Maui Steel Guitar Festival

Program for the 5th Annual Festival - April 19-21, 2013

Click here to see the Festival's Event Schedule

Featured Steel Guitarists

  • Alan Akaka / Alan Akaka and The Islanders
  • Greg Sardinha
  • Bobby Ingano
  • Geronimo (Geri) Valdriz
  • Ross Ka'a'a

Other Festival Performers

  • Joel Katz
  • The Hawaiian Serenaders
  • Ed Punua


Workshop topics will include Beginning Hawaiian Steel Guitar, Recording Tips, Playing Hawaiian Steel Guitar in the "Nahenahe" Style, Talk Story: Songs of Barney Isaacs, 'Ukulele, and more.

Mele Fong

The Festival is pleased announce that Mele Fong will conduct the 'Ukulele workshops on Saturday. Mele is a professional singer, song arranger, and master of multiple genres and strumming styles for the ukulele. Mele plays ukulele, guitar, and piano, dances hula, and teaches Hawaiian history. She performs as a soloist, in the professional husband and wife duo The Hawaiian Serenaders. See her website for more information about Mele and her work.

Leimomi Bacalso-Murray

Leimomi Bacalso-Murray will conduct the hula workshops on Saturday. Leimomi has been an entertainer for almost 30 years. She learned hula from hula masters O'Brian Eselu and Thaddius Wilson from Halau Na Wai Eha O Puna. She has danced in various Waikiki shows and at Paradise Cove at Ko'olina. As a young adult, she danced with Aunty Genoa Keawe, Gary Aiko and with Alan Akaka for many years. In 1990 she won the title of Miss Hawaii USA and represented Hawaii in the Miss USA pageant. She currently performs at Maui's Grand Wailea Resort.

Ed Punua

Steel Guitarist Ed Punua from Lihue, Kauai, will host the workshop "Talk Story: Songs of Barney Isaacs." A Certified Public Accountant by trade, Ed is a co-coordinator of Ke Kula Mele's STEEL the ONE! program on Kauai. He studied with Barney Isaacs and has been performing on Kauai as well as South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Tahiti and the U.S. mainland. Ed was one of the featured steel guitarists at last year's Mele Mei Legends of Steel Concert in Waikiki and was a featured steel guitarist at the 3rd Annual Waikiki Beach Walk Steel Guitar Festival in June. Ed will discuss the history, music, and other interesting tidbits about Alvin Kalanikau "Barney" Isaacs, Jr., one of Hawaii's premier steel guitar players.

Open Stage Entertainment

Open Stage Entertainment
Open stage entertainment featuring guest artists and performers will run concurrent to workshops and cultural exhibits. These 30-minute playing sessions will feature a variety of steel guitar musicians including Joel Katz and Ed Punua. Shown here, Jack Aldrich (Seattle, WA), Dave "DK" Kolars (DeKalb, IL), Jamie O'Connell (Bedford, MA), Keen and Alexis (two Next Generation steel guitar students of Ke Kula Mele Hawaii School of Hawaiian Music) and Derrick Mau.

Cultural Exhibits

Nathan Pettigrew

The Festival is proud to present Nathan Pettigrew, master carver from Tauranga, New Zealand. Nathan is of Ngati Porou descent and all of his carvings (except for basic hooks) are one-of-a-kind pieces with much of the inspiration coming from the ocean's inhabitants.

Pettigrew Carvings

Steel Guitar Ho'olaulea

Alaka'i Paleka

Maui's top DJ Alaka'i will emcee Saturday's Steel Guitar Ho'olaulea. Each of the Festival's featured performers will be showcased in 20-minute sets. In addition, some of The Next Generation steel guitar students of Alan Akaka's Ke Kula Mele School of Hawaiian Music, previously showcased at last year's Waikiki Beach Walk Steel Guitar Festival, will perform individually and together. The finale will feature all Ho'olaulea steel guitarists playing together as a group.

Sunday Brunch Entertainment

Sunday Brunch Entertainment

The Ka'anapali Beach Hotel's famous Sunday Brunch will feature performances by Festival artists. Festival attendees are invited to enjoy the brunch at standard hotel rates and experience performances by Greg Sardinha and his group, the Hawaiian Serenaders (Mele Fong and Richard Tom) and Alan Akaka And The Islanders.

Vintage Lap Steel Guitar Exhibit

An exhibit featuring vintage lap steel guitars circa mid-1930s will be presented at the festival. This exhibit will feature vintage Rickenbacher and Gibson lap steel guitars and also include a 1950s Magnatone lap steel guitar. Come and see some of the first lap steel guitars ever manufactured.

Free Commemorative Steel Guitar Tablature

To commemorate the festival, steel guitar master Alan Akaka has written special steel guitar arrangements for Bob Nelson's "Maui Waltz." A special Mahalo to Bob Nelson for granting the Maui Steel Guitar Festival permission to share this song with everyone. These steel guitar tabs are available in two versions, Level 1 and Level 2 for more advanced players. Both are 6-string arrangements in the C6th tuning, and an mp3 backing track is also available. These may be downloaded here.

Download Maui Waltz Steel Guitar Tablature, Level 1 (PDF, 128k)

Download Maui Waltz Steel Guitar Tablature, Level 2 (PDF, 128k)

Download Maui Waltz MP3 Backing Track (4mb)

Note: All music and arrangements © 2013 Ke Kula Mele Hawaii o Akaka, LLC and are provided for personal use only.

The Festival Poster

2013 Maui Steel Guitar Festival Poster

The Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival poster was designed by Addison Ching and Colleen Ricci and features pictures of the five master performers superimposed on a picture of steel guitarist Paul Kim's Fender Stringmaster 8-string Double Neck steel guitar. Click on the image for a larger view.

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