Martin Pahinui

One of Hawaiian music's most gifted vocalists, Martin Pahinui has performed with a host of top artists, including his father's legendary Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band, The Peter Moon Band, and slack key super group Hui Aloha. On HO'OLOHE – (LISTEN), his long awaited first solo CD on George Winston’s Dancing Cat label, Martin shares his aloha for the traditional sound with thirteen classic tracks full of slack key, steel guitar and a passionate voice that expresses the essence of Hawaiian soul and harkens back to the glory days of slack key greats like his mentors: Gabby, Atta Isaacs and Sonny Chillingworth. Martin’s distinctive voice, reminiscent of his father’s, ranges from the tender leo ki'eki'e (falsetto) of "Pua Lilia" to the rollicking powerful yodels of "Hanohano Hawai`i". This CD was a finalist for Hawaiian Album of the Year and Best Male Vocalist of the Year at the 2004 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.

"My wife Ruthie suggested Ho'olohe," says Martin. "That means to listen. I hope that people enjoy listening to the music we share on this album. These are songs we listened to when we were young and it's such a blessing to be able to play them today."

The youngest child of Gabby and Emily Pahinui, Martin grew up surrounded by music: not only the amazing ki ho'alu (slack key) in his family home but also the many other styles floating on the wind in Waimanalo, where he grew up and still lives. Martin quickly jumped into music, picking up Hawai`i's favorite starter instrument, the 'ukulele, around age three. "None of us ever got any lessons but the music was always there," Martin says, "so if you listened closely enough you could catch on."

By intermediate school, Martin picked up guitar, joining his brothers in a rock band called The Characters. "We did 'Johnny B. Goode' and all that," Martin says. About that time, he also picked up his nickname, "Gramps". "I used to wear overalls, like the old folks" he says, "and somehow the name stuck."

Martin's favorite rock group was and still is The Beatles. "Their songs are so extraordinary," he says. He counts as two of his career highlights meeting Ringo Starr in Los Angeles and chatting with George Harrison on the phone when the shy, spiritual Beatle was living on Maui. "He had a high respect for Hawaiian music," Martin says, "He said he had all of my daddy's records and a lot of other local artists. We invited him to our sessions but he said he didn't want to interfere. I wish we could have gotten to play with him, but I can appreciate his feelings."

In the early 1970s, Martin joined his father Gabby Pahinui, Sonny Chillingworth, Atta Isaacs and others in the legendary Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band. The group's easy-going style and high level of artistry enjoyed great popularity and inspired many young musicians. "All of us young guys wanted to latch on to what the older ones were sharing," Martin says. While many young people still enjoy learning from na kupuna (elders), today's radio stations and clubs target specific age groups, which limits the mixing of the generations. "We played with musicians of all ages to audiences of all ages," he says. Young bands today don't get many opportunities to do that. It's much harder for them to learn – not just the songs but also older ways of playing them.

The release of Dancing Cat label’s 1999's album of slack key super group Hui Aloha (Martin Pahinui, Dennis & David Kamakahi, George Kuo) marked Martin's debut on Dancing Cat. "George Winston asked me about doing something for Dancing Cat way back when I was with Peter Moon," Martin says. "Many years later, when we were making the Hui Aloha album I told him "Wow, you sure are patient!"

After nearly a half century making music, Martin reflects a firm commitment to both honoring and extending the Pahinui slack key legacy. "My daddy is a very big influence on all of us," Martin says. "But he always did things his own way and he taught us to trust our own instincts too. He always said the key was to respect the culture and then do your music in the way that brings you the most enjoyment."

George Kahumoku Jr.

Known as Hawaii's Renaissance Man, George Kahumoku Jr, is a multiple Grammy & Hoku Award winning master Slack Key Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, performer, teacher, artist and sculptor, story-teller and writer, farmer and entrepreneur.

 George is known for playing slack key on a jumbo12-string guitar because he loves the full sound and the lower bass tones. He uses a custom Art Davis guitar, and since beginning the Slack Key Show seven years ago, has changed his favorite tuning from E flat to F to make it easier to play with others.

In October 2003, George co-created the first venue ever dedicated to presenting Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. First located at the Ritz Carlton-Kapalua, then moving to Maui's Napili Kai Beach Resort where it is now. The first show CD, produced from live recordings of the show, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Vol. 1: Live in Concert from Maui won the 48th Grammy Award for Best Hawaiian Album. The 4 of the 5 sequels to this recording were all nominated, 3 of them winning Grammies.

