276 Haili St
Hilo, HI 96720
Since the 19th century the distinctive tones of kīkā kila, the Hawaiian steel guitar, have defined the Island sound. This program—and the recently published book of the same title—present the instrument’s definitive history, from its discovery by a young Hawaiian royalist named Joseph Kekuku to its revolutionary influence on American and world music. During the 20th century Hawaiian musicians traveled the globe, from tent shows in the Mississippi Delta where they shaped the new sounds of country and the blues, to regal theaters and vaudeville stages in New York, Berlin, Kolkata, and beyond. In the process, Hawaiian guitarists recast the role of the guitar in modern life. But by the 1970s the instrument’s embrace and adoption overseas also challenged its cultural legitimacy in the eyes of a new generation of Hawaiian musicians—and the indigenous instrument nearly disappeared in its homeland. Dr. John Troutman, Curator of American Music at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (and himself a steel guitarist), uses rich musical and historical sources to share the comprehensive story of how this Native Hawaiian instrument transformed not only American music but the sounds of modern music throughout the world. Indulge your enjoyment of this very special musical form at either the afternoon or the evening presentation of this not-to-be-missed program on May 8. Copies of his unique book will be available in the Museum Shop, and Dr. Troutman will be happy to inscribe them.
Admission to these wonderful programs is free to Museum members, and $3.00 for nonmembers.
