The Maui Steel Guitar Festival has been developed to promote appreciation and interest in the Hawaiian Steel Guitar as a uniquely Hawaiian music genre. This free, multi-day festival includes a series of performances, presentations, instructional workshops, jam sessions and public and private school visitations that are focused on the Hawaiian Steel Guitar and its importance in the Hawaiian music genre. The Hawaiian Steel Guitar is the only instrument thought to be indigenous to Hawaii.
The festival promotes participation by local residents, particularly young people, through community outreach programs utilizing teams of performers and music educators that will visit several Maui schools. These teams will discuss with students the history of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar, demonstrate playing techniques and the importance of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar in the Hawaiian music genre and perform Hawaiian music to encourage interest and participation at the festival's workshops.
The Maui Steel Guitar Festival was presented each year from 2013 through 2019 by Arts Education for Children Group in collaboration with HIMELE™ - The Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences. Festivals for 2020 and 2021 were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Maui Steel Guitar Festivals is one of a series of annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar festivals and other events produced by the Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences (HIMELE) and its partners.
All festivals are presented to increase awareness and foster interest in the Hawaiian Steel Guitar, an instrument important to Hawaiian music and culture. All these festivals are free and open to the public and made possible through grant awards and donations from Hawai‘i State agencies, corporate sponsors and private individuals, supplemented by in-kind contributions and volunteer resources. Please visit HIMELE's website to see how you can help support our festivals.
The 2023 Festival will be held on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at the Shops at Wailea, and on Sunday, October 15, 2023, at the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center in Kahului. The 2023 festival format will be similar in scope to the 2022 festival and include only ho‘olaule‘a concert performances and a hands-on steel guitar experience. School visitations, Open stage performances, workshops, kanikapila jam sessions, and the vintage steel guitar exhibit have been paused until further notice.
The 2023 festival will feature steel guitarists from O‘ahu and Maui. NextGen keiki steel guitarists will also perform. Check back for program updates.
Click here to read about the history of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar.
Kaua‘i Steel Guitar Festival
Maui Steel Guitar Festival
Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week
Hawai‘i Island Steel Guitar Festival
Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival
Kona Steel Guitar Festival