Makana: Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Concert

FREE for conference attendees and faculty
$40 guest admission

Saturday | Nov. 10th | 8:00 – 9:30pm

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Makana: Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Concert

November 10, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am


We are delighted to announce that Makana, the internationally known and loved master of Hawaiian slack key guitar, will perform Saturday evening, November 10, at the Kauai Writers Conference for all attendees and faculty. His playing has been called “dazzling” by the New York Times. He is considered by many to be the greatest living performer of this treasure trove of Hawaiian music. While always paying homage to the traditions of his art form, he brings it fresh life with his astounding original compositions.

This performance is included without additional cost for all Kauai Writers Conference attendees. It is also open, at a nominal charge, to your guests and friends of the conference.

There are a limited number of seats available so we strongly encourage you to reserve spaces for your guests.

Born and raised in Hawai’i, Makana is an internationally recognized master of the rare Hawaiian art of Slack Key Guitar. Not to be confused with steel (slide) guitar, slack key is older than the blues and was created by Hawaiians in the early 1800s as a way of simulating 3 guitars in one by playing bass, rhythm and melody in beautiful “open” tunings unique to the islands. A protégé of various Hawaiian slack key legends, Makana uses over a hundred tunings to fashion a massive, resonant, symphonic sound without use of loop pedals or other trickery. His repertoire is diverse and accessible- this is not the Hawaiian music from 1930s Hollywood! Out of slack key Makana has fashioned a hybrid style of slack key, blues and bluegrass he calls “Slack Rock”. He has supported acts ranging from Santana and Sting to Jason Mraz, Joe Walsh of The Eagles, Bad Company, Leon Russell, Chris Isaak, Chris Botti, Elvis Costello, Common, Gotye, Jack Johnson and many others. A former TEDx presenter, Makana recently graced the cover of Frets magazine, the acoustic companion to the world’s most popular guitar magazine Guitar Player.

“Slack key guitar, indigenous to Hawai’i, is older than the blues, and Makana is considered the greatest living player.”
Esquire Magazine

Enjoy his video answer to the question, “What is slack key?”

His music has been featured on 3 Grammy®-nominated records including the soundtrack for Academy Award-winning film The Descendants. Makana’s sound ventures into the folk/ bluegrass/ acoustic rock realm. His voice is reminiscent of Tracy Chapman/ Jeff Buckley. Guitar Player magazine voted him one of the Top 3 guitarists in America in 2008.

You can listen to his take on Hawaiian slack key classics here.



November 10, 2018
10:00 am - 11:30 am


Kauai Marriott Ballroom
3610 Rice St
Lihue, HI 96766 United States
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Kauai Writers Conference