fbpx

FAR-West Community Curated Showcase: Slack Key Hawaiian

FAR-West Community 
A series of virtually hosted events celebrating
the rich cultural musical diversity of FAR-West.

Slack-key guitar (kī hōʻalu in Hawaiian which means “loosen the key”) is a fingerstyle guitar genre that originated in Hawaii after Mexican cowboys introduced Spanish guitars there in the late 19th century. The Hawaiians did not like the traditional Spanish guitar tunings. Instead, they re-tuned their guitars in “open tuning” and developed their own style of playing, not using a pick, but plucking the strings. Most slack-key tunings start with a guitar in standard tuning and detuning or “slacking” one or more of the strings until the six strings form a single chord.  The slack-key style is now considered a folk tradition of Hawaiian family entertainment.
Here is a more in-depth and detailed introduction and history of Slack Key Guitar found at Dancing Cats Records.

Monday, August 16th, 2021, 7-9 PM PDT / 4-6 PM HST
FAR-West Community Presents
a Slack Key Hawaiian Spotlight
Hosted by Jim “Kimo” West
Featuring Ken Emerson, Stephen Inglis,
and Kimo
at https://youtu.be/vl0I1MC69Tg

Kimo is regarded as one of the world’s foremost “ki ho’alu” or Hawaiian “slack key” guitar artists and his music has garnered over seventy-five million spins on streaming services. He is a 2021 Grammy Winner for his recent CD, “More Guitar Stories” and a 2019 Grammy nominee for “Moku Maluhia-Peaceful Island”. He is also a 2008 winner of the Hawaii Music Awards and four-time Na Hoku Hanohano (the Hawaiian ‘Grammy’) nominee. He is also a two-time winner of the LA Treasures Award for his efforts in keeping this important acoustic guitar tradition alive. www.jimkimowest.com

Ken Emerson is one of the world’s most highly regarded traditional Hawaiian slack key & steel guitarists living today. Emerson won the prestigious Kahili Award for perpetuating Hawaiian culture and was a featured artist and composer on the first-ever National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Grammy Award-winning Best Hawaiian Album. Emerson’s playing was also featured on Donald Fagen’s (Steely Dan) Grammy Award-winning Morph the Cat. He has many additional touring/recording credits including Jackson Browne, Boz Scaggs, Charlie Musselwhite, Taj Mahal, and Elvin Bishop. https://cordinternational.com/EMERSON2.html

Stephen Inglis is a versatile artist. He crosses genres, yet his music always radiates integrity. Born and raised in Honolulu, he plays Grammy-nominated Hawaiian slack key guitar. He records and tours with the most respected traditional musicians. His duet album with legend Dennis Kamakahi, Waimaka Helelei, won Hawaii’s highest musical honor, a Na Hoku Hanohano Award, and the CD is on permanent display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. http://stepheninglis.com

FAR-West Community Programming – Born from a union of connection and diversity.

Just as a large city has many neighborhoods with distinct flavors, FAR-West has dozens, maybe hundreds of groups of people with common bonds that are part of their unique Community. Each Community Spotlight tells the story of the genre, location, organization being spotlighted and gives us musical examples from artists of excellence as part of that story.

Community Commonalities can include cities, rural or suburan locations, many styles of music, or dance, or spoken word arts. It can be a product of age, or appreciation of nature, or of bookstores and the variety of listeners, players and presenters they attract and so much more.

In our Community programming, we will be reaching out all over the West (and possibly even beyond) to present a platform where we can all learn and appreciate more about our region.

Our diversity makes us richer. Knowing about each other makes us stronger. We learn from and inspire each other. We are our Community.

Press Release: Community
Date: August 3rd, 2021
By: Jeanette Lundgren,
FAR-West Board Secretary
& Communications Director
Scroll to top