Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association... encouraging the study, teaching and performance of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar

Joliet Hawaiian Music Festival 2012


Our Final Joliet Get-Together was held Oct 3-5, 2013

The 27th time we've all gathered to enjoy the music and fellowship will be Joliet's final year. We had a great turn out and a fun time! Here are some photos from the event. For captions and comments on the photos, please take a look at our facebook page for the Joliet convention! This first set of photos was supplied by Chris Kennison, Judy Van Sickle Maierhofer and Mark Prucha. Click to enlarge.

This next batch was contributed by Kamaka Tom. Click photos to enlarge.

Duke-Ching-Vic-Punua-Paul-Kim-Frank-Miller Ed-Punua-Duke-Ching-and-Victor-PunuaKamaka-Tom-(HI)-Joe-Fox-(IL)-Ed-and-VictorPunua-(HI) Kay-Das-(CA)-on-Steel-GuitarPaul-Kim-on-Steel Steel-guitar-Workshop-with-Ed-Punua-InstructorDuke-Ching-Ed-Punua



This year's Honored Guest at Joliet was Ed Punua from the island of Kaua'i (see photo from Kamaka Tom at left). Ed plays weekly at the Grove Café in Waimea, Kaua'i with his group, The Kama'ainas. The group will soon celebrate their 15th year at the Grove, which is a very laid back, comfortable, Hawaiian-style venue. Unfortunately, it is the only location for weekly Hawaiian steel guitar on the island. Ed, his lovely wife Vanessa and their three boys, Kala'e, Kawai'iki, and Lilikalani recently travelled to Maui to participate in the 2013 Maui Steel Guitar Festival. Kawai'iki and Lilikalani performed as the the Punua Brothers playing a nice arrangement of "Beautiful Kahana." Ed's daughter, Leimomi, also came to Maui where she joined her mother for a few hulas.

Ed's mission is to help perpetuate the Hawaiian steel guitar and keep alive the playing style of his uncle, the great Barney Isaacs. When not playing, Ed works as a CPA and takes time off from his weekly gig during the busy tax season from February through April 15. Vanessa teaches the hula to the keiki on Kaua'i and also gives private lessons for adults. Ed also helps Alan Akaka's Ke Kula Mele school to bring the steel guitar lessons to Kaua'i. Ed's three boys also take steel and guitar lessons from Alan while attending school on O'ahu. Says Ed about Alan Akaka, "He's the bestest!" The last time Ed visited Joliet was in 1996 when their son Kawai'iki was 6 months old. He is now 17 years old and will be a senior at the Kamehameha Schools on O'ahu. Says Vanessa, "Ed is honored by the HSGA invitation and looks forward to reconnecting with some old friends at this year's festival. Mahalo!"

the posterFestival Overview
On Saturday we'll again present a number of teaching seminars for Hawaiian steel guitar and 'ukulele, schedule to be posted at a later date. Our Guest of Honor, Ed Punua, will teach a master Hawaiian steel class on Saturday afternoon. In addition we'll have beginning and intermediate steel guitar seminars presented by HSGA experts, and our friend Terry Truhart will be teaching beginning and intermediate 'ukulele in both morning and afternoon sessions. Like last year, these seminars are free and open to anyone who pays the Saturday festival fee.

If you are interested in Hawaiian music, or just the sound of steel guitar or 'ukulele, the Saturday seminars along with Steel Guitars in Concert all day long in the main convention room, will give you ample opportunity to learn a new lick, ask questions, and enjoy the sounds of the steel guitar. See you there!

If you've never been to the Joliet Festival, you've missed a very unique experience. First timers all say the same thing, "Everyone treats me like an old friend." So, become an "immediate" old friend. Let's see you in Joliet! We'll get you all the festival details and a thorough rundown of the steel and 'ukulele seminars here and in the upcoming Summer issue of the newsletter, so stay tuned.


Newcomers and the public are encouraged to attend this 3-day festival of performances, workshops and Kanikapila. The daily entrance fee is $15.

Thursday will feature opening ceremonies and on-stage music sessions throughout the day. On Thursday evening we will enjoy "Talk Story" with this year's Honored Guest, Ed Punua from Kaua'i, Hawaii.

Friday we will have on-stage music sessions throughout the day. Friday evening will be set aside for more music and jamming.

Saturday workshops! Newcomers and anyone with an interest in 'ukulele and steel guitar will certainly want to check it out.

Music will fill the air as "Steel Guitars in Concert" will be featured morning and afternoon. Expert-led steel guitar and 'ukulele workshops will be held at the same time as on-stage performances on Saturday. Advanced registration for these workshops is not necessary and there is no extra charge - just drop in! Attend as many as you like. Saturday will indeed be a celebration of all Hawaiian music!

As always, the lūʻau and floorshow will cap off the festival on Saturday evening. Reservations are required for the lūʻau dinner and the $25 dinner tickets must be purchased at the festival by noon Saturday. Sorry - no refunds. Tickets for the lūʻau show only are $10 and are available at the door that night.

And don't forget about the legendary all-night jam sessions.

Below is the Saturday workshop schedule. Please check back for detailed on-stage performance schedules for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Legendary All Night Jam Sessions

The legendary HSGA "no sleep, all night" jam sessions happen each night of the festival (including "pre-festival" Wednesday and "post luau" Saturday).†They usually start around 9pm (after the last seminar of the evening). These impromptu, informal, fun and free sessions are open to all musicians and listeners.†The musicians at these sessions are friendly and open. They are enthusiastic and eager to share playing tips, tunings, "talk story" and sometimes even give a quick free lesson. Sitting a foot away from a world-class steel guitarist and watching their hands is the fast track to learning the instrument.

Saturday Night Luau and Floor Show

The traditional HSGA Joliet Saturday night Luau and Floor show is happening again this year!  Join us at 5:30 for pre-luau musical entertainment, cash bar and social hour.  At 7:00 enjoy a Polynesian-style dinner, then sit back and enjoy the Luau Floor Show at 8:00.  Note: There is a separate per-person charge for the luau, payable at the festival.  Luau admission is not included with your festival registration. Luau tickets are available at the festival registration desk.   Luau tickets are only available for purchase during the festival. There are no advance sales. Guests are encouraged to wear their finest Aloha wear!



Playing slots are filled on a first come, first served basis. All performances are 25 minutes INCLUDING SET-UP TIME, and will be assigned by the committee. This will allow us to schedule all music sessions during the day, thus leaving the evenings free for seminars and jam sessions. No music sessions are planned for the evening hours. Register by the recommended deadline. Last minute registrations are not guaranteed a playing time. Please bring at least two sets of chord charts for your back up players.


Questions may be directed to:


- phone (815) 485-6765 or    - phone (815) 351-2140