The Maui Steel Guitar Festival has been developed to promote appreciation and interest in the Hawaiian Steel Guitar as a uniquely Hawaiian music genre. This free, multi-day festival includes a series of performances, presentations, instructional workshops, jam sessions and public and private school visitations that are focused on the Hawaiian Steel Guitar and its importance in the Hawaiian music genre. The Hawaiian Steel Guitar is the only instrument thought to be indigenous to Hawaii.
The festival promotes participation by local residents, particularly young people, through community outreach programs utilizing teams of performers and music educators that will visit several Maui schools. These teams will discuss with students the history of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar, demonstrate playing techniques and the importance of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar in the Hawaiian music genre and perform Hawaiian music to encourage interest and participation at the festival's workshops.
The Maui Steel Guitar Festival was presented each year from 2013 through 2019 by Arts Education for Children Group in collaboration with HIMELE™ - The Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences. Festivals for 2020 and 2021 were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Maui Steel Guitar Festivals is one of a series of annual Hawaiian Steel Guitar festivals and other events produced by the Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences (HIMELE) and its partners.
All festivals are presented to increase awareness and foster interest in the Hawaiian Steel Guitar, an instrument important to Hawaiian music and culture. All these festivals are free and open to the public and made possible through grant awards and donations from Hawai‘i State agencies, corporate sponsors and private individuals, supplemented by in-kind contributions and volunteer resources. Please visit HIMELE's website to see how you can help support our festivals.
The 2022 Festival will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2022, at the Shops at Wailea, and on Sunday, October 16, 2022, at the Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center in Kahului. The 2022 festival will be a condensed version of prior festivals and include only ho‘olaule‘a concert performances and possibly a vintage steel guitar exhibit depending on available display space. Open stage, workshops, and kanikapila jam sessions will return next year.
The 2022 festival will likely feature O‘ahu steel guitarists Alan Akaka, Bobby Ingano, Greg Sardinha, and Joseph Zayac, and Maui steel guitarists Geronimo "Geri" Valdriz, Konopiliahi Lau, and Joel Katz. NextGen keiki steel guitarists will also perform. The complete lineup will be annnouced when it is finalized.
School visitations may be offered if there is sufficient interest. If you or your Maui public or private school would like a visitation and presentation on Friday, October 16, 2022, please see the Contact Page and make your request.
Click here to read about the history of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar.