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A dynamic force . . . dazzling
—New York Times
He’s lean, young, expressive, with impressive stage presence and jewel box precision. . . . He is a master, for certain, but blessed with sizzling showmanship.
Hailing from the isle of Oahu, Makana is an internationally acclaimed slack-key guitarist, singer, composer, philosopher, activist, and one of Hawaii’s cultural ambassadors to the world. He is recognized as one of the top guitarists in the United States by Guitar Player magazine and has been honored in Hawaii with the prestigious Kī-Hō‘alu (Slack Key) Foundation Legacy Award. In 2018, he was invited to showcase at South by Southwest (SXSW).
Virtuosic and versatile, Makana’s music defies description. Makana uses over one hundred tunings to fashion a massive, resonant, symphonic sound without use of loop pedals or gimmicks. His live performances are an exhilarating ride through the breadth of slack key, folk, rock, bluegrass, ethnic music, and jazz, and his distinctly original songs are infused with the spirit of Hawaii along with his own brand of “slack-rock.” He has supported acts ranging from Santana and Sting to Jason Mraz, Joe Walsh of The Eagles, Bad Company, Leon Russell, Chris Isaak, Elvis Costello, Gotye, Jack Johnson, and many others. His music has been featured on three Grammy-nominated records, including the soundtrack for Academy Award–winning film The Descendants.