At last year’s Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival, Alan Akaka shows a guest how the steel guitar works while Maui steeler Geri Valdriz (right) looks on. (Photo courtesy of Don Touchi)

NextGen musicians help prepare instruments for the Waikīkī festival steel guitar exhibit. (Photo courtesy of Addison Ching)

By Daniel M. Tremblay

Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week, incorporating the Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival, is a week-long event celebrating Hawaiian music and the Hawaiian steel guitar. This year’s third annual event will be held at the Royal Hawaiian Center’s Royal Grove stage during the week of July 15-20, 2019, immediately preceding the annual ‘Ukulele Festival Hawaiʻi. The scheduling of the festival provides opportunities for fans of either instrument to expand their music experience by participating in both events.

The 2019 Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week will feature nightly performances on Monday through Thursday beginning at 6 PM. Each night will feature performances by a different steel guitar master or steel guitar ensemble including the NextGen steel guitarists and musicians.

The week will culminate with the Tenth Annual Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival on Friday and Saturday evenings. The 2019 lineup will feature popular Hawaiʻi and Japan steel guitar masters including Japan’s premier steel guitarist Kiyoshi “Lion” Kobayashi along with NextGen steel guitar students of the Ke Kula Mele Hawaiʻi School of Hawaiian Music. In addition, the festival will feature performances by Alan Akaka and the Islanders, Greg Sardinha, Geronimo “Geri” Valdriz and other popular steel guitarists in individual programs of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music and dance. There will be an open stage on Saturday late morning to early afternoon (new this year). There will be a steel guitar exhibit in Helumoa Hale, and “hands-on” demonstrations for those interested in trying their hand at the steel guitar.

NextGen steel guitar students Pono Fernandez, Mālie Lyman, Joey Misailidis, Ho‘ailona Mahuka, NextGen musician Tai Misailidis and others may also perform, accompanied by Alan Akaka and Addison Ching on guitars. We’ll make an official list of performing artists available when the program is finalized.

The festival is presented free to the public by the Royal Hawaiian Center in association with the Hawaiʻi Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences (HIMELE). This program is supported in part by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaiʻi and by the National Endow­ment for the Arts.

Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week is free and open to the public. Parking is available at the Royal Hawaiian Center parking garage. Standard parking rates apply with validated parking available with a $10 purchase from any center merchant. The Royal Hawaiian Center is located at 2201 Kalākaua Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi 96815.

For late-breaking details go the the event website at Waikiki Steel Guitar Week, call the Royal Hawaiian Center at (808) 922-2299, or contact Alan Akaka at

In this issue:

Fort Collins Guest John Ely
Newsletter Goes “Electronic”
Waikīkī Steel Week Preview
Unloved in its Homeland?
Ka Oiwi Nani
HSGA Japan’s Fourth Biennial Convention
WCC Hawaiian Steel Guitar Lessons a Success!
Polynesian Meatballs Recipe
A “Techno-Tale” From Kona Beach
My Wonderful Years In Music
HSGA Staff & info

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