15th Annual Ukulele & Slack Key Guitar Festival

November 8, 2017, 1:31 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 4:29 PM
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The 15th Anniversary of Kahilu Theatre’s ‘Ukulele and Slack Key Guitar Festival on Hawaiʻi island is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday, Nov. 16 through 18, 2017.

14th Annual Ukulele Festival. Photo Courtesy of Steven Roby

The festival will feature musical legends Sonny Lim, Jeff Peterson, Nathan Aweau, Benny Chong, Ledward Kaʻapana, Mike Kaʻawa, Iaukea Bright and special guest Abe Lagrimas Jr.

Prior to the concerts, the festival musicians will travel across the Big Island from Kona to Laupahoehoe and give free school concerts as part of Arts Education at Kahilu’s Outreach Program.

Organized by Kahilu Education Coordinator Lisa Shattuck, musicians at last year’s festival performed for more than 1,500 students.

Thursday night, the festival begins at 7 p.m. Audience members are invited to grab an instrument and play along with the masters in a “kanikapila style” jam session. Tickets for the night are $23 or $13 if you bring your own instrument.


Friday night’s concert beginning at 7 p.m., will be a one-of-a-kind event featuring collaborative compositions of melodies both old and new.


Saturday morning, Kahilu Theatre offers a selection of workshops led by the festival musicians who are eager to share their knowledge of these traditional Hawaiian instruments. There will be workshops for ‘ukulele, slack key guitar and bass.

On Saturday, the festival begins at 4 p.m. and the musicians will perform their final hana hou.

General admission tickets for Friday and Saturday night are $25, $48 and $68, depending on seat location.


Tickets are available online, by calling (808) 885-6868, or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office, at 67-1186 Lindsey Road in Kamuela, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The festival is sponsored by Ken and Lynn Krieger, Mahina and Kaeo Duarte, Duncan F. Dempster and Ron Meyer, and Suli Go.

The Kahilu 2017-18 Hawaiian Series is sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines and KAPA Radio.

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