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Ki Ho Alu - That’s Slack Key Guitar

Public Events
Sat, Oct 10, 2015 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Winner of best documentary audience award at the 2001 Hawaiian International Film Festival.

This is a film about a uniquely Hawaiian sound and style of music—slack key guitar—and what it reveals about the spirit.

Admission is free but your generous donation benefits the Half Moon Bay Odd Fellows Scholarship Fund.


Featuring: Raymond Kane, Sonny Chillingworth, Ledward Kaapana, Leonard Kwan, Haunani Apoliona, Diana Aki and George Kahamoku Jr.

The film features master guitarist, Raymond Kane and highlights many other native Hawaiians that both perform and speak not only about the history and the music, but address the wider problems of cultural transformation as well. Hawaiians believe this music is the soul of their culture, thus the term “Hawaiian soul music.” Produced and directed by Susan Friedman, this award winning film played theatrically all over the Northwest, opening at the UA and the Castro Theater in San Francisco.

This compelling look at Hawaiian Slack Key guitar unveils a cultural richness that is uniquely Hawaiian.The story is told not by a narrator, but by each artist telling their story in their own words, and the spirit and feeling that is within the culture of the Hawaiian people emerges.

The development of slack key corresponds to Hawaiian history, and tells of the changes within Hawaiian culture while preserving its tradition in form and verse. Slack Key guitar is a traditional solo fingerpicking style unique to Hawaii. Hawaiians have been playing slack key since the early 1800s when traditional guitars were brought to the islands by the Spanish cowboys.

The Hawaiians tuned or “slacked” the strings to suit their own music. The tradition extends beyond the islands to influence many musicians including Ry Cooder and Chet Atkins. This film tells the story of slack key guitar through an intimate portrait of Raymond Kane, a man who holds a special place in the domain of traditional Hawaiian music.

The style of the films reflects the “down home” feeling of the slack key guitar, and of Raymond Kane himself. “It’s sweet, it’s good for the soul,” Raymond says. Over four years in the making, this film, with its infectious musical aspects that are specifically Hawaiian, its fascinating main character and its rich visual material and verité sequences, will be an important document of Hawaiian culture to share with contemporary audiences.

Plus special guest performance by Michelle Kiba and The TikiTones

Music starts at 7 PM and resumes after the screening.


tikitonesThe TikiTones trio has been spreading the sounds of Aloha from shore to shore since 2005. They perform traditional and contemporary Hawaiian, Island Swing and Pop and Jazz favorites. This acoustic trio consists of sparkling performances by singer/songwriters Michelle Kiba (ukulele, guitar), Ellen Silva (guitar) and Lisa Burns (acoustic bass). Their CD is called "Return to Paradise."

Michelle Kiba, the ‘Ukulele Lady, is a music therapist, music educator, singer/songwriter and band leader of the Tiki Tones. She sings lead vocals, plays 'ukulele, guitar and percussion. Her musical preferences include an eclectic collection of light jazz, blues, swing, tin pan alley, folk and her specialty is Hawaiian music.

Ellen Silva has been playing guitar and piano, and writing music, since age 12, when she formed her first band "the Pre-Teen Tones" (popular songs of the 60-70s), and began writing songs. Since 1987, Ellen has performed her original tropical pop, bluesy folk and swoony tunes on guitar, ukulele and piano, at festivals, house concerts, wineries, benefits.

Lisa Burns has been playing and singing for as long as she can remember. She took up the guitar at age 12 but when she started studying upright bass in 1994 she found her true calling. She has been seen on stages throughout the West, including Wintergrass (Tacoma, WA), the Strawberry Music Festival (Yosemite, CA), Summergrass (San Diego).

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