Island star to perform Wednesday at Foundry |

Island star to perform Wednesday at Foundry


WHO: Makana In Concert

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, Doors 6:30 p.m,

WHERE: Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City

TICKETS: $20 in Advance, $25 at the Door and available online at, by phone at 530-265-5040, or in person at

Miners Foundry or Briar Patch Co-Op.

INFO: 530-265-5040 or

Wednesday, internationally acclaimed world musician and slack-key guitarist Makana will return to the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. His solo performance is a ride through the breadth of slack key, folk, rock, bluegrass, ethnic and jazz, and his distinctly original songs are infused with the spirit of Hawai’i.

Makana’s captivating and wide-ranging performance style has led him to share the stage with a diverse range of musicians including Jason Mraz, Santana, Sting, Elvis Costello, Michael Franti, Cachaito Lopez of Buena Vista Social Club, Andreas Vollenweider and Buffy Sainte-Marie.

His guitar playing has been featured on three Grammy-nominated albums, including the soundtrack of the Academy-Award winning film “The Descendants.”

“I found his concert last year to be inspirational, motivating and magical,” said Gretchen Bond, executive director of the Miners Foundry.

“He is as authentic on stage as he is off, unassuming and committed to his passions. He loved the acoustics, energy and feel of the Stone Hall at the Foundry and I am excited to be bringing this bright, young talent back to Nevada City.”

Makana will perform songs from his latest release “Ripe,” produced by multi-platinum producer Ron Nevison (The Who, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones) and renowned producer Mitchell Froom (Crowded House, Elvis Costello, Bonnie Raitt), with breathtaking arrangements by Grammy award-winning keyboardist and composer Jeff Bova (Celine Dion, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton) and production and engineering by Hawai’i’s award-winning producer/engineer Pierre Grill.

“Ripe” is the most diverse Makana album to date, brimming with acoustic surf music, slack key, symphonic epics, folk, rock, pop, Mediterranean, Appalachian and traditional Hawaiian sounds.

It celebrates his collective musical journey and reflects his exciting live performances, showcasing a new side of Makana as a powerful composer.

Songs include “Manic,” “the happy song for sadness,” “Nectarine,” a sexy love ballad that always goes over big at his live shows, his long-loved cover of Zeppelin’s “Going to California,” a tribute to slack key master Gabby Pahinui in Hi’ilawe, a groundbreaking guitar duet with renowned Maui guitar master Jeff Peterson, the heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballad “Tears” and Makana’s anthemic protest song “We Are The Many,” among others.

Born and raised in Hawai’i, Makana grew up on the shores of Waikiki amid the likes of legend Don Ho and young Elvis-impersonator Bruno Mars. Makana — whose name means “a gift given freely” — began singing when he was 7 years old, took up ukulele at 9 and began learning the ancient art of slack key at 11.

By 14, he was performing professionally, and before long playing five nights a week. His reputation as the youngest virtuoso of slack key spread like molten volcanic lava throughout the islands.

A protégé of the Hawaiian slack key guitar legends, including Bobby Moderow Jr. and the late master Uncle Sonny Chillingworth, Makana has dedicated his life to perpetuating as well as evolving the traditional Hawaiian art form.

Slack key or Ki Ho’alu, more than 200 years old and indigenous to Hawai’i, was created by ohana (families) on the different islands as a personal folk music expression of their beautiful surroundings and way of life.

The style is characterized by “slacking” the strings to open chords, thus freeing the hands to alter the sound while self-accompanying with a triad of alternating bass patterns, faux rhythms and sweet melodies evocative of island atmospheres.

Think “three guitars in one.”

From this tradition, Makana has evolved his own dynamic, high-octane style, coined “Slack Rock”: slack key infused with elements of bluegrass, rock, blues and raga.

Makana’s playing has garnered praise from such guitar luminaries as Kirk Hammett (Metallica) and Pepe Romero (Spanish flamenco master).

A contributor to the 2007 Grammy-nominated “Hawaiian Slack Key Kings Vol. I” and 2009 Grammy-nominated “Hawaiian Slack Key Kings Vol II,” Makana is considered one of the “greatest living players” (Esquire Magazine) whose “instrumental brilliance bears comparison with the work of such groundbreaking acoustic guitarists as John Fahey and Michael Hedges” (Maui News).

The focus of Makana’s art is to celebrate the beauty of tradition while exploring new, relevant perceptions, sounds and themes.

In his music he often honors his forebears, the vintage Hawaiian music legends as well as the rock poet idols of the ‘60s, paying homage to the kupuna (elders) who carry within their beings the cultural wisdom passed down through generations.

To reward his fans and celebrate 25 years as an artist, Makana will release a 25-song double CD recorded live and captured completely on analog — made accessible only at concerts on this tour.

Fans who attend will get exclusive access to the double album, featuring songs he has performed live but never before recorded, as well as an in-depth sampling of the traditional Hawaiian slack key guitar the artist grew up on.

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. Wednesday show are $20 in advance, $25 at the door and available at online at, by phone at 530-265-5040, or in person at Miners Foundry or Briar Patch Co-Op.

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