala where he was introduced to the rich heritage of Hawaiian music by his father, a paniolo, or Hawaiian cowboy, on the Haleakala Ranch.
As a performer, Jeff has had the honor to work with such prominent artists as Eric Clapton, James Galway, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Aaron Neville, Boz Scaggs, the Honolulu Symphony, and with many others. He has four recordings with Riley Lee: Maui Morning, Bamboo Slack Key, Haiku and Haleakala. He also released five solo slack key guitar CDs: Maui On My Mind, Kahealani, Slack Key Jazz, The Artistry of Jeff Peterson, and Pure Slack Key.
He has traveled to Europe, Asia, Australia, and across the US. He has performed for former president Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton. He performs regularly in Waikiki, at Maui’s Slack Key Show and elsewhere in both solo and group settings. He taught the guitar at the University of Hawaii and is one of the premier instructors at George Kahumoku’s Annual Maui Slack Key Guitar & Ukulele Workshop.
He attended the 47th Annual Grammy Awards in 2005, when a recording featuring Jeff and other island artists, Slack Key Guitar, Volume 2 (Palm Records), won the first ever Grammy Award for best Hawaiian recording. He is also featured Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Vol 2 (Daniel Ho Creations) which won the 2010 Grammy.
For ukulele fans who prefer unpretentious technical proficiency over theatrics, Herb Ohta Jr. is the undisputed master ukulele instrumentalist of his generation. Son of the legendary ukulele artist, Ohta-san, Herb Ohta Jr's natural talent, knowledge, technique, and speed are unsurpassed. He is a master ukulele performer, teacher, composer, recording artist, and producer. Herb creates unique arrangements of new and familiar tunes and makes each song breathtakingly fresh and definitely his own.
Recognizing his inborn talent, Herb’s grandmother taught him his first ukulele song at the age of three. His father, Ohta-San, started his early formal instruction on the ukulele and Herb continued to study music in high school. Inspired by listening to the Makaha Sons of Ni‘ihau and others he became a devotee of Hawaiian music and the ukulele.
While he enjoys listening to all types of music, Herb’s favorite songs to perform are ballads and all types of Hawaiian songs because they enhance the natural sound of the instrument. Herb’s style is reminiscent of his father’s, but distinct and recognizable as his own. There is a graceful “Nahenahe” quality that is very Hawaiian, reflecting the inspirations of ukulele greats like Eddie Kamae and Ohta-San.
At age 11, Herb, Jr. began teaching at his father’s ukulele school. In 1992, he started his own classes and continues to teach on Oahu at Sonny D’s Ukulele Shop and Harry’s Music Store. He also teaches private lessons by appointment. He is also a favorite instructor at George Kahumoku’s Annual Maui Slack Key Guitar and Ukulele Workshop and has co-authored two outstanding ukulele instruction books with Daniel Ho.
Herb still finds time to compose new material, entertain at private and public functions, produce, and record. He is a seven-time Na Hoku Hanohano Award Nominee and a two-time Hawaii Music Award Winner. He frequently tours Japan and the mainland. He recently completed a west coast tour featuring his solo performances while teaching workshops between concerts.
Traditional Slack Key Guitarist & Hawaiian vocalist, Kevin Brown, is the soft spoken leader of the popular Maui group "Ola Hou". One of Hawaii's finest musicians and instructors, his easy-going style has deeply influenced a generation of musicians both in Hawaii and on the mainland.
Kevin’s father, Harry, was a popular Hawaiian musician and gave Kevin and his brother, Sheldon, a sound foundation for ukulele, guitar, and traditional Hawaiian songs.
Kevin tells the story of his start with Slack Key. "One day I cut my high school math class and, while sitting under a tree, I heard another class and the teacher, Henry Meyer’s, guitar playing captured my ear with a sound I never heard before. I asked him what kind of music he was playing. He said it's an old style of Hawaiian guitar called slack key. He said he would teach me if I gave up recess. So for the next 4 years during recess he taught me all the songs and tunings he knew.” Later Kevin and brother Sheldon, worked 48-hour shifts as paramedics in Lahaina. This schedule gave them time to play music together. Encouraged by co-workers who heard them, they went professional, forming the Waiehu Sons. For the next 17 years they performed at the Stouffer's Resort/Renaissance in Wailea.
