By Wayne Harada
Some of Hawaii’s top steel guitar wizards will stage the Third Annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival from 1 to 7 p.m. today (June 17) at the Plaza Stage of Waikiki Beach Walk on Lewers Street.
Held as part of an ongoing Na Mele No Na Pua Music Heritage series at the site, the event is themed “Pakiko Ho’okani (Smooth Playing),” the festival will showcase the steely sounds by the pros, along with a steel guitar workshop and expo.
“The steel guitar community is thrilled to be back at Waikiki Beach Walk to showcase what Hawaiian Steel Guitar is all about,” said Alan Akaka, who carries on the tradition of perpetuating the vintage Hawaii sound of yesteryear as a active steel guitarist, entertainer, music teacher and director of Ke Kula Mele Hawaii, which is devoted to the growth and preservation of steel guitarmanship.“As the interest in the steel guitar continues to grow, it is our pleasure and privilege to be able to share this wonderful instrument and gift to all who would like to learn.”
Akaka will be joined by steel masters Greg Sardinha, Ed Punua, Eddie Palama, and Pomai Brown, along with next-generation performers aged 11 through 18, including Keen Aloysius Ching, Mark Prucha, Alexis Tolentino, Raven Young and Sidney Pang.
• Concert , 1 to 7 p.m. — Talent timetable to be announced.
• Clinic Workshop, 1 to 6:30 p.m– Fans may learn the basics of steel performance with a quickie lesson, at the Waikiki Beach Walk Studio on the second level.
• Steel Guitar Expo, 1 to 6:30 p.m. — Hands-on exhibit and demonstrations in the expo tent; discover the history and origins of steel guitar.
Admission is free.