Makana - Poster

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Makana was born and raised in beautiful Hawaii (Hawai’i). He started singing at age 7 in the Honolulu Boy Choir, then picked up ukulele (‘ukulele) at 9 years old, and at 11 began learning the ancient Hawaiian music called slack key guitar. Slack key is a unique style of guitar using different tunings that sounds like 3 guitars in one! Makana plays the bass, rhythm and melody all at the same time. Hawaiians invented this style in the 1800s! Makana has toured the world, playing concerts in China, Europe, Canada, Japan, Tahiti, Bali, Russia, all over America, and has been blessed to perform in many amazing venues, including The White House. His passion is protecting Hawaii’s pristine nature, preserving it for future generations to love and enjoy.


Interesting Facts:

About Makana and His Performance

Makana is an internationally acclaimed guitarist, singer, composer and activist who is widely known for lending his musical talent for social change. Described as “dazzling” The New York Times, Makana will play songs highlighting his dedication to Hawaiian art, music and culture while participating in open discussions with audience members about serving the public interest with art projects that inspire awareness around relevant issues that affect us all. Makana’s guitar playing has been featured on three Grammy-nominated albums, including the soundtrack of the Academy-Award winning film The Descendants. In 2011 his song “We Are The Many” was coined the “Occupy Anthem” by Rolling Stone magazine. Makana’s captivating and wideranging performance style has led him to share the stage with Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson, open for music legends Sting, Carlos Santana and Elvis Costello.

About Slack Key Guitar Slack key from Hawaiian ki ho’alu which means to loosen the tuning key is a form of folk music that is almost 200 years old. Slack key was created by families on different islands as a way for expressing appreciation for their way of life and the beauty of their surroundings. Makana’s music has been coined “Slack Rock” which is slack key style music with elements of bluegrass, blues, rock, and raga. In his music, he often honors elders whose wisdom has been passed down through generations.

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Vocabulary Terms HAWAII: that little place where life-sustaining waters flow; also named after Tahitian chief ALOHA: a hello and goodbye phrase that literally means “to face another and joyfully share your love with them” MAHALO: Hawaiian for “thank you” SLACK KEY: a finger style genre of guitar music that originated in Hawaii and uses open tunings UKULELE: a small guitar with four strings SHAKA: popular hand sign that local people in Hawaii use to greet each other POI: staple of traditional Hawaiian diet, made from taro – tropical root vegetable WAI: pronounced “vī”, means “water” but also refers to wealth MAKANA: literally means “a gift given freely” HANA HOU: pronounced “hana ho” which means “encore!”

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