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, 3-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 hotel workshops.
The Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival has been presented each year through 2019 by non-profit Arts Education for Children Group and produced by HIMELETM - The Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences. The festival is presented for public awareness, education and entertainment. Funding for the festival, free and open to the public, comes from grants, donations and other underwriting and in-kind contributions. This program is supported in part by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaii and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Please see the "Support Us" section of this website for others who help make this festival possible.
AECG will independently produce a Maui Hawaiian Steel Guitar Featival at a venue of its choosing. HIMELE may pursue its own festival at some future point in time and at a resort property consistent with the format and content of its festivals on Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i Island. Please check back for information as it becomes available.
School visitations are a very important part of the Festival not commonly seen by the general public. Presentations are made by festival teams comprising some master players, NextGen steel guitarists, and other musicians. These teams, upon invitation, travel to various Maui schools at all levels from elementary to high school and present an educational and musical program that introduces attendees to the Hawaiian Steel Guitar. At the end of the presentation, attendees are invited to ask questions and try out the steel guitar if they desire.
If you or your Maui public or private school would like a visitation and presentation, please check back to sign up.
Open Stage sessions are an integral part of the festival and provide opportunities for steel guitarists to perform in front of a live audience, develop their stage persona and performing experience, and share their talents with festival guests. Please check back to sign up when festival plans are published.
Click here to read about the history of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar.