Maui's ubiquitous slack key master George Kahumoku Jr. has expanded his Hawaiian guitar series to present monthly shows in Kahului, beginning tonight with Owana Salazar in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's McCoy Studio Theater.
The legendary, multi-Grammy winning musician will host the shows and feature a different artist every month in conjunction with the popular ongoing "Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar" concerts at the Napili Kai Beach Resort. The artists will play every Wednesday night in Napili and once a month on Thursdays at the MACC.
"Our shows have been pretty successful in Kaanapali, and with the MACC series we want to feature great Hawaiian and Polynesian music," George explains. "Usually on the west side we also have the next generation with Da Ukulele Boyz and my students, and at the MACC we're going to have a new generation of contest winners who will be part of the show. We'll feature Kaulike Pescaia, who has a voice like Uncle Richard Ho'opi'i."
George Kahumoku Jr.
The Dead Kennedys play the Hard Rock Café at 9:30 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are $35, available at the Hard Rock Shop and Groove Tickets. A portion of sales benefits the Pacific Cancer Foundation.
George co-produced the just-released new CD, "Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Vol. 3 - Live From Maui." Four previous CDs, recorded live at the shows, have won Grammy Awards for Best Hawaiian Album.
Owana Salazar is one of the artists featured on the new album performing the classic "Ua Like No A Like" ("My Heart's Choice").
The only female steel guitar player in the islands, Salazar is also adept as a slack key guitarist. Add a gorgeous voice and a talent for interpreting traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music along with jazz, and she pretty much has no equal.
* Hosted by George Kahumoku Jr., the Slack Key Masters series at the MACC opens with Owana Salazar at 7:30 tonight. Kaulike Pescaia, winner of the recent 14th annual Maui Youth Ukulele Contest, will open the show. Tickets are $25, and $45 for VIP with sound-check at 6 p.m. and talk-story with the artists. The series continues on Nov. 18, teaming Kahumoku with Brother Noland, and then with Daniel Ho on Dec. 16. Applicable fees are added to ticket prices, available from the MACC box office, 242-7469, or www.mauiarts.org.
"There are not too many wahines who can play slack key and steel guitar," George notes. "She's phenomenal."
Often winning awards for her recordings, Salazar's CD "Wahine Slack N' Steel" won the 2003 Na Hoku for Contemporary Hawaiian Album of the Year. Her most recent release, "Hula Jazz," won her the 2005 Jazz Album of the Year award, and nominations for top album, song of the year and top female vocalist.
With "Hula Jazz" this gifted artist interpreted vintage hapa-haole and traditional Hawaiian titles such as "Kaulana O Hilo Hanakahi," "South Seas Sadie," "Pretty Red Hibiscus" and "E Mau," with a sultry, smooth jazz style.
Born and raised on Oahu, Owana Mahealani-Rose Salazar's early years were immersed in music and family history taught by her mother, Helena Kalokuokamaile Wilcox Salazar. A Kamehameha Schools graduate, she studied hula under the tutelage of kumu hula Ho'akalei Kamau'u, Ho'oulu Richards and Aunty Nona Beamer. A music major at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, she studied voice, music theory, guitar, piano and dance.
While at UH, she was introduced to kiho'alu guitar by a friend, then in 1990, she began studying with renowned Hawaiian steel guitarist Jerry Byrd. After winning a full scholarship from the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association, Salazar became the only female student ever graduated by Byrd.
Salazar's first recording in 1986, "Owana and Ka'ipo, In Kona," earned a Hoku nomination for most promising artist. The following year, "Owana" was nominated for Contemporary Hawaiian Album of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year. Her Hoku-winning "Wahine Slack N' Steel" included a unique medley of Sam Li'a's classic "Hi'ilawe" and Jimi Hendrix's "Waterfall." And she's been featured on two previous slack key collections, including the Grammy-winning "Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar - Vol. 2."
A descendent of Hawaiian royalty, Salazar traces her lineage directly to Keoua Nui, father of Kamehameha the Great. Her great-grandfather, Robert Wilcox, mounted an armed revolt in 1889 against the "Bayonet Constitution" that stripped the monarchy of much of its power in favor of an administration controlled by American business interests. In 1895, Wilcox was in the forefront of an attempt to return the deposed Queen Liliuokalani to the throne.
