Maui Arts & Entertainment

Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival, April 15–17

April 5, 2016, 7:15 AM HST
* Updated April 5, 7:17 AM
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Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival graphic.

Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival graphic.

The Eighth Annual Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival will be held April 15 to 17, 2016, at Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel.

The free event will feature master Hawaiian steel guitar players from around the world performing and teaching the only instrument thought to be indigenous to Hawai‘i.

Headliners include Alan Akaka, Jeff Au Hoy, Bobby Ingano, Japan’s Kiyoshi “Lion” Kobayashi, Patti Maxine from California, Owana Salazar, Greg Sardinha, Hilo steel guitarist Dwight Tokumoto, and Maui steel guitarists Sam Ako, Joel Katz and Geri Valdriz.

“The purpose of the festival is to promote awareness and appreciation of the Hawaiian steel guitar and to preserve and perpetuate it,” said Bryant Neal, executive director of Arts Education for Children Group, the nonprofit organization presenting the event.

Celebrities Kimo Kaho‘ano and Kathy Collins will co-emcee both Friday and Saturday evening ho‘olaulea programs. Each program will feature a different lineup of musicians.


Kani ka pila (jam sessions) will follow; the public is welcome to participate (bring your own instruments).


Open stage performances will take place during both days with music performed by Hawaiian steel guitar bands from Hawai‘i, the US Mainland, Japan, New Zealand and Italy.

Group performances will be presented by students from steel guitar schools in Hawai‘i and Japan.

Saturday workshops include instruction for playing steel guitar, ‘ukulele, slack key, and Hawaiian singing and recording methods.


Also on Saturday, cultural activities, such as hula, lei making and carving, are being offered.

On Sunday, Hawaiian steel guitarists will entertain from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel’s award-winning Champagne Brunch (the only event during the festival that has a fee). For reservations, call the hotel at (808) 667-0124.

Preceding the festival, on Wednesday and Thursday, April 13 and 14, two of Hawai‘i’s great steel guitar masters, Alan Akaka and Greg Sardinha, will conduct the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Camp.

Campers have an option of attending one day at $150 or both days for $200.

To encourage students to participate in the camp, scholarships are available.

For more information and to register, visit

The festival also includes a community outreach in which participating master players visit Maui public and private schools to perform and to teach students about the Hawaiian steel guitar.

Presented by Arts Education for Children Group and produced by the Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences, the festival is supported by Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel, the County of Maui and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. Funding also comes from donations and in-kind contributions from businesses, civic organizations and individuals.

For more information and a complete schedule for the Eighth Annual Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival, visit

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