Spotlight on Music – Slack Key Festival
Over 1,000 Guests in Attendance
The Slack Key Festival returned to the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center for its 16th year in January, bringing the biggest and brightest names in Hawaiian music to the mainland. The annual event took fans on a Hawaiian musical journey, showcasing Grammy-winning slack key guitarists, the best hula dancers in the world, and an Island Marketplace. The line-up featured George Kuo, one of Hawaii’s premier Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar artists; Makaha Sons, one of Hawaii’s leading Hawaiian musical groups; Sonny Lim, a member of Hawaii’s famous musical Lim family; and Jeff Peterson, winner of eight Na Hōkū Hanohano Awards. Played from the heart and soul through the fingers, and flowing with vivid tropical images, Hawaiian ki ho’alu (slack key) is truly one of the great acoustic guitar traditions of the world. In slack key, some of the strings are “slacked” from the standard guitar tuning, with the thumb playing the bass notes while the other fingers play the melody and improvise in a finger-picked style.
Photos by Sari Makki Photography