A protégé of the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar legends, including Bobby Moderow & the late master Uncle Sonny Chillingworth, Makana has dedicated his life to perpetuating as well as evolving the traditional Hawaiian art form of Slack Key or "Ki Ho’alu".
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) & Pepe Romero (Spanish 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).
Hailing from the isle of O’ahu, Makana—whose name means “a gift given freely”—began singing when he was 7 years old, took up ‘ukulele at 9 and began learning the ancient art of slack key at 11.
By 14, he was already performing professionally, and before long playing four nights a week. His reputation as the youngest master of slack key spread like molten volcanic lava throughout the islands.
With each successive year, more and more music fans—both on and outside of the islands—are experiencing the Makana phenomenon. In addition to his own headlining tours, Makana has opened shows for the likes of Sting, Santana, Elvis Costello, Paul Rodgers, Chris Isaak, No Doubt, Jason Mraz, and Jack Johnson, and in 2008 he won 2nd runner-up in Guitar Player Magazine’s National "Guitar Superstar" Competition.
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