George Kahumoku Jr.
Workshop Host and Founder, Slack Key Guitar & ‘Ukulele Instructor, Executive Chef
George Kahumoku Jr, is a multiple Grammy & Hoku Award winning master Slack Key Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, performer, teacher, artist and sculptor, story-teller and writer, farmer and entrepreneur. This workshop is one of the great musical experiences in the Islands today, and the result of George’s belief in sharing, celebrating and perpetuating Hawaiian culture and music.
Slack Key Guitar, ‘Ukulele
2011 NEA National Heritage Fellowship Recipient, Ledward Kaapana is Hawaii’s premier master Slack Key guitarist. His inventiveness and fluidity, his versatility in multiple tunings, and his playfulness on stage, make him the leading master of this art, now recognized nationally by America’s most prestigious award for the arts. Led grew up in a musical family in the tiny village of Kalapana, there were few distractions and everyone played music. Chief among his teachers were his mother, Mama Tina Kaapana, and his uncle Fred Punahoa.
Herb Ohta Jr.
For ukulele fans who prefer unpretentious technical proficiency over theatrics, Herb Ohta Jr. is the undisputed master ukulele instrumentalist of his generation. Son of the legendary ukulele artist, Ohta-san, Herb Ohta Jr’s natural talent, knowledge, technique, and speed are unsurpassed. He is a master ukulele performer, teacher, composer, recording artist, and producer. Herb creates unique arrangements of new and familiar tunes and makes each song breathtakingly fresh and definitely his own.
Recognized as one of Hawaii’s most versatile musicians, Jeff Peterson is at the heart of the Hawaiian music scene today. His passion for the guitar has allowed him to shine as a solo artist and his deep knowledge of multiple open tunings as well as standard tuning, and his ability to both read music and play by ear, has given him the opportunity to collaborate with a wide variety of solo artists, groups, and orchestras. His focus on Slack Key guitar, classical, and jazz music has allowed him to develop a unique and transcendent voice on the guitar while being deeply rooted in the traditions of his Hawaiian heritage.
Slack Key Guitar
Traditional Slack Key Guitarist & Hawaiian vocalist, Kevin Brown, is the soft spoken leader of the popular Maui group “Ola Hou”. One of Hawaii’s finest musicians and instructors, his easy-going style has deeply influenced a generation of musicians both in Hawaii and on the mainland. In addition to being a long-time instructor at the Workshop, Kevin also taught slack key guitar for 14 years at Maui’s Baldwin High School. He now occasionally teaches at UH Maui College and is a mentor in the new Institute of Hawaiian Music
Paul Togioka is recognized as one of Kauai’s leading slack key guitarists and has recorded with masters Ray Kane, Ledward Kaapana, Ken Emerson, David Kahmakahi, Kawika Kahiapo, LT Smooth and Hal Kinnaman. In 1996, Paul became Kauai’s first recording artist to be invited to open the prestigious “Kauai Style” Slack Key Guitar Festival and also received the Hawaii Music Award’s “Best Recording by a Slack Key Artist” for his Album titled Ohana ‘O Kauai Slack Key Instrumentals. Since 2004, Paul has released solo CD’s titled :Ki Ho Aluu Inn”, “Here, There & Everywhere” and “Aikane Kuikawa”. Paul is
also a featured artist on the two time Grammy Nominated and NA HOKUHANOHANO AWARD winning CD “Hawaiian Slack Key Kings”
Brad Bordessa is a Hawaii’i Island-based recording artist who has been fortunate to share the stage with musicians and mentors such as Keoki Kahumoku, Sonny Lim, Herb Ohta, Jr., and (quite accidentally) HAPA. His EP, Point A, features original instrumentals, but it was his passionate protest song, “Draw the Line at 13,” that took the internet by storm. Brad has been teaching ‘ukulele for 8 years, and is currently the in-house instructor at the Hawaiian Cultural Center of Hamakua. He has been a returning faculty member at both the Kahumoku ‘Ohana Music & Lifestyle Workshop and the Big Island ‘Ukulele XX, where his students appreciate his clear and concise style of teaching. Brad is a graduate of the Institute of Hawaiian Music at UH Maui, where he spent two years always on alert for Uncle George calling to say, “Brad! We got a gig. I’ll pick you up in 15 minutes.”
