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Keola Beamer, with Moanalani Beamer

"The Quintessential Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar Master" --The New York Times


“Keola Beamer’s style is the best there is on the planet…There’s no better slack key player than Beamer” Willie Nelson


“Keola Beamer is the Andres Segovia of the slack key guitar. – Long Beach Press Telegram


Awarded the prestigious 2014 NACF Artist Fellowship by the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation

GRAMMY NOMINATION 2013, Regional Roots, for Malama Ko Aloha

Featured on the soundtrack of the film The Descendants, starring George Clooney; GRAMMY NOMINATION 2013, Soundtracks

For over thirty years, Keola Beamer's artistry has helped breathe new life into slack key guitar music while remaining true to the soul of its deeply Hawaiian roots.

Keola Beamer has become a Hawaiian music legend, having grown up in one of Hawai'i's most famous music families. One of Hawai'i's premier singer-songwriters, arrangers, composers and masters of the Hawaiian slack key guitar, Keola Beamer's breadth of talent springs from 5 generations of family musical history. The Beamers can trace their involvement in Hawaiian music and hula at least as far as back as the 15th Century.

A multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award Winner (Hawaiian Music Awards) and “Lifetime Achievement Award” Recipient, Keola established himself early as a leader in contemporary Hawaiian music when he wrote the classic "Honolulu City Lights," one of the all-time best-selling records in Hawaiian music history. He was one of the first to integrate Hawaiian chants and instruments, like the tiny gourd whistle and the nose flute, with contemporary forms of music. His wife Moanalani Beamer joins him in performing hula as well as chants and traditional Hawaiian instruments. Keola is featured in a just-released PBS Hawaii special: "Keola Beamer: Malama Ko Aloha (Keep Your Love)" with Moanalani, R. Carlos Nakai, Raiatea Helm, and others. It will be scheduled for national PBS broadcast in over 60 U.S. markets later in 2012.

Keola was one of the first to use slack key techniques to create contemporary music that are as much at home in jazz or classical forums as in Hawaiian music. “The art of the Hawaiian slack key guitar is trying to match the composition with the tuning,” said Beamer. “When you really get into it, you discover that each tuning is kind of a tonal palette. You can really present a piece in a different light than it's ever been seen before.”


Artist Statement: Malama Ko Aloha

When I was growing up, my mother Winona Kapuailohiamanonokalani Beamer would often say, “Mālama Ko Aloha”. Mom wanted us to cherish or keep our love. Her idea was that by keeping Aloha in our hearts and reflecting upon its meaning in our lives, we could help the idea of Aloha to grow in the world. Thanks to my mother, Aloha became much more than a word to me. It became a way of being in the world.

It is not easy to follow the path of Aloha. When we are angry or frustrated, Aloha can be forgotten. Sometimes in difficult situations, we may even take a step backwards from Aloha. If we remember my mom’s advice, “Mālama Ko Aloha”, we can gather our courage, take a deep breath and try again. We can endeavor to live our lives with compassion for other human beings. We can live our lives embracing the ideas of diversity, harmony, and peace. Hawaiian philosophical thought suggests that within each of us, there exists a bowl of light. It is our sincere hope that as we share our music with you, we might each take a moment to explore this light. We believe it is the presence of Aloha.

And then ask yourself ... will you Mālama Ko Aloha? Will you help us keep Aloha alive in the world?

--Keola Beamer