HSGA’s 34th Annual Mainland Festival

Sept 17-19 at the Hilton, Fort Collins, Colorado

Geronimo “Geri” Valdriz is our guest artist this year.

We are pleased to announce that Geri Valdriz will be our Guest Artist for our upcoming Fort Collins Festival in September. Geri is an established lap steel guitarist living in Waiehu, Maui. His passion is Kika Kila, the Hawaiian style of playing the steel guitar. Through music and mele, Geri seeks to capture the essence and soul of the instrument.

Geri is a member of the Maui slack key guitar bands Ola Hou, Maui Jam, and the Kika Kila Band. He plays at slack key and steel guitar concerts, hula shows, lūʻaus , and island-style gatherings on Maui. He also tours in the U.S. and Japan, bringing the sound of the steel guitar to shores far away.

Geri has recorded the following instrumental CDs: Lap Steel Harmony, Breath of Steel, Kika Kila, and The Art of Steel. He has also recorded for various artists on Maui.
Geri is a guest steel guitarist at George Kahumoku’s Slack Key Guitar Show on Maui, and has taught the steel guitar workshop at Keola Beamer’s Aloha Music Camp. He also played steel guitar on the recent Project Kuleana video, Nā Keiki O Ka Pūnana Leo O Maui.

Geri is the musical host for a live weekly radio show called Hawaiian Steel. The program is dedicated to Kika Kila, its music, and its great players from the past to the present. It is broadcast every Tuesday from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Mana‘o Radio, KMNO, 91.7FM from Wailuku, Maui. You can catch it on the air, or streaming live at www.manaoradio.com.

Geri curated the History of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar exhibits at the Story of Hawaiʻi Museum in Lahaina and Kahului. He also presents the Vintage Steel Guitar Display at steel guitar festivals across the Hawaiian Islands.
Geri is a student of steel guitar master Jerry Byrd and plays a pre-war Rickenbacher A-22 frypan model in the A6 tuning. His favorite steel guitarists include Andy Iona, Dick McIntire, David “Feet” Rogers and Gabby Pahinui.
Currently Geri plays the steel guitar every Thursday at the Maui Coffee Attic in Wailuku and every Sunday at the Kahului Airport. Ka‘ua e ho‘o kani ka kika kila! (Come and play steel guitar with me!)

Malie Lyman will be our scholarship guest artist at Fort Collins this year.

Tickets available:

Brown Paper Tickets

People can book their rooms online at the Hilton using this link

Or they can call the Hilton directly:

Attendees can start booking their reservations by calling 970-482-2626 and requesting the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association room block. Your guest’s group code is AHS. Your guests will have until August 17th to make their room reservations at the discounted room rate. After this date, any remaining guest rooms will be released back to the hotel to sell.


Meet our HSGA President
Frank Della-Penna
Washington DC, US

Frank started on Hawaiian steel guitar at the Harlin Brothers Studio in Indianapolis.  In New York City, Frank studied Hawaiian guitar with vaudville artist Roy Smeck, and nose flute and other Hawaiian rhythm implements under Calvin Ho.  On Okinawa, he studied samisen under Teruya Kinyehi.

In the mid-90’s, Frank hosted and produced a public radio show, devoted to Hawaiian music and culture.  He has a vast library of recordings, ranging from early wax Edison cylinders to CDs.  Frank initiated a visit to the University of Hawaii with Kamaka Tom on behalf of Dirk Vogel to monitor their progress on digitizing the Vogel collection.  Frank is a long-standing member of both HSGA and Aloha International.  He has served on the Board of Govenors for the Hawaii State Society and performed for several years with the Aloha Boys, the Halau O’ Aulani and has performed in the U.S. Capital for the Kamehameha Lei Drapping ceremonies.

As a current HSGA board member, he has brought new members into the club, arranged for the publication of the Inaugural advertisement in the Hawaii State Society ball program, publicized HSGA outside of the U.S. by answering foreign inquiries, drafts Board minutes and serves on the Scholarship Committee.  Frank is passionately commited to expanding the reach of HSGA, to better serving its members, and to fostering HSGA collaboration with other organizations devoted to Hawaiian music and culture around the world.

As an accomplished steel guitarist, Frank teaches steel guitar to young and older musicians alike and frequently performs at steel guitar conventions with great aclaim.  Frank’s favorite guitarists: Isaacs, Ho’opii, Ah See, Feet Rogers, Aiona, Puaonaona Almeida, Kelii, Castro, Pahinui and Bright. He served 6 years in the Marine Corps and retired after 38 years of service in state and federal law enforcement agencies.  Frank resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq.


Email Safety


Scams 101. Have you recently received an email that appears to be from an HSGA member in need of money for a trip back home or some other strange emergency? This is a common type of scam in which hackers gain access to someone’s email address book (or more recently, Facebook account) and send messages to all of his or her contacts. One of our members has recently found himself the victim of this scam and his friends are receiving emails of this nature. The best course of action is to delete the email immediately.