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About Keola Beamer

“Keola Beamer’s [slack key] style is the best there is on the planet”, says Willie Nelson. Keola Beamer has breathed new life into slack key guitar music yet stays true to its deep Hawaiian roots. He is a Hawaiian legend: singer-songwriter, composer, guitar master, with an impeccable, gorgeous style that is featured on The Descendants soundtrack and his 17 CDs. Keola was one of the first to use Hawaiian slack key techniques to create contemporary music that is also at home on jazz or classical stages. His wife Moanalani Beamer joins Keola in performances with her beautiful hula and the exquisite sounds of traditional Hawaiian instruments.

Keola Beamerʻs well of talent springs from five generations of Hawaiʻi’s most illustrious and beloved musical families. Keola’s mother was revered Hawaiian cultural treasure, Aunty Nona Beamer. His great-grandmother was one of Hawaiʻi’s most illustrious composers, Helen Desha Beamer. The Beamers trace their roots to royal families of the 14th century and have been cultural practitioners through generations.

Keola established himself early as a leader of the wave of contemporary Hawaiian music when he wrote the classic Honolulu City Lights – which is still one of the absolute all-time best selling recordings in the history of Hawaiian Music. Keola was also the author of the very first written instruction book for the Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, published in 1972.

He is an Award Winning Author and Artistic Director of The Mohala Hou Foundation, which presents Aloha Music Camp. In January of 2018 Keola was appointed Board Chair of Aloha Kuamoʻo ʻĀina, a 501c3 non-profit formed for the protection and preservation of the Kuamoʻo Battlefield and Burial Grounds in Kona, Hawaii.

Learn Slack Key Guitar Online
With Keola Beamer

With Keola’s supervision and direction, this site contains the best learning center and resources available for the Slack Key Guitar. Please see the menu on the upper right corner to begin your exploration. New material is added by Keola on a regular basis, so please feel free to check in as often as you would like.

Keola is a world-renowned Native Hawaiian Musician, Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Multiple Grammy Award Nominee, Multiple Na Hoku Na Hanohano Award Winner (Hawaiian Grammys) Native Arts and Culture Foundation Fellow.

You will find information here on all of Keola’s releases, his Aloha Music Camp, online lessons, tablature, instructional books & DVDs, humor, bio, family history, and much more.

Come and be a member!

What’s New

January 10, 2024

I really love playing music with my dear friend, Henry Kapono. The music just feels so free and filled with aloha. We’re playing some dates on the continent that I wanted to let our fans know about. Come and share the aloha!


Legends: Keola Beamer and Henry Kapono, with Moanalani Beamer

Sat, Jan 27, 2024, Kirkland Performance Center, Kirkland WA 8:00 PM
Ticket Link

Sun, Jan 28, 2024, Aladdin Theater, Portland ORPresented by True West Presents 8:00 PM
Ticket link

Thurs, Feb 1, 2023, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley CA 8:00 PM
Ticket LInk

Fri, Feb 2, 2024, Musical Instrument Museum, Phoenix AZ 7:30 PM

Ticket Link

Mahalo nui – Keola Beamer

January 5, 2024

I am really looking forward to Aloha Music Camp, this year at the Outrigger Keauhou Resort & Spa, in Kona, Hawai’i from April 6 – 13, 2024. What a great time we are going to have! 

As you can imagine … for Hawaii people, it’s been a difficult year. Especially for those of us from the little town of Lahaina, who were victims of the horrific wildfire on August 8, 2023.

AMC 2024 is going to be a special time of healing for ‘Ohana Beamer, our Kumu, our campers and myself. We’ve all been affected. 

For the past twenty-two years in operation, AMC has provided us with an interlude of grace and a time to get away from our busy lives and reflect on the gifts of aloha. This time around, the camaraderie and togetherness we share will be especially meaningful. 