Kevin also taught slack key guitar for 14 years at Maui’s Baldwin High School. He now sometimes teaches at UH Maui College and is a mentor in the new Institute of Hawaiian Music. He is also a popular instructor at George Kahumoku’s Annual Slack Key Guitar & Ukulele Workshop and Keola Beamer’s Aloha Music Camp.
The Brown Family has been perpetuating the art of ki ho'alu (Slack Key) for generations. Kevin’s son, Ikaika Brown, showed an early aptitude for guitar. Ikaika recorded three CD's, including the cherished "Generations," which features both his father, Kevin, and grandfather. Kevin and Ikaika are also featured on the two Grammy Nominated CDs Hawaiian Slack Key Kings, vol 1 & vol 2.
Paul Togioka is recognized as one of Kauai’s leading slack key guitarist and has recorded with masters Ray Kane, Ledward Kaapana, Ken Emerson, David Kahmakahi, Kawika Kahiapo, LT Smooth and Hal Kinnaman. In 1996, Paul became Kauai;s first recording artist to be invited to open the prestigious “Kauai Style” Slack Key Guitar Festival and also received the Hawaii Music Award’s “Best Recording by a Slack Key Artist” for his Album titled Ohana ‘O Kauai Slack Key Instrumentals. In 1988, paul and Buddy Panoke received “Best Hawaiian Instrumental Recording” for their Album titled Ohana ‘O Kauai Instrumentals from the Garden Isle. Since 2004, Paul has released three solo CD’s titled :Ki Ho Aluu Inn”, “Here, There & Everywhere” and “Aikane Kuikawa” produced by Milton Lau of Ka Hoku Production and Rhythm & Roots Records. Paul also featured artist on the two time Grammy Nominated and NA HOKUHANOHANO AWARD winning CD “Hawaiian Slack Key Kings”
Brad Bordessa is a Hawaii’i Island-based recording artist who has been fortunate to share the stage with musicians and mentors such as Keoki Kahumoku, Sonny Lim, Herb Ohta, Jr., and (quite accidentally) HAPA. His EP, Point A, features original instrumentals, but it was his passionate protest song, “Draw the Line at 13,” that took the internet by storm. Brad has been teaching ‘ukulele for 8 years, and is currently the in-house instructor at the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua. He has been a returning faculty member at both the Kahumoku ‘Ohana Music & Lifestyle Workshop and the Hawaii Island 'Ukulele Retreat', where his students appreciate his clear and concise style of teaching. Brad is a graduate of the Institute of Hawaiian Music at UH Maui, where he spent two years always on alert for Uncle George calling to say, “Brad! We got a gig. I’ll pick you up in 15 minutes.”
Born and raised on Maui, Sterling showed an early talent for the guitar. At Lahainluna High School, Sterling would practice in between classes and to jam with Uncle George Kahumoku (who was the ceramics teacher) at lunch time. After attending Uncle George's Annual Summer Workshop in Napili and studying with the slack key masters, Sterling took a particular interest in Slack Key C Tuning. Sterling is the Slack Key Show sound engineer as well as a performer, and also works as a light & sound technician at the Ulalena show in Lahaina. Sterling is featured on the Slack Key Show’s Grammy award winning CDs, Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.2, and Grammy nominated Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Sterling is featured in a new DVD: The Best of the Slack Key Show, Vol. 1.
Telling the story with graceful movement and hula hands, Wainani has loved dancing all her life. Born in Honolulu, she relocated and danced for many years on the Big Island where she joined the hula school, Halau Na Lei O Ka Holoku, led by Kumu Hula Nani Lim Yap and Leialoha Amina.
Wainani traveled nationally and internationally with Lim’s Halau sharing hula with the world while developing her considerable talent in dance, chanting, and Hawaiian culture.
Wainani now lives on Maui and, in addition to regularly dancing for Slack Key Master, Ledward Kaapana, she has danced for many years at the Royal Lahaina Resort as a soloist and as an Oli Mea (chanter) for Maui Nei Cultural Walking Tour. She was one of the principal dancer for George Kahumoku’s Hawaiian Country Music Show in Branson, Missouri in 2012 and has now become a regular dancer at George Kahumoku Jr’s Slack Key Show.
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