September 26, 27 and 28, 2024
Hilton Garden Inn
Emeryville, California

By Roberto Alaniz

The Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association will hold its 2024 Festival on September 26, 27 and 28, 2024 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Emeryville, California. Emeryville is a city bordering Berkeley and Oakland, just across the bay from San Francisco. The Saturday night Luau Dinner and Show will be held at Trader Vic’s Polynesian Restaurant in Emeryville, just a half mile from the hotel.

This year, the festival will honor the late Alvin Kalanikau “Barney” Isaacs, Hawaiian steel guitarist and entertainer. Barney Isaacs had a long and storied music career as a steel guitar player, including 25 years with the Hawai’i Calls radio show. His playing style was unique and true to the traditional Hawaiian steel guitar sound. Please see the brief biography on Barney Isaacs that is included in this newsletter.

According to Barney’s wife, Cookie Isaacs, Barney loved to play the steel guitar but was not as enthusiastic about teaching others to play the instrument. He only taught a couple of young persons to play during his career.


Saturday afternoon will again feature local guest professional steel guitar players. Super Saturday, as we have tagged this portion of the three-day festival, has attracted many new comers during the past two years and has become a highlight of the annual event.

The following is a summary schedule for the three-day festival:

Thursday, September 26, 2024
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 Noon Check-In/Registration
12:00 Noon – 1:00 pm. Welcome/Annual Member Meeting
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Member Performances
4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. TBD
5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Dinner Break
7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Workshop (TBD)
8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Kanikapila/Jam Session

Friday, September 27, 2024
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 Noon Member Performances
12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m. No Host Lunch (several area restaurants)
1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Member Performances
4:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. TBD
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Dinner Break
7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Talk Story with Ed Punua
8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Kanikapila/Jam Session

Saturday, September 24, 2023
9:30 a.m. – 12:00 Noon Member Performances
12:00 Noon – 1:00 p.m. No Host Lunch
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday Super-Show

Saturday Evening Luau/Dinner Show (Trader Vic’s Restaurant)
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Social/Happy Hour
6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Dinner & Show (Music by Mikiya Matsuda & The Alcratraz
Islanders, with Special TBD


Members who plan on attending the festival must complete and return the festival registration form by August 30, 2024. If you would like to perform at the festival, please complete the Performer portion of the registration form, Both forms can also be completed online at the website. For those who wish to perform, keep in mind that you do not have to play an entire 25 minute set. Just let us know on the registration form how much play time you would like. If possible, we do request that you include one song by Barney Isaacs in your set.

The hotel of choice for this event is the Hilton Garden Inn-Emeryville. The hotel has set aside a block of suites for our Festival guests at the rate of $179 per night. (daily breakfast buffet for two included). Please reserve by no later than September 7, 2024.

Hotel reservations may be made here.
or, you may call 510-658-9300 and select the option for the front desk. The front desk person should be able to help make the reservation. Please mention the event dates (for reservation purposes, September 25 through September 29and the group code “HSGA”.

If the front desk is busy and transfers you to the Central Reservations Line, mention that you want to book at the Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge in Emeryville, as well as the HSGA group code.


The City of Emeryville operates a bus service which stops at the hotel. The bus connects with the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) Train, which in turn connects with Oakland and San Francisco Airports, as well as most major cities in the Bay Area, including downtown San Francisco.


Ticket prices for the festival are as follows:

• $150 for 3 day pass (not including Saturday Luau Dinner)
• $60 per day (Thursday/Friday)
• $30 Saturday only
• $100 per person Saturday Night Luau Dinner & Show

Non Members:
• $180 for a 3 day pass (not including Saturday Luau Dinner)
• $70 per day (Thursday/Friday)
• $40 Saturday only ($15 for new members who join on Saturday)
• $110 per person Saturday Night Luau Dinner & Show
(HINT for non-members: Join HSGA before July 1 and get the festival member rate and the benefits of membership for 12 months.)

• $10 per day (not including Saturday Night Luau Dinner & Show)

Tickets may be purchased online through
(Zeffy is a free service for non-profit organizations, but they do request a donation from the ticket buyer.)

Tickets may also be purchased by check, payable to The Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association. Mail to:

HSGA 2024 Festival
c/o: Roberto Alaniz
2145 Tiffany Walk
Manteca, CA 945336-9555

If you have any fun and interesting items that you would like to donate for a festival raffle, please
contact me.