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Seattle Symphony

Hawaiian Summer Holiday with Makana

July 12
Benaroya Hall

Seattle Symphony

Forget everything you think you know about the music of Hawai’i and open your mind to the enchanting world of Hawaiian slack key guitar! Spain features flamenco, Brazil boasts bossa nova and Hawai’i heralds slack key. An art form with indigenous Hawaiian origins of over 150 years, Hawaiian slack key guitar or Kī Hō’alu was born when the Mexican vaqueros (cowboys) gifted a guitar to their Hawaiian counterparts, who then adapted and evolved it to a sound simulating three guitars in one, like a symphony on a single instrument.

Join Makana, the world’s premier slack key talent, on a breathtakingly beautiful journey through sounds and styles ancient to contemporary in one of the most melodic genres of music. Called “the greatest living player” of slack key in Esquire magazine, Makana — who learned directly from Hawaiian legends —  is a master of this rarest of guitar legacies and a gifted composer who dances seamlessly between authentic tradition and exhilarating evolutions of style. From reanimations of songs that come from 19th century Hawai’i to original compositions featured on Grammy-nominated records, Makana’s “dazzling” (The New York Times) fingerwork and haunting voice, reminscent of Tim Buckley, will enchant with the magic of the Aloha state. Makana has repeatedly sold out the Nordstrom Recital Hall; this will be his first time performing with Seattle Symphony in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium at Benaroya Hall.