“Slack-key guitar music, indigenous to Hawaii, has been around longer than the blues, and Makana is considered the greatest living player.”
— Esquire Magazine
The Miners Foundry Cultural Center will present internationally acclaimed world musician and slack-key guitarist Makana Wednesday. It is one of only four Northern California performances and the only one in the Sacramento/Sierra foothills area.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Makana is one of Hawaii’s cultural ambassadors to the world. He is considered the youngest authority on his art form and recognized as one of the top guitarists in the U.S., according to Guitar Player Magazine.
“Makana is one of those unique artists that creates pure magic in his performances, blending the classic music of Hawaii with his own modern take,” said KVMR DJ Mikail Graham, who brought Makana to Nevada City two years ago. “So much more than just one of the finest slack-key guitar players on the scene today, Makana is one of the greats, and I urge you not to miss this opportunity to see him live in concert.”
Makana’s music transcends category and trend by integrating elements of folk, rock, ethnic, classical, bluegrass, jazz, traditional, ambient, electronic and Hawaiian slack-key in gentle to commanding arrangements. The result is innovation and the charting of new sonic frontiers with deep ties to tradition.
The roots of his music are deeply cultural: Ki Ho’alu, or “slack key,” is the indigenous Hawaiian art form that is the foundation upon which Makana creates ground-breaking original music and reanimates classics. Playing bass, rhythm and melody simultaneously while employing intricate fretting techniques in myriad open tunings, slack-key players (there are but a handful alive today) are versatile and evocative. Makana sings in multiple languages.
“Makana is truly a gifted singer/songwriter. His original English lyrics are brimming with emotion and steeped in the Hawaiian storytelling tradition. His mastery of slack-key guitar began with his mentors Sonny Chillingworth, Gabby Pahinui, Atta Issacs. He has become so comfortable with this medium that he can create a tuning to enhance the mood of each song he writes,” said Michael Keene, host of the popular radio show “Kanikapila” on KVMR. “The Hawaiians have an expression, ‘chicken skin’ to explain the strong feelings of joy we all experience. I hope that many of our community will come out and share an evening of ‘chicken skin music’ with Makana.”
Tickets to his 7:30 p.m. performance Wednesday are $18 in advance, $24 at the door and are available online at http:// minersfoundry.org, by phone at 530-265-5040 or in person at Miners Foundry or BriarPatch Co-Op.
For information, go to http://minersfoundry.org.