Wednesday, March 22 | 7:00 p.m.
Winter/Spring 2017 Concert Series
Keola Beamer is a Hawaiian legend who has stretched the boundaries of slack-key guitar music while remaining true to the soul of its deeply Hawaiian roots. Jeff Peterson is a rising star of the next generation of slack-key players, who uses the style’s open tunings to explore multiple genres with ease and flair. Together, they present an evening of superb guitar music that explore the beauty of Hawaii’s many cultural influences and the complexity of technique that has shaped the distinctively resonant sounds of Hawaii’s ki-ho’alu or slack-key guitar tradition. They are joined by lovely dancer Moanalani Beamer, who brings hula and Hawaiian chants to the stage and adds musical texture with ancient Hawaiian instruments.
Keolamaikalani Breckenridge Beamer was born and raised on the Big Island to one of Hawaii’s most illustrious and beloved musical families. He established himself early as the family’s youngest standard-bearer. A child of the rock-and-roll era, he was at the vanguard of Hawaiian contemporary sound. Yet, he also helped drive what became the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance, recording many songs written by his ancestors, including his legendary great-grandmother Helen Desha Beamer and his mother Nona Beamer. Keola studied classical guitar and went on to publish a slack-key method book using a sixteenth-century lute tablature system as his starting point. He was one of Hawaii’s first recording artists to integrate Hawaiian chants and instruments, such as the tiny gourd whistle and nose flute, into contemporary forms of music. Keola has recorded and produced more than a dozen albums and has appeared on the television shows Sesame Street and Today. He has also won numerous Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards.
“There’s no better slack key player than Beamer.”—Willie Nelson
Jeff Peterson grew up on the slopes of the Haleakala volcano on Maui. He was introduced to the rich heritage of Hawaiian music and to guitar by his father, a paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) on Haleakala Ranch. Early on, Peterson began to pick up influences from such Hawaiian slack-key greats as the Gabby Pahinui Band, Leonard Kwan, and Sonny Chillingworth. As his interests broadened, Peterson delved into a wide variety of musical genres in which the guitar plays a part. He went on to study jazz and classical guitar in college. He has recorded five solo albums to date, garnering him two Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards in Best Slack Key and a GRAMMY nomination for Maui on My Mind. He is a featured artist on two GRAMMY-winning compilation albums in Hawaiian Music and has worked with such artists as Eric Clapton, Ledward Kaapana, James Galway, Michael Feinstein, and the Honolulu Symphony.
“[Jeff Peterson’s] manner is impeccable, his style exquisite . . . brilliant.”—Honolulu AdvertiserBack to Concerts