In partnership with Royal Hawaiian Center, the 7th Annual Waikiki Steel Guitar Festival is moving to the Royal Grove Stage this year with all day performances on Saturday, July 16th from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The event, which is the largest steel guitar festival of its kind on O‘ahu, will be hosted by radio personalities Mele Apana and Kimo Kahoano and feature popular Hawaiian Steel Guitar masters along with steel guitar students from the Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i School of Hawaiian Music. This year's featured steel guitar masters will include Alan Akaka, Jeff Au Hoy, Bobby Ingano, Isaac Akuna, Paul Kim, Eddie Palama, Greg Sardinha and Tim Abrigo in individual programs of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music and dance,
“It seems fitting for this festival to take place at Helumoa on our Royal Grove Stage,” says Aaron Sala, Director of Cultural Affairs at Royal Hawaiian Center,” since Joseph Kekuku, who invented the Hawaiian Steel Guitar was a student at Kamehameha Schools, the owner of this land.”
The Waikiki Steel Guitar Festival is presented each year by HIMELE (Hawai'i Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences) and brings together legendary steel guitarists and up-coming students for a celebration of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar. The mission of the event is to educate the community about the importance of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar to Hawaiian music and culture.
“This festival is a celebration of this uniquely Hawaiian instrument,” says Alan Akaka, HIMELE Executive Director, "it's an honor and joy for all of us in the steel guitar community to participate in the festival and share our knowledge and talent with visitors and kama'aina."
The Waikiki Steel Guitar Festival is free and open to the public. Parking is available at the Royal Hawaiian Center parking garage. Standard parking rates apply. Validated parking is available with purchase from any center merchant.
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