Hawaii’s Makana Selected As Finalist In Guitar Player’s Guitar Superstar Competition

Guitar Player Magazine, one of the World¹s premiere guitar publications,
stages its 4th Annual Guitar Superstar Competition in San Francisco at the
legendary Great American Music Hall on Saturday, September 13th 2008. Hosted
by Andy Summers of the Police and a panel of celebrity guitarist judges
including Joe Satriani, Elliot Easton (Cars), George Lynch (Lynch Mob),
Brendon Small (Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse) & others.

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 ³shredders²,
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 Ho¹alu, over 200 years old and indigenous to Hawaii, was created
by Œohana (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 ³slacking² 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. Makana¹s playing has garnered praise from such guitar
luminaries as Kirk Hammett (Metallica) and Pepe Romero (Italy¹s 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

“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 I¹ve had since I was a child: for the world to
hear slack key. And it¹s becoming a reality!”