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Planning a visit to Kauai? We regularly add news and information about events, activities, and places to see on The Garden Isle.

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Sheila Heathcote has lived in Hawaii since 1986. She's a published author on the topic of Kauai and the owner of Hale O Nanakai Bed & Breakfast.

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Friday
Oct262012

Slack Key Festival features "Masters" Nov. 18 on Kauai

A free 'ki'ho'alu" festival will grace the stage at the kauai Beach Resort near Lihue Airport on Kauai on Sunday, November 18 from 12 noon until 5 PM.

Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar (ki-ho'alu) is a truly one of the greatest acoustic guitar traditions in the world.  Ki-ho'alu, which literally means "loosen the key," is the Hawaiian language name for the solo finger picked style unique to Hawai'i.  In this tradition, the strings (or keys)" are "slacked" to produce major chord, or a chord with a major 7th note, or sometimes one with a 6th note in it.  Each tuning produces a lingering sound behind the melody and  has characteristic resonance and fingering.

Many Hawaiian songs and slack key guitar pieces reflect themes like stories of the past and present and people's lives.  But it is the tropical surroundings of  Hawai'i, with its oceans, volcanoes and mountains, waterfalls, forest, plants and animals, that provide the deepest source of inspiration for Hawaiian music.

2012 will mark the 30th anniversary of the festival in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, the 20th anniversary on Kauai and Hawaii and the 21st anniversary on the island of Maui. We continue to be focus and enthusiastic about the music and where we have been and where we are headed. The music is now part of genre known as "World Music" and someday we hope that through the efforts of all of the musicians that perform it, the producers, record companies, the many festivals produced throughout Hawaii and overseas and our loyal Hawaii based corporate sponsors as well as those on the mainland such as Taylor Guitars and Dancing Cat Productions that Ki-ho'alu will be recognized throughout the world as truly a great guitar tradition. Since 2005, a category for Hawaiian Music was created by NARAS or better known as the "Grammy Awards" and Slack Key Guitar has won the coveted award for 4 years straight over some of the best artists from Hawaii.