For those who have not attended Aloha Music Camp before, it is week-long immersion in learning Hawaiian slack key guitar, ‘ukulele, hula, steel guitar and other Hawaiian cultural practices.  We welcome students of all levels from absolute beginner though advanced. We are especially fond of first-time campers, who we affectionately call “Geckos!” You can learn more and register at

Please join us at Aloha Music Camp for this special time of ALOHA. It will be a time of love, of culture and beautiful music. Let’s sing, let’s play, let’s hula and … together … let’s celebrate in gratitude and resilience – the amazing stories of our lives.

Me Ke Aloha,

Keola Beamer

Keola & Moanalani took a well needed vacation to Siem Reap, Cambodia and dropped off some ukulele to their Cambodian Students.

October 9, 2023

Moanalani and I have been both touched and humbled by the strength and resilience of our neighbors who survived the Lahaina Wildfires. We are both so grateful for the support of our Lahaina ‘Ohana from fans and strangers alike. Our recent benefit at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, plus the generous contributions of friends and loved ones resulted in us being able to distribute $88,000 to needy families. Moana and I have spent the last week having them over at the house and helping them fill out the grant forms to receive the money. (In normal times one might be able to do this electronically, but considering the fire obliterated ID’s, printers, copiers etc., it’s a bit more challenging in these cirumstances.) I would like to extend a special Mahalo to Tom Vendetti, Jeff Peterson, Claudia Goddard, Tom Lunneberg and Jeff Cook of our 501C3 -The Mohala Hou Foundation for their hard work and aloha. We couldn’t have accomplished this without them. – Keola Beamer

We’re so grateful for our volunteers and first responders.

Maui, Hawai’i, September 2023

Maui, Hawai’i July & August 2023

Kalaupapa, Molokaʻi June 2023

Keola Beamer with Chee-Yun and Ignace Jang standing with their instruments
Keola Beamer (left) with Chee-Yun and Ignace Jang (right) at Kalaupapa, Molokaʻi in June 2023.

I was so pleased to be welcomed at Kalaupapa Moloka’i by the National Park Service to participate in a film directed by Jinyoung Lee Won, a Hawaii/Seoul-based Filmmaker. This was an amazing opportunity to honor our ancestors and to work with two of the world’s finest violinists. Violinist Ignace Jang (Photo Right) is the current Concertmaster of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and an amazing concert artist. He has played in various orchestras including Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and at the Sejong Center where he performed before the First Lady of South Korea.

Violinist Chee-Yun‘s flawless technique, dazzling tone and compelling artistry have enraptured audiences on five continents. Charming, charismatic and deeply passionate about her art, Chee-Yun continues to carve a unique place for herself in the ever-evolving world of classical music. (Photo Middle)

Such an honor to be a part of something so beautiful. Mahalo nui to all that helped make this possible. We will share more information on the film at a later date. With aloha, Keola (Photo Left)

Aloha Music Camp / Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra April 2023

Keola Beamer’s Aloha Music Camp 2023 Advanced Class

It was a wonderful week at Aloha Music Camp. My haumana (students) worked so hard and their performances were extraordinary. It really is amazing how much guitar progress can be made in a week. Along with the music, it was a special time of connection and sweet aloha. So great to see everybody again and meet some new guitarists! 

My wife Moanalai and I are leaving this week for the Island of Oahu where we will perform with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, April 15 2023 at the Hawaii Theater. This is a special guest appearance. I’m honoring my dear friend (and Bassist of 40 Years!) John Kolivas and his awesome group, The Honolulu Jazz Quartet.

If you’re on Oahu, come check it out!

With Aloha,

Keola Beamer

Want To Hear Some Slack Key Guitar?

If you’d like to hear what Slack Key Guitar sounds like, check out this Facebook video link for our version of “Kalena Kai” in F tuning. – Keola Beamer


Keola & Moana, Kihei, HI

More News And Updates

See more of the latest news and updates from Keola Beamer on the Current & Recent News Page. Or see the listing of all news archived by year on the News and Updates Archive Page.