A lifelong musician, Jason Jerome abandoned the world of restaurant management in favor of the relaxed lifestyle of a music shop owner back in 2006 and has been teaching music on island ever since. When he’s not teaching free lessons on ukulele,
running sound for local schools, or playing music at church, you can find Jason behind the counter at Lahaina Music giving pointers on the joy of ukulele. Jason is married to Vania Jerome, a local music teacher and musical director for several musicals and is the proud father of two talented and wonderful boys. Jason has been rated as one of the mos tpopular ukulele instructors at the workshop and will be teaching all levels, from beginning to advanced ukulele this year.
Hawaiian Steel Guitar
Joel Katz has been performing professionally on Maui for 29 years. He is on the Music faculty of the University of Hawaii Maui College as instructor in guitar, ukulele, Hawaiian Steel Guitar and audio technology. He also heads the award winning Seaside Recording Studio. His recent steel guitar CD “Hawaiian to Jazz” was a finalist for Instrumental Album of the Year in
the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. Joel’s steel guitar method teaches students to visualize the common shapes and patterns in chord sequences of songs. This enables a student to begin playing songs right away and provides a foundation for expanding the chord shape vocabulary and refining bar control and technique for the expressive “Hawaiian” sound. Joel also teaches ukulele classes at UH and will be teaching ukulele as well as steel guitar at the workshop this year.
Guitar, Hawaiian Fishing
Born and raised on Maui, Sterling showed an early talent for the guitar. At Lahainluna High School, Sterling would practice in between classes and to jam with Uncle George Kahumoku (who was the ceramics teacher) at lunch time. After attending Uncle George’s Annual Summer Workshop in Napili and studying with the slack key masters, Sterling took a particular interest in Slack Key C Tuning. Sterling is the Slack Key Show sound engineer as well as a performer, and also works as a light & sound technician at the Ulalena show in Lahaina. Sterling is featured on the Slack Key Show’s Grammy award winning CDs, Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar,Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.2, and Grammy nominated Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Sterling is featured in a new DVD: The Best of the Slack Key Show, Vol. 1
‘Guitar, Mentor & Slack Cafe Proprietor
One of the true pioneers of the workshop, John has been contributing his considerable guitar and teaching skills since the workshop’s inception. Over the years, he has earned the title of Workshop Mentor for his one-on-one work with students to help them achieve specific goals, master techniques and work through challenges. In this role, John hosts the “Slack Cafe” class at the Workshop. Cafe classes meet throughout the workshop week and are typically private (one-on-one) or small group classes that are designed to be very focused and address specific topics requested by students.
Wendeanne Ke’aka Stitt
The Art of Kapa
Wendeanne Ke’aka Stitt is a mother, master quilt artist, and a maker of Hawaiian kapa cloth who has a 28-year history in the San Francisco Bay Area as a visual display artist. A life-long student of quilts and their makers, especially the Amish, she developed a respect for women whose lives were spent working long days, caring for their families, and creating beautiful quilts. Stitt is one of the original members of Kuku I Ka Pono – The Kapa Project, a group of Bay Area Hawaiians and Hawaiians-at-heart who accepted a two-year apprenticeship in 2001 under the tutelage of Dalani Tanahy (Makaha HI) to learn the ancient art of Hawaiian kapa making with a purpose of creating kapa cloth to use in the traditional Hawaiian burial of bones disturbed in construction and repatriated from museums worldwide. Upon completing her apprenticeship, she continued her study and regularly demonstrates the art of kapa making in public demonstrations and educational forums so that she may share her knowledge and kapa lineage. Her Kapa pieces are in collections worldwide.
Visit Wende’s website at wkstitt.com
Hula, Lei Making, Chant
Telling the story with graceful movement and hula hands, Wainani has loved dancing all her life.
Born in Honolulu, she relocated and danced for many years on the Big Island where she joined the hula school, Halau Na Lei O Ka Holoku, led by Kumu Hula Nani Lim Yap and Leialoha Amina. Wainani traveled nationally and internationally with Lim’s Halau sharing hula with the world while developing her considerable talent in dance, chanting, and Hawaiian culture. She is a regular dancer at George Kahumoku Jr’s Slack Key Show at the Napili Kai.
Voice, Workshop Choir
(Bio to come)