“George Kahumoku, Jr. is one of the great Hawaiian slack key guitarists, as well as a wonderful composer, songwriter, song interpreter, vocalist, and storyteller.” - George Winston, A Hawaiian Life
“Today, native Hawaiian, George Kahumoku Jr is the embodiment of Hawaiian cultural history and its awakening over the last century. He has lived through the re-birth of the essence of his home and family. He is a master slack key musician with a voice as pure as a Pacific wind, a songwriter, a poet, a farmer, a sculptor, a teacher, a self-styled philosopher and a published author.” – Terry Roland, No Depression
“Kahumoku was an affable raconteur, mixing his dialogue with passionate renderings of material.” --Los Angeles Times
There’s a reason he’s been called Hawaii’s Renaissance man: George Kahumoku Jr. is a multiple Grammy Award & Hoku Award winning master slack key guitarist, songwriter, world-traveling performer, high school and college teacher, artist and sculptor, storyteller and writer, farmer and entrepreneur.
In February of 2006, George and fellow slack key artists and producers were thrilled to receive the Grammy Award for Best Hawaiian Album for their compilation recording, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Vol. 1: Live in Concert from Maui. But George’s Grammy fame didn't stop there: The sequels to this recording, Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar: Live from Maui which includes additional artists (Dennis Kamakahi, Martin Pahinui, and Richard Ho’opi’i) won the Grammy in 2007 and then in 2008, Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar won the Grammy Award. In 2009, The Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar was an honored Grammy nominee and the next compilation. Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Vol.2 proceeded to win in 2010. Four Grammys!
All of these recordings are compilations from George’s weekly Wednesday night show, the prestigious Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Concert Series at the Napili Kai Beach Resort on Maui, now in its 2nd decade. (www.slackkey.com). George is the musical host and features a different solo artist each week. This is the first long-running concert hall setting in Hawaii created to feature the great slack key performers of today. The Best of the Slack Key Show, vol. 1 DVD/CD set was released in 2014, which highlights George and his young protégés at the show, Da ‘Ukulele Boyz (Peter deAquino & Garrett Probst) and Sterling Seaton.
“Mr. Kahumoku assumed a natural role as the evening’s host, peppering the show with charming, picaresque stories (“I grew up with 26 cousins in the same household,” went the setup to one of these), and speaking with ease about the origins of the songs. Before singing “I’ll Remember You,” a beloved Hawaiian standard, he recalled his debt to its songwriter, who gave him his first break at age 11. At every turn he got a richly chiming tone from his acoustic guitar and favored a light, easeful flow of rhythm.” – Nate Chinen, New York Times
George is currently living on Maui with his wife, Nancy, where he farms, performs at his weekly show, officiates weddings, and regularly tours the continental U.S. and Canada. George spends his much of his time maintaining his three-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 brings bundles of fresh produce to share with friends and students.
“George Kahumoku, Jr. is a master… His music is played from his heart and soul through the very tips of his fingers…” www.amzmusiczine.co
His newest release is celebrates Hawai'i's ranching traditions - Paniolo Slack Key: Songs of the Hawaiian Cowboy, nominated for a 2016 Na Hoku (Hawai'i's "Grammy").
In 2013, Makai Studios, in partnership with George, filmed a documentary about George’s remarkable life called Seeds of Aloha. It was crowd-funded by George’s sizable fan base and extended family. It covers his music & teaching careers and explains his roots in Hawaiian culture and farming.The success of this DVD led to a series: Masters of Hawaiian Music Film Series, which has produced 4 additional DVDs to date: Dennis Kamakahi, Richard Ho'opi'i, Brother Noland, and Martin Pahinui, with two more in process: Kawika Kahiapo and Jeff Peterson.
George has retired from his high school teaching job, where he taught teens at risk, as well as drawing & painting, ceramics, and guitar & ‘ukulele for nearly 20 years at the historic Lahainaluna High School. He became the founding director of the Institute of Hawaiian Music at University of Hawai'i-Maui College, launching the program to educate a new generation in the rich heritage of Hawaiian music as well as teach budding musicians the music industry as a whole. With the program established, George retired from his position but has not stopped teaching.
For the last 16 years in June, George Kahumoku Jr.’s Annual Maui Slack Key Guitar and 'Ukulele Workshop takes place featuring the finest instructor-musicians including son Keoki Kahumoku, Ledward Kaapana, Herb Ohta Jr, and Jeff Peterson. This workshop is one of the great musical learning experiences in the Islands today, and the result of George's belief in sharing, celebrating, and perpetuating the unique music and culture that is Hawaii.
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