Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week incorporates nightly performances Monday through Thursday with the Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival's Friday and Saturday evening ho‘olaule‘a. The event is presented each year by the Royal Hawaiian Center and produced by HIMELE™ (Hawai‘i Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences). This week-long celebration of the Hawaiian steel guitar brings together legendary steel guitarists and keiki NextGen steel guitarists in nightly presentations at the Royal Grove Stage and culminates in a two-day festival ho‘olaule‘a pageant. This annual event is presented to heighten awareness of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar and its importance in Hawaiian music and culture.
Alan Akaka, renowned Hawaiian steel guitarist, music teacher and Chairman of the Board of HIMELE, says, "It's an honor and joy for all of us in the steel guitar community to participate in the Festival and we hope that both visitors and kama‘aina will join us."
Now located at the Royal Grove entertainment venue in the heart of the Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week honors what was once the playground of Hawaiian royalty by offering a program of Hawaiian music and dance that is easily accessed by Waikīkī pedestrian traffic and center visitors.
All Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week events are free and open to the public. These include nightly hour-long programs from Monday through Thursday, and 3½-4 hour programs on Friday and Saturday evenings featuring multiple steel guitar masters. Vintage steel guitars are exhibited in Helumoa Hale, with steel guitar experts on hand to answer questions. Parking is available at the Royal Hawaiian Center parking garage. Standard parking rates apply. Validated parking is available with $10 purchase from any center merchant.
Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week is made possible through a partnership with the Royal Hawaiian Center and supplemented by volunteer resources. Please visit HIMELE's website to see how you can help support this and other HIMELE steel guitar festivals.
The 2021 Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week will be an abbreviated event on Saturday, November 6, 2021. In previous years the Festival has been incorporated into Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week. This year's event will be the 11th Annual Festival, not counting the years the festival was not produced because of the pandemic.
The lineup will feature popular Hawai‘i Steel Guitar masters in morning and afternoon programs. The steel guitar masters will include Steve Cheney, Kapono Lopes, Jeff Au Hoy, and Greg Sardinha in the morning session beginning at 11 AM and running to 2 PM. The afternoon session begins at 4:30 PM and features Alan Akaka, and Bobby Ingano.
Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i NextGen steel guitarists Pono Fernandez, Tai Misailidis, Enosa Lyman, and Mālie Lyman will also be featured in the afternoon, accompanied by Alan Akaka on guitar.
Emcee for both segments will be Kimo Kahoano. Kapuanani Greene will provide hula for the entire program.
Both programs will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube.
The Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival is free and open to the public. Parking is available at the Royal Hawaiian Center parking garage. Standard parking rates apply with validated parking available with $10 purchase from any center merchant.