Kuo, Mahi & Cruz – Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar

george-kuo-duo400The Center for the Arts presents
Saturday, February 22, 8:00PM
$22 members, $25 non-member
(Does not include applicable fees)

“Their blend of instrumentation mastery and warm vocal harmonies bring goose bumps from feeling the deep soulful character of the music.  Reminiscent of an older, romantic, traditional style of Hawaiian folk music with spontaneous riffs and passages being created only for the moment.  Their stories provide special insight on the older culture of Hawaii… …romantic affairs and tributes to special people and places.” – Asian Connections magazine


ernie-cruzDue to illness of Martin Pahinui and doctors orders not to travel, Ernie Cruz Jr. will be joining George Kuo and Aaron Mahi. Ernie is the lead singer of the 1990’s Hawaiian super group Ka’au Crater Boys. He is a multi-time Na Hoku Hanohano award winner both with Ka’au and as a solo artist.  He has toured with HAPA and Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom.

Besides the traditional Kiho’alu – Hawaiian slack key guitar – Ernie is sure to sing some of his hits and join George and Aaron on blending their voices with full Hawaiian heart. Don’t miss this one of a kind kanikapila with three of Hawaii’s top musicians.

Also, please send out your good thoughts to Martin Pahinui for a speedy and complete recovery.

George Kuo (6 and 12 string slack key guitar), Martin Pahinui (6 string slack key guitar), and Aaron Mahi (bass guitar) present the traditional folk art of Hawaiian slack key guitar and vocal melodies in a manner that will give the listener goose bumps on their arms and a rich happiness from their deep soulful delivery, that is projected in a language and feeling that anyone can understand and appreciate.

Their album, Ho’olohe, was a final nominee at the 2004 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards  for the categories of: Hawaiian Album of the Year and Best Male Vocalist (Martin Pahinui) of the Year.

Their performance will feature the breathtaking intimacy of solo slack key guitar followed by a rousing trio jam session, trading spontaneous instrument solos and unique vocal harmonies, recreating the atmosphere of a Hawaiian backyard party. Each of them are highly accomplished and recognized Hawaiian musicians that have been performing together many years, for the pure enjoyment of perpetuating traditional music and reciprocating and embellishing each other’s talents, to where these feelings become instilled in all audiences.

George Kuo is known as one of Hawaii’s premiere Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar artists playing in the traditional nahenahe (sweet, soothing) style, bridging today’s generation with the older generations. George has been twice recognized with excellence in recording achievement by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts, Na Hoku Hanohano Awards, for Instrumental Album of the year in 1995 for Hawaiian Touch and 1996 for Aloha No Na Kupuna – Love for the Elders.

Aaron Mahi was the conductor of the Royal Hawaiian Band for more then 24 years, between 1981 and 2005, and he was the conductor of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra from 1988 through 1995.  He is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut where he received his degree in Music Education. Fluent in English, Hawaiian and German, Mahi’s sound musicianship and sensitivity has added a new dimension to the Royal Hawaiian Band.


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