What's generally considered traditional Hawaiian music is actually a mix of influences from outside the islands, brought by sailors, immigrants, and missionaries from East and West, mingling with Polynesian chants and percussion. The resulting blend is distinctly Hawaiian, however, and as alluring as the spectacular natural landscape which it often evokes. Slack key guitar, a style that originated in the early 19th century when native Hawaiians created innovative tunings on guitars brought by Mexican cowboys, has become emblematic of the islands since the cultural renaissance of the 1970s, of which all three of these Hawaii "treasures" were part. George Kahumoku Jr. and Dennis Kamakahi are slack key masters. Kahumoku is a multidisciplinary artist and the main force behind a weekly slack key concert series in Maui that has spawned a succession of Grammy-winning live albums. Kamakahi, with a particularly rich, resonant voice, is a prolific songwriter responsible for many contemporary Hawaiian standards. Joining them will be Richard Ho'opi'i, who performed as the Ho'op'i Brothers with his now-retired brother Sol. He is a master of a traditional soaring falsetto singing style called leo ki'eki'e, and accompanies himself on ukulele. All ages.
Sun., March 22, 7 p.m., 2009