Played from the heart and soul through the fingers, and flowing with vivid tropical images, Hawaiian ki ho'alu (slack key) is truly one of the great acoustic guitar traditions in the world. In slack key, some of the strings are slacked from the standard tuning, with the thumb playing the bass while the other fingers play the melody and improvise in a finger-picked style.


For the last ten years, the Southern California Slack Key Festival has been the biggest Hawaiian music concert event on the mainland U.S., showcasing Grammy-winning slack key guitarists, the best hula dancers in the world, special guest performers and an Island Marketplace.


Join us for our 11th annual celebration January 14, 2018 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center!

Click here to receive festival updates and details on workshops with the artists.

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Past festival performers

Cyril Pahinui ● Ledward Kaapana ● George Kahumoku Jr ● Dennis Kamakahi ● Keola Beamer

Owana Salazar ● Jeff Peterson ● Ozzie Kotani ● Steven Espaniola ● Hi'ikua ● George Kuo

Maunalua ● John Keawe ● Makana ● Kawika Kahiapo ● John Cruz ● Barry Flanagan ● Jim "Kimo" West

Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole ● Ken Emerson ● Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom ● Shawn Ishimoto ● Stephen Inglis

Gary Haleamau ● Mike Kaawa ● Raiatea Helm ● Jeff Linsky ● Ed Gerhard ● Lehua Kaapana ● Patrick Landeza

Troy Fernandez ● Kunia Galdeira ● Greg Sardinha ● Sonny Lim ● Jerry Santos ● Jeff Au Hoy

Danny Carvalho ● Peter Moon ● Napua Greig ● Mitch Chang ● Kalyn Aolani ● Lorna Lim ● Nani Lim Yap  

Nathan Aweau ● Kamuela Kimokeo ● Nathan Nahinu ●  Keao Costa

Heali'i Stanley ● Manalani English ● Namakana Lim ● Bob Brozman

VIP Reception 

January 13, 2018 5:30 - 8:00pm

Destination: Art

1815 W 213th St #135, Torrance, CA  90501

Mixing and mingling with the artists, kanikapila-style jams, 'ono food & prize giveaways PLUS the best seats in the house at Sunday's main performance - no wonder this unforgettable event sells out every year!

Island Marketplace

January 14, 2017 11:00am - 5:00pm

Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center

Free admission and free parking - browse a fun selection of island themed gifts, home decor, accessories, apparel & more. Plus 'ono Hawaiian food, authentic island-style shave ice and outdoor entertainment.

How does the distinctive sound of slack key music fit into the fabric of Hawaiian music and culture? Watch this video and learn more about this beautiful generations-old art form.

Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center

1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd

Redondo Beach, CA 90278

Conveniently located just minutes from LAX, the RBPAC is the crown jewel of the South Bay arts scene with its modernistic Grand Lobby, friendly, onsite staff and plenty of free parking.

The first name in vintage Hawaiian music: Cord International

The sounds of slack key can be heard on the Grammy-nominated sountrack for

"The Descendants"

Discover more legendary slack key guitar artists at Dancing Cat records

Check out the latest recording from Jim "Kimo" West and Ken Emerson, also available on vinyl!