"She's multitalented and her voice is unbelievable," George concludes. "This is our first time at the MACC, so we would like to ask people to support it."
Celebrating West Maui's plantation roots, the second annual Lahaina Plantation Days festival will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday and from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the old Pioneer Mill site on Lahainaluna Road.
Hosted by the Lahaina Restoration Foundation, the event features entertainment, games, exhibits and food, with performances by Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom, Na Palapalai, Da Braddahs, Weldon Kekauoha, Maoli, Kanani Baz, Ola Hou, Highway 30, Damien Awai, An Den and the Lahaina-Honolua Seniors.
Admission is $3, and free for keiki 5 and younger.
Multi-Grammy-nominated keyboardist Peter Kater will present a unique concert and multimedia event at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the Spar Street Gallery in Kahului.
"It's evolved from being a release party for my new album, 'Call of Love,' to a musical/visual duet where Spar will create a live art piece while I'm playing," Peter explains. "He'll feed off what I'm playing and vice versa."
Akaku TV will cover the event with a three-camera video shoot and broadcast it live as well as streaming it on the Web.
A multiplatinum-selling musician, Peter has received six New Age Grammy nominations, scored TV programs and films, and composed music for a number of plays.
In 2008, he collaborated with Sting's longtime guitarist, Dominic Miller, on the CD "In a Dream." After touring together, the two musicians have reteamed for "Call of Love," a beautiful instrumental album (with cover art by Spar Street), which will likely be bestowed with Grammy honors.
"I love working with Dominic," he says. "We're hoping that when he gets off the Sting tour we'll do another record next year."
Besides recording with Miller, Peter is joined on the album by cellist Jaques Morelenbaum and legendary reed player Paul McCandless, who contributes oboe, sax and penny whistles. It's a captivating combination capped by Peter's majestic piano playing.
"In many ways Paul created this style of emotional instrumental music," Peter notes. "He's a beautiful musician."
Along with a number of mesmerizing original compositions the album includes a version of the Sting classic "Fields of Gold," featuring a sublime piano and guitar duet (Miller played on the original).
"We played it on our concert tour last year," he reports. "As far as I know this is the only recording he's done of it besides with Sting, so it's kind of cool."
Some of the songs on the album were spawned from a project involving movie star and friend Pierce Brosnan. The famous actor and musician had previously collaborated on a Save the Whales campaign.
A longtime environmentalist, Brosnan made headlines earlier in the year urging President Obama not to support a compromise whaling bill, calling it essentially a license to kill cetaceans. The proposed plan would allow Japan, Norway and Iceland to resume commercial whaling.
"I wrote the title song, 'Call of Love,' for a scene for a PSA campaign by Pierce Brosnan trying to uphold the whale banning legislation," he explains. "And three other songs came out of playing around with musical ideas for a script he was working on."
n The Spar Street Gallery is located at 150 Hana Highway. The concert runs from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by a reception from 8 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $30 for concert only, and $60 for concert and catered reception. Advance tickets are available from Hawaiian Moons and Alive and Well.
Punk legends the Dead Kennedys make their Maui debut at the Hard Rock Caf on Friday evening. Featuring founding guitarist East Bay Ray with drummer D.H. Peligro, bassist Greg Reeves and vocalist Skip McSkipster of the Wynona Riders, the band is no longer fronted by charismatic singer Jello Biafra.
Inspired by England's Sex Pistols and New York's Ramones, the Dead Kennedys merged revolutionary politics with ferocious punk music to become one of the defining hardcore bands of the time.
Often courting controversy, they attacked corporate crime, racism and the conservative policies of the Reagan administration, with such songs as "Let's Lynch The Landlord," "Kill The Poor" and "Nazi Punks **** Off!"
One of their underground hits, "California Uber Alles," derided then-California Gov. Jerry Brown, with damning lyrics like "Zen fascists will control you, 100 percent natural, You will jog for the master race, And always wear the happy face."
Another winner, the hilariously barbed "M.T.V. - Get Off The Air," included: "My job is to help destroy, What's left of your imagination, By feeding you endless doses, Of sugar-coated mindless garbage."
Disbanding in 1986, they reformed in 2001 without Biafra. Band members ended up suing their former lead singer for underpaying them royalties and won a settlement.