Slack Key Masters' concert series returns to Maui Arts & Cultural Center (MACC) on Thursday, July 19, in the McCoy Studio Theater with special guest guitarist John Keawe.
Keawe, a songwriter and slack key guitarist from the Kohala Coast of Hawai'i Island, infuses his music with the spirit of aloha and many elements of his life.
He grew up with rock and roll music, listening to singer-songwriters. When he returned home after a tour of duty in the Navy, he was drawn to the sound of Hawaiian slack key tunings. He listened and watched as he taught himself to play this style of music. Through the years, he developed his own distinct style and composed his own songs.
John and Hope Keawe will perform at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on Thursday, July 19, in the McCoy Studio Theater.
Keawe has released 10 records in his career and has been honored with four Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, including 2009 Slack Key Album of the Year for "Hawai'i Island... Is My Home" and 2011 Slack Key Album of the Year for "Play with Me, Papa."
His lovely wife, Hope Keawe, is an elegant hula dancer who has become an integral part of John's performances.
For the Slack Key Masters concert format, George Kahumoku Jr, who is a multiple Grammy Award winner and master slack key guitar player, hosts and opens the show. George delights audiences with stories and anecdotes about his life and his music. The second half of the program highlights a special guest artist who is well known in the Hawaiian music scene. For the finale, both artists come together on stage. Think of it as a laid-back, kanikapila-style concert in a casual and intimate setting at the MACC.
Tickets are available at the MACC Box Office for $25 and $45 for VIP seating (plus applicable fees), which also includes a sound-check view and talk-story with artists at 6:30 p.m.
Enjoy pre-show dining in the McCoy Courtyard from 5:30 p.m., catered by Kalama's.
For tickets, call 242-SHOW (7469) or order online at MauiArts.org.