A renowned story-teller on and off the stage, George collaborated with long-time friend, Paul Konwiser, to write down his entertaining semi-autobiographical short stories into his first book of short stories: A Hawaiian Life.
George lives on Maui, directing and teaching at the new Institute of Hawaiian Music at the University of Hawaii-Maui College. George spends his free time maintaining his small 3 acre farm growing fruit and vegetables, dry-land taro (for his famous home-made poi) and tending his goats, chickens, ducks, and miniature horses. True to his Hawaiian heritage, wherever he goes, George always brings bundles of fresh produce to share with friends and students. 

Every summer in June, George Kahumoku Jr.'s Annual Maui Slack Key Guitar and Ukulele Workshop takes place featuring the finest music instructors. This workshop is one of the great musical experiences in the Islands today, and the result of George's belief in sharing, celebrating and perpetuating Hawaiian culture and music.

Da Ukulele Boyz

First cousins Peter deAquino and Garrett Probst first began playing together as a team as children competing in Keoki Kahumoku's Maui Ukulele Contest held annually at the Hula Grill. Their amaxing duet instrumentals, their vocals and relaxed stage banter, gave them multiple victories for several years until they matured and took over management of the contest themselves. Energetic, talented, and charismatic, they regularly co-host with Uncle George and now take over as show hosts when he is on the road.

Peter was born and raised on the island of Maui. He began playing ukulele at the age of 6. Later he studied ukulele with Keoki Kahumoku and Herb Ohta Jr. Other important influences include all the masters of Hawaiian Slack Key guitar with whom he has played regularly for the last 8 years, including Ledward Kaapana and others, also Bradda IZ & Bob Marley. Peter now plays professionally around Maui both solo and in groups: Dukes-Kaanapali (Three Pounds of Poi), Kimo's-Lahaina (deAquino Braddaz), The Hula Grill (leading the band TBA), and the Hard Rock Café (Sounds of Addiction). Peter is featured on all four of the Slack Key Show’s Grammy winning compilation CDs: Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.1, Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.2, and also on the Grammy nominated Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Peter is featured in a new DVD: The Best of the Slack Key Show, Vol. 1.

GARRETT PROBST-As a child, Garrett demonstrated a remarkable musical ability on the ukulele that quickly developed under teachers Keoki Kahumoku and Herb Ohta Jr. Garrett was given the opportunity to tour the west coast at a young age with Uncle George Kahumoku. Besides performing for the last 8 years as Da Ukulele Boyz for the Slack Key Show, he also now plays professionally, at Dukes-Kaanapali (Three Pounds of Poi), and with his cousin Peter’s band (TBA) at the Hula Grill. He also plays slack key guitar and sometimes can be found leading an open mic at one of the local Maui eateries. He is featured on three of the Slack Key Show’s Grammy winning compilation CDs: Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.1, Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, and Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Garrett is featured in a new DVD: The Best of the Slack Key Show, Vol. 1.

Sterling Seaton

Born and raised on Maui, Sterling showed an early talent for the guitar. At Lahainluna High School, Sterling would practice in between classes and to jam with Uncle George Kahumoku (who was the ceramics teacher) at lunch time. After attending Uncle George's Annual Summer Workshop in Napili and studying with the slack key masters, Sterling took a particular interest in Slack Key C Tuning. Sterling is the Slack Key Show sound engineer as well as a performer, and also works as a light & sound technician at the Ulalena show in Lahaina. Sterling is featured on the Slack Key Show’s Grammy award winning CDs, Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.2, and Grammy nominated Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Sterling is featured in a new DVD: The Best of the Slack Key Show, Vol. 1.

Wainani Kealoha

Telling the story with graceful movement and hula hands, Wainani has loved dancing all her life.
Born in Honolulu, she relocated and danced for many years on the Big Island where she joined the hula school, Halau Na Lei O Ka Holoku, led by Kumu Hula Nani Lim Yap and Leialoha Amina.

Wainani traveled nationally and internationally with Lim’s Halau sharing hula with the world while developing her considerable talent in dance, chanting, and Hawaiian culture.

Wainani now lives on Maui and, in addition to regularly dancing for Slack Key Master, Ledward Kaapana, she has danced for many years at the Royal Lahaina Resort as a soloist and as an Oli Mea (chanter) for Maui Nei Cultural Walking Tour. She was one of the principal dancer for George Kahumoku’s Hawaiian Country Music Show in Branson, Missouri in 2012 and has now become a regular dancer at George Kahumoku Jr’s Slack Key Show.

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