Keola Beamer & Jeff Peterson, with Moanalani Beamer
Genres:: Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar/ Hula
Website:: Keola Beamer / Jeff Peterson
KEOLA BEAMER & JEFF PETERSON W/ MOANALANI BEAMER (Maui, Hawaii) brings together Hawaiian legend Keola Beamer, who has stretched the boundaries of slack key guitar music while remaining true to the soul of its deeply Hawaiian roots, with a rising star of the next generation of slack key players Jeff Peterson. Both are featured on the soundtrack of the film The Descendants, starring George Clooney. Together, they present an evening of superb guitar that explores the beauty of Hawaiian music as it reflects its native land, the range of Hawai‘i’s many cultural influences, and the complexity of technique that has shaped the distinctively resonant sounds of Hawai‘i. They are joined by lovely dancer Moanalani Beamer, who brings hula and Hawaiian chants to the stage, and adds musical texture with ancient Hawaiian instruments.
KEOLA BEAMER (SLACK KEY GUITAR) was raised on Hawai‘i Island, born into one of Hawaii’s most illustrious and beloved musical families. He established himself early as the family’s youngest standard-bearer. A child of the rock & roll era, he was at the vanguard of Hawaiian contemporary sound. Yet he also helped drive what became the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance, recording many songs written by his ancestors, including his legendary great-grandmother Helen Desha Beamer and his mother Nona Beamer. Keola studied classical guitar, and went on to publish a slack key method book using a 16th-century lute tablature system as his starting point. He was one of Hawai’i's first recording artists to integrate Hawaiian chants and instruments, like the tiny gourd whistle and nose flute, into contemporary forms of music. Keola has recorded and produced more than a dozen albums, has won numerous Na Hoku Awards, Hawai’i's “Grammy”, and appeared on Sesame Street and NBC’s “Today Show.”
MOANALANI BEAMER (HULA) began her hula training at the early age of four with Kumu Hula (Hula Master) Johnny Hokoana, and continued training extensively with several different hula masters; she herself became a “Kumu Hula” in 2011, following a rigorous process of study and graduation (‘uniki). Her performing career included starring in several hula revues on Maui. In performance with Keola, she dances, chants, sings background vocals, and plays several ancient Hawaiian percussive instruments, including `ili`ili (river stone “castanets”), ka`eke`eke (cut bamboo) and Ipu (gourd drum). She also teaches, sharing her hula knowledge with students on Maui as well as in workshops across the U.S. and Europe.
JEFF PETERSON (GUITAR) grew up on the slopes of the Haleakala volcano on Maui, and was introduced to the rich heritage of Hawaiian music and to guitar by his father, a paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) on Haleakala Ranch. Early on, he began to pick up influences from such Hawai‘i slack key greats as the Gabby Pahinui Band, Leonard Kwan, and Sonny Chillingworth. As his interests broadened, he delved into a wide variety of musical genres in which the guitar plays a part, and went on to study jazz and classical guitar in college. He has recorded 5 solo CDs to date, garnering the 2010 Na Hoku Award (Hawaii’s “Grammy”) in Best Slack Key and a Grammy nomination for Maui on My Mind. He is a featured artist on two Grammy-winning compilation CDs in Hawaiian Music, and has worked with such artists as Eric Clapton, Ledward Ka‘apana, James Galway, Michael Feinstein, and the Honolulu Symphony, among others.