Maui Steel Guitar Festival

2018 Program

Click to see the festival's event schedules

A STEEL GUITAR EXHIBIT featuring vintage lap steel guitars will be on display, some dating back to the 1930s.

FRIDAY SCHOOL PRESENTATIONS The festival's educational component provides learning opportunities for local area schools. These educational presentations will be made by teams of festival steel guitar masters and are geared towards reintroducing the Hawaiian steel guitar to the younger generation and to get them interested in the instrument and its importance in Hawaiian music. If your Maui school is interested in such a presentation and has not been contacted, please fill out the contact form to reserve your opportunity.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY OPEN STAGE SESSIONS where Hawaiian steel guitarists or bands with a Hawaiian Steel Guitar will present 30-minute programs to festival attendees. Performances will be presented from mid-morning through early afternoon.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY EVENING HO‘OLAULE‘A programs will showcase each of the Festival's featured performers in individual programs. A different group of steel guitar masters and artists will be featured each night.

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY EVENING KANIKAPILA jam sessions will be held in the 'Ohana Room. Festival guests are invited to bring their instruments, amplifiers, and music stands as appropriate and play along Hawaiian-style with the steel guitar masters.

SATURDAY WORKSHOPS covering various steel guitar topics will be offered.

SUNDAY HO‘OLAULE‘A at Kahului's Queen Ka‘ahamanu Center will feature a steel guitar exhibit and several steel guitar masters in individual programs.

Featured Steel Guitarists

Next Generation Steel Guitar Players

"Next Generation" Steel Guitar students of Ke Kula Mele Hawaii School of Hawaiian Music will perform for festival attendees' enjoyment. These steel guitarists as young as age 12 will play individually during the Open Stage Entertainment and in the main evening program.

Special Guest Darren Lee
Darren Lee, Elvis Impersonator

Darren Lee, Elvis impersonator at Burn'n Love, Maui's #1 Show according to Trip Advisor, will make a guest appearance immediately following Friday's open stage performances.

A natural performer, he developed an interest in Elvis music at age 3. At age 21 he entered an Elvis contest in his hometown and won 2nd place. He decided in 1988 to perform as Elvis professionally. In 1997, he competed in the World Elvis Competition and won the title of #1 Best Elvis Impersonator in the World.

He appears four nights a week at the Burn'n Love Blue Hawaii Lu‘au at Maui Theater.


Steel guitar workshops will include "What Tuning To Use" by Alan Akaka, "Chiming with Bobby Ingano," "Talk Story with Patti Maxine," and "The Other Side of Hawaiian Music" with Greg Sardinha.

Open Stage Entertainment - Friday and Saturday Daytime

Friday and Saturday Open stage entertainment will feature guest artists and performers. These 30-minute playing sessions will showcase steel guitarists and steel guitar schools from all over the world. This year's performances include students from three Hawaiian music schools from Japan and Hawaii.

Steel Guitar Ho'olaule'a - Friday and Saturday Evenings

Kathy Collins

This year's festival will feature two different Ho‘olaule‘a programs on Friday and Saturday, each hosted by Maui actress, comedienne, storyteller and radio personality Kathy Collins. Each ho‘olaule‘a will showcase a different lineup of the Festival's featured performers.

Vintage Lap Steel Guitar Exhibit

Geri Valdriz at the Exhibit

An exhibit featuring vintage lap steel guitars circa mid-1930s will be presented at the festival. This exhibit will feature vintage Richenbacher and Gibson lap steel guitars and also include a 1950s Magnatone lap steel guitar. Steel guitarist Geri Valdriz is the exhibit's curator and is responsible for many of the instruments on display. Come and see some of the first lap steel guitars ever manufactured.

Queen Ka‘ahamanu Center Program

This year's festival will be held at two venues. Upon conclusion of the main festival at the Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel, select master steel guitarists from Hawaii and Japan will continue performances at the Queen Ka‘ahamanu Center in Kahului from 11 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Sunday. The vintage lap steel guitar exhibit will also be on display at the center.

The Proclamation

Maui County mayor Alan M. Arakawa or a representative from his office will present a Mayoral proclamation on Sunday, April 15 at noon, declaring the week of April 9-15, 2018, as Maui Steel Guitar Appreciation Week. See the text of the proclamation here.

The Festival Posters

2018 Maui Steel Guitar Festival Poster

The Maui Steel Guitar Festival poster was designed by Addison Ching features pictures of the master performers superimposed on a picture of a Asher Alan Akaka Limited Edition 8-string Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar. Logos of major festival supporters are also included on the poster.

2018 Maui Steel Guitar Festival Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center Poster

The Maui Steel Guitar Festival Queen Ka‘ahamanu Center poster is similar in design to the main festival poster with the Center's featured performers and program. Click on the thumbnail for a larger view.