Hawaiian Slack Key Guitarist Makana Returns To Benaroya Hall For 'The Sunset Tour'
Described as dazzling by the New York Times, Makana is an internationally acclaimed guitarist, singer, composer and activist who is widely known for lending his musical talent for social change. He has been a TEDx talk presenter, and his guitar playing has been featured on three Grammy-nominated albums, including the soundtrack of the Academy-Award winning film The Descendants.
In 2011, at the apex of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Makana's song We Are The Many went viral on YouTube garnering more than half a million collective views and was coined the Occupy Anthem by Rolling Stone Magazine. His performance of the song at an APEC World Leaders' Dinner hosted by the Obamas also went viral and became the #1 news story on Yahoo worldwide for two days, garnering appearances on CNN, BBC, ABC, Democracy Now!, Sean Hannity and other major news outlets. Makana's captivating and wide-ranging performance style has led him to share the stage with Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson, open for music legends Sting, Carlos Santana and Elvis Costello, and perform in venues ranging from Asian and European opera houses to The White House.
In 2018, Makana spent much of the year using his talents to kokua (help) the people of Hawai'i, from a benefit with Jack Johnson for the flood victims of Kaua'i to concerts to support cancer-stricken legendary Hawaiian musician Uncle Willie K and organizations like the Kaua'i Lifeguards Association and Kua o Ka L Hawaiian Charter School (which was covered by the lava flow in Puna). He staged multiple sold-out tribute concerts honoring past Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar greats throughout the islands, and donated his time to perform at the Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundations Gala. In the fall, Makana debuted as an actor in the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical South Pacific, playing the role of Lt. Joe Cable to rave reviews. 2018 tour highlights include representing Hawai'i at SXSW, a concert in an underground cavern in Tennessee, performances in the UK and his first tour to Russia, where he served as a cultural ambassador for Hawai'i, and performed in venues ranging from world-renowned jazz clubs to schools and universities to forums with many of the mayors and governors of Russia in attendance.
While there, Makana filmed the music video Mourning Armageddon in a recently decommissioned nuclear bunker in Moscow as part of his volunteer work to raise awareness about the present, unchecked nuclear arms race between the US & the Russian Federation. And although Makana didn't release any new albums in 2018, he recorded over 50 songs for Facebook as part of their Sound Collection offering, a royalty-free music library available to all Facebook & Instagram users for (on-site) video syncing. Find some of Makana's most exciting new works there! He also signed a music branding deal with the Beachcomber by Outrigger to provide a collection of songs in a new genre- what Makana has termed Hawaiian Down Tempo - to be played as the ambient soundtrack for the Beachcomber property beginning in Spring 2019. Also this Spring, Makana will tour the US mainland, sharing his riveting, emotional sound rooted in the indigenous art of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar.
A protege 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, nearly 200 years old and indigenous to Hawai'i, was created by 'ohana (families) on the different islands as a very 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 whilst 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). 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 Sunset Tour" will be Makana's last solo tour for a few years as he takes time to develop and record a whole new body of music to be released in 2020.
Wed, Feb 20, 2019, Miners Foundry Cultural Center, Nevada City CA
Thurs, Feb 21, 2019, Yoshi's Oakland, Oakland CA
Sun, Feb 24, 2019, Blue Note Napa, Napa CA
2 Shows: 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM
Fri, Mar 1, 2019, Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque NM
Presented by AMP Concerts
Sat, Mar 2, 2019, The Guitar Sanctuary, McKinney TX
Sun, Mar 10, 2019, Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach CA
Double Bill with Shawn & Lehua
Thurs, Mar 14, 2019, The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano CA