Three slack key masters bring Hawai‘i’s unique folk styles, with origins in the early 19th century Hawaiian paniolo (cowboy) culture, to 21st century stages. They themselves grew up in rural areas where immersion from childhood in Hawaiian music and culture was both entertainment and education.
Four-time Grammy-winner, master slack key guitarist George Kahumoku Jr., known as “Hawai‘i’s Renaissance Man”, is a multiple Na Hoku Hanohano (Hawaiian Grammy) Award winner, a vocalist, storyteller, songwriter & author, teacher, sculptor, farmer, and chef.
Guitar virtuoso Jeff Peterson is a star of the next generation, winning the 2014 Na Hoku for Best Slack Key Guitar (his 2nd time). His virtuosity shines through in traditional slack key, as well as jazz and classical. Five of Jeff’s songs are featured in the award-winning George Clooney film The Descendants.
Slack key guitarist, lap steel guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and producer, Sonny Lim developed his guitar & vocal styles performing with his famous Lim Family of the Big Island, esteemed Hawaiian cultural practitioners and descendants of Hawai‘i Island royalty. He was also one of the early members of the renowned Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau for whom he played lap steel guitar beginning at age 15; he performed on the first Grammy-winning CD in Hawaiian music, and has won multiple Na Hoku Awards on his solo CDs. Born and raised in the heart of paniolo (cowboy) country on the Big Island, he was originally inspired to play slack key by the legendary Gabby Pahinui and at age 12 was taught by his Uncle Fred Punahoa, also teacher to the renowned Led Kaapana.