Guitar Superstar Competition
Hundreds of guitarists from around the world submitted their songs to Guitar Player Magazine for review. Out of those, only 10 were chosen to compete live. The finalists include a diverse collection of talented "shredders", with styles ranging from rock to funk, blues, rockabilly, metal, country, jazz, fusion, fingerstyle, percussive, and slack key.
A protégé of the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar legends, including the late master Uncle Sonny Chillingworth, Makana has dedicated his life to perpetuating as well as evolving the traditional Hawaiian art form. Slack key or Ki Ho'alu, over 200 years old and indigenous to Hawaii, was created by 'ohana (families) on the different islands as a very personal folk music expression of their beautiful surroundings and way of life.
The style is characterized by "slacking" the strings to open chords, thus freeing the hands to alter the sound whilst self-accompanying with a triad of alternating bass patterns, faux rhythms and sweet melodies evocative of island atmospheres. Think "three guitars in one."
From this tradition, Makana has evolved his own dynamic, high-octane style, coined "Slack Rock": slack key infused with elements of bluegrass, rock, blues and raga. Makana's playing has garnered praise from such guitar luminaries as Kirk Hammett (Metallica) and Pepe Romero (Italy's Flamenco Master). A contributor to the Grammy-nominated "Hawaiian Slack Key Kings", Makana is considered one of the "greatest living players" (Esquire Magazine) who's "instrumental brilliance bears comparison with the work of such groundbreaking acoustic guitarists as John Fahey and Michael Hedges" (Maui News).
"I am honored and very excited to be part of this prestigious showcase," states Makana. "To be amongst such incredible players, and to have the opportunity not only to share my style but also to share a music with Hawaiian roots, is a dream I've had since I was a child: for the world to hear slack key. And it's becoming a reality!"
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