So. Cal Slack Key Fest. returns to Redondo Beach on 1/15

Kala Koa Entertainment celebrates 10 years of bringing the biggest and brightest names in Hawaiian music to the mainland

Kala Koa Entertainment celebrates 10 years of bringing the biggest and brightest names in Hawaiian music to the mainland when the Southern California Slack Key Festival returns to the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center on Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 2:00pm.

One of the most acclaimed Hawaiian concerts to ever leave the islands, the Southern California Slack Key Festival takes fans on a Hawaiian musical journey that showcases Grammy-winning slack key guitarists, the best hula dancers in the world, special guest performers and an Island Marketplace.

The Southern California Slack Key Festival - the first of its kind anywhere outside of Hawaii - set a major milestone for Hawaiian music events on the mainland when it debuted in 2008 and has garnered a huge loyal following - creating, cultivating, and renewing interest in Hawaii and its music.

This year’s Southern California Slack Key Festival’s line-up includes The Lim Family, Jeff Peterson, Jim “Kimo” West, Ken Emerson, Keao Costa, Ledward Kaapana, George Kuo, Jerry Santos, and Kamuela Kimokeo.

What is Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Music?  Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar (ki ho'alu) is truly one of the world’s great acoustic guitar traditions, considered to be one of the oldest music traditions to still be a viable (other than just historical) part of a modern culture. Ki ho'alu, which literally means to "loosen the key," is the Hawaiian language name for the solo finger-picked style unique to Hawaii. In this tradition, the strings (or "keys") are "slacked" to produce many different tunings, which usually contain a major chord, or a chord with a major 7th note, or sometimes one with a 6th note in it. Each tuning produces a lingering sound behind the melody and has a characteristic resonance and fingering, with the thumb playing the bass while the other fingers play the melody and improvise in a finger-picked style.

How does the distinctive sound of slack key music fit into the fabric of Hawaiian music and culture? Watch the video above and learn more about this beautiful generations-old art form.

In addition to the concert, an Island Marketplace – free to the public – takes place from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., complete with Shave Ice, Hawaiian food, and great Hawaiian products and crafts.

When: Sunday, January 15, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

Where: The Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd (at Aviation Blvd.) Redondo Beach, CA  90278. Free Parking

How: Purchase tickets at or 800-595-4849. Visit the official website at - or on Facebook: Ticket Prices: $20 to $55

About the Artists

Lim Family How one family can encompass so much talent is almost beyond the comprehension of us mere mortals, yet in the presence of Hawaiian music and hula royalty, the Lim Family makes it seem easy as they share with great style and humility the stories and melodies passed down from their k?puna (elders). They remain faithful to their roots as their songs and dances have a distinct focus on celebrating in particular their home district of North Kohala, the birthplace of King Kamehameha the Great. The Lim family themselves are descendants of Alapa‘inui, once the ruling chief of the island of Hawai‘i.

Jeff Peterson  Recognized as one of Hawaii’s most versatile musicians, Jeff Peterson is at the heart of the Hawaiian music scene today. 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.

Jim “Kimo” West  Jim "Kimo" West is one of ki ho 'alu's most unique talents. A virtuosic player and prolific composer, his delicate, heartfelt playing technique and his generous output of new, exciting slack key guitar originals puts him solidly in a category of his own. 

Ken Emerson  Ken plays both Hawaiian Slack Key and lap steel guitar and switches easily between them during his performance, laying his guitar on his lap and picking up a steel bar for an instrumental interlude. He has played his special blend of Blues/Jazz Hawaiian guitar for 40 years.

Keao Costa  Falsetto is one of the signature sounds of Hawaiian music, and Keao Costa is one of the best. Keao is a former member of the Na Hoku Hanohano award winning group Na Palapalai.

Ledward Kaapana  Led’s mastery of stringed instruments, particularly slack key guitar, and his extraordinary baritone and leo ki`eki`e (falsetto) voices, have made him a musical legend, thrilling audiences for more than 40 years with a loyal corps of “Led Heads” from Brussels to his birthplace on the Big Island of Hawaii.

George Kuo  George plays in the traditional nahenahe (sweet, soothing) style, bridging today's generation with the older generations. He 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).

Jerry Santos (Like a Seabird in the Wind, Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u)  Best known for his work in the musical group Olomana, singer/songwriter Jerry Santos has been a familiar presence on the Hawaii music scene for almost four decades. Olomana's was a unique and easily recognizable musical style, blending Hawaiian music with contemporary rhythms; the group was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Hawai’i

Kamuela Kimokeo  Kamuela Kimokeo started performing professionally with his Dad in Waikiki when he was 14 years old and has since toured with the likes of Jerry Santos, Amy Hanaiali'i and Raiatea Helm. He was part of the Grammy nominated and Hoku award winning album "Slack Key Kings Vol. II” and will be joining Jerry onstage at the festival.