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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.

What’s New

November / December 2021

I am so happy to be performing soon and looking forward to jamming with my good friend, Henry Kapono. Can’t wait to see our extended slack key ‘ohana (family), friends and fans.

With Aloha, Keola

Click above banner for location, dates and ticket info ….

November 2021

REGISTRATION HAS OFFICIALLY OPENED FOR ALOHA MUSIC CAMP 2022. Please click here for info /registration / rates. Mahalo.

October 20, 2021

My wife Moanalani is a kumu hula (hula source) and I was blessed in my youth to be raised on Hawai’i island. Perhaps this is why the both of us have such a strong connection to Tutu Pele (The Fire Goddess). According to Hawaiian mythology, Pele resides at Halema’uma’u crater in the area that is now the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. 

During a special huaka’i (voyage) to honor our ancestors and refresh our spirits, we offered our oli (native chants) and aloha to Tutu Pele from the ridge above Halema’uma’u crater. 

Here is a photograph that I took of that night. Pele. So powerful. So beautiful. Fills my heart with wonder.

With Aloha,

Keola

September 7, 2021

An Open Letter To Management From Keola Beamer

For awhile there, Hawaii people thought we were coming out of the covid pandemic, then unfortunately, the Delta variant began surging amongst unvaccinated people. This led to our governor to ask tourists not to come to Hawaii, and State and County authorities limiting resident’s indoor and outdoor activities. Because of this, we’ve had two concerts cancelled at the Waikiki Shell. On a personal level, this is both disappointing and frustrating, but my heart especially goes out to artist managers, booking agencies and performing arts center management and staff. These are the people in the Music business who do the heavy lifting of coordination, advertising and presentation, often with little acclaim or acknowledgement. Covid has been hard on all of us, but it has been particularly difficult on management. I extend my Aloha and sincere gratitude to these talented women and men. Please know we are extremely grateful for your work and stand ready to get back to touring when the time is right, when we can all safely gather and share the beauty of Hawaiian Music.

In the meantime, life goes on. I’m making a Spam Musubi for lunch. Again.

Me Ke Aloha,

Keola Beamer

June 3, 2021

I am grateful that my hoaloha (friends) in Hawai’i are always looking out for me. They send me youtube videos of musicians playing my arrangements and compositions. Some of these covers are really quite good! Below is Nick Brightwell of New Zealand performing my arrangement of “E Ku’u Morning Dew”, from my CD, “Moe Uhane Kika – Tales of the Dream Guitar”. Check it out below! Nick has a nice style.

With Aloha – Keola Beamer

Nick does a great job!

If you’d like to learn this piece, consider becoming one of our members and learn how to play this piece at;

Concert at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center

December 1, 2020

I played a concert last weekend on Maui with my friend, Henry Kapono. How did we do this during the existing covid restrictions? Our friends at the Maui Arts And Cultural Center set up a “Drive In Concert” in their amphitheater, then let in 200 cars filled with people. There was no audience applause, instead people just honked their horns. For me, that took a little getting used to!

Keola, Moana, Henry and band members

All in all, it was so much fun to see the crew hard at work and to once again play for a Maui audience. Sweet!

Mahalo Nui, Art Vento (MACC) and my dear friend, Henry Kapono.

PBS Hawaiʻi Neighbor Challenge

November 19, 2020

Aloha friends and slack key ‘ohana. Recently PBS Hawai’i contacted several Hawai’i based artists regarding the concept for a “PBS Hawai’i Neighbor Challenge”. We were given the rights to use the song from the PBS show “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood” and then asked to make a video in our individual neighborhoods using the Mr. Rogers song. This would be a way to support our own excellent PBS Hawai’i station. Here is what I came up with at Honokahua Beach on Maui.

‘Ohana Beamer (my family) and I hope you might consider making a donation to PBS Hawai’i at this critical time.

me ke aloha,
Keola Beamer

P.S. Mahalo nui – Murphy Kapua’ala (Hawaii Canines For Independence, Class of 2011) and my friend, Tom Vendetti.

Links

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

https://www.facebook.com/valleyent/videos/289126525638704/


 

Keola & Moana, Kihei, HI

More News And Updates

See more of the latest news and updates from Keola Beamer on this page.