Piano and slack key guitar: Daniel Ho and George Kahumoku, jr

George Kahumoku, Jr’s Wao Akua CD features instrumental solos. Daniel Ho produced the CD and will appear on 15th Dec 2011 at the Masters of Slack Key Guitar Show at Maui Arts and Cultural Center.


Everyone on Maui knows who George Kahumoku is. Uncle George, we call him. He led the parade in this year’s annual Maui County Fair, possibly the largest event on the island. He is director of the new Institute of Hawaiian Music.

Yesterday I interrupted Uncle George’s slack key guitar class at Maui College to ask him to sign a copy of his recently Grammy-nominated CD “Wao Akua.” I told him that Robert Bekkers was arriving next Thursday.

“I’ll be playing at the MACC that evening,” George said. “I have a couple of interesting guests….”

I didn’t hear the rest of his sentence, for I was already trying to figure out how to make it to that concert. I had been to that concert once before. George has different guests on every show each month.  I mentally calculated that I’d have to leave campus earlier than originally planned to pick up Robert from the airport and drive back to see Uncle George’s 7:30 pm  Masters of Slack Key Guitar show.

“Are you going to eat something afterwards?” I asked. It was as if getting together was more important than the concert. That’s how musicians relate. Hungry musicians have to eat. The first time Robert and I went to the concert, we did not join George and his guests for the post-concert dining out. We had only just met. It was Thursday 10th March 2011, the eve of the tsunami.

When I returned home last evening, I checked out George’s CD. Wao Akua means the forest of the Gods in Hawaiian. It’s a simple CD with 24  instrumental solos, either written by George Kahumoku himself or his rendition of traditional melodies. The small print in one corner says it’s produced by Daniel Ho — Daniel Ho Creations, copyright 2011.

Who is Daniel Ho?

Why does his name sound so familiar?

Is he a sound engineer? CD producer? a singer? a songwriter? a composer? a guitar player? a pianist?

All of the above. And more.

Tonight I saw a video clip of Daniel Ho on the piano and George Kahumoku on guitar. Piano and guitar. Piano and slack key guitar. Now that’s a combination I have not heard yet.

Watch the video of Amazing Grace with David Ho, piano and George Kahumoku, Jr, slack key guitar at the MACC

When I re-read the 15th December 2011 gig announcement, I saw that Daniel Ho is one of the special guests. It’s a show not to be missed!