Kī Hōʿalu – Honoring the Hawaiian Slack Key Tradition

If you have to wake up at 3 a.m. it might as well be to the beautiful voices of Pu`uloa, Kamakakēhau Fernandez and Lawrence Pau. Ala Moana Center is celebrating Mele Mei, a statewide celebration of Hawaiian music, with several exciting components and I spent the last week on morning shows with some of Hawaii’s very talented musicians promoting the events.

On display on Mall Level 2, Mauka Wing is an exclusive exhibit exploring the unique elements of the Hawaiian slack key guitar tradition. Kī Hōʿalu, which literally translates as “loosen the key” is the Hawaiian name for this  beautiful style of  music. The display features artifacts from some of Hawaii’s best known slack key guitar players including Gabby Pahinui, Sonny Chillingworth and Led Kaapana. The display, which was formerly at the GRAMMY Museum of L.A., will be at Ala Moana Center through June 30.

On Fridays and Saturdays the sound of Hawaiian music can be heard throughout the Ewa Wing of Ala Moana Center. Special performances take place at 5 p.m. on the new Ewa Wing Stage and feature artists such as Pu`uloa, Kamakakēhau Fernandez, Pōmai Lyman and Kekoa Kane. A full schedule can be viewed at AlaMoanaCenter.com.


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