Slack Key Masters Head to SoCal; An Ukulele Legends Show Back Home

Two Separate Events an Ocean Apart Spread Top Tunes

Slack Key Masters Head to SoCal; An Ukulele Legends Show Back Home

Fortunate to have a very loyal (and vocal!) readership base in Southern California, we at B on Hawaii are happy to share some aloha headed east from the islands. On January 24, at 2:00 p.m., the 3rd Annual SoCal Slack Key Festival will take place at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. Many of Hawaii's top guitarists who play Ki ho`alu style will make the jaunt to the Golden State to spread the aloha and fill the air with slack key tunes. If you live in the area, and are jonesing a little island-love, head to Redondo Beach and soak up the vibes.

Confirmed performers include Ledward Kaapana, John Cruz, Jeff Peterson, Makana, Cyril Pahinui and the Pahinui Hawaiian Band, and Jim "Kimo" West, for starters. With multiple Grammy Awards between them, the fine fans of slack key in California could not ask for a better representation of Hawaiian music on their gilded shores.

Beginning at 11:00 a.m. outside the performing arts center, attendees can visit an Island Marketplace featuring wares and crafts from Hawaii. There will be Hawaiian food booths (and shave ice!), original jewelry, Hawaiian quilts and more.

For an extra $75, patrons can opt to attend a VIP reception the evening prior to the festival. The event will include a Hawaiian-style buffet, and the chance to meet and talk-story with attending artists, as well as an opportunity to reserve choice concert seats for all performances the following day. In true kitsch style, this event will be held at Trader Vics in Los Angeles, at 5:30 p.m., on January 23rd.

Visit www.SoCalSlackKeyFest.com for more information. Tickets start at $25.

For those of us with our `okole's planted on the islands, we've got an ace up the sleeve for you. On Wednesday, February 10th, Aloha Tower Marketplace will be the site of the year's first "Ukulele Legends in Concert". Beginning at 6:00 p.m., legendary strummer Bill Tapia will take the stage, as he has done for over ninety (yes, that's "9" and "0") years. Tapia, who celebrated his 102nd birthday this past year, is credited with being the first musician to play jazz on the ukulele, and has performed with the likes of Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley and countless others.

Next on the roster is Eddie Kamae, who's Sons of Hawaii are a name that is synonymous with Hawaiian music. The 82-year old crooner and composer will share the stage with Herb Otah, a 75-year-young ukulele virtuoso who's career has spanned more than a half-century.

This concert is a fundraiser for the Ukulele Foundation in Hawaii, which has the ultimate goal of building and maintaining a permanent Ukulele Museum in the islands.

Tickets can be bought at the Honolulu Box Office (honoluluboxoffice.com), or by calling 550-8457.
They start at $30 per person ($65 for VIP seating and food).

Tapia, who celebrated his 102nd birthday this past year, is credited with being the first musician to play jazz on the ukulele.