“A dynamic force within the style [of slack key]…dazzling” – The New York Times
"He's lean, young, expressive, with impressive stage presence and jewel box precision… He is a master, for certain, but blessed with sizzling showmanship." -- Honolulu Advertiser
"I've been deep into classical music and Hawaiian slack-key guitar. I've gotten way into Andres Segovia, and this Hawaiian guitar player called Makana" --Kirk Hammett interview, Guitar World (Lead guitarist for Metallica)
Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award: Kī-Hō‘alu (Slack Key) Foundation Legacy Award in recognition of his body of work in slack key guitar
Hailing from the isle of O‘ahu, Makana is an internationally acclaimed slack-key guitarist, singer, composer, philosopher, activist, and one of Hawaii’s cultural ambassadors to the world. He is recognized as one of the top guitarists in the United States by Guitar Player magazine and was invited for an official showcase at the renowned SXSW Music Festival – NPR included him on the Austin 100 list of must-see shows . His songs range from traditional to highly original, both instrumental and lyrical, exploring a broad spectrum of themes: cultural, philosophical, sociopolitical, interpersonal, sensual, and universal, often through the lens of humor and sharp wit. His music is featured on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack of the award-winning film The Descendants.
Virtuosic and versatile, Makana’s music defies description. His solo performance is an exhilarating ride through the breadth of slack key, folk, rock, bluegrass, ethnic and jazz and his distinctly original songs are infused with the spirit of Hawai‘i. “Charting a new sonic frontier with deep ties to tradition”. --National Geographic Society
“… he has taken this centuries-old tradition and blasted it into the 21st century, fusing it with influences from Bob Marley to the Smashing Pumpkins ...young guitar hero” -- National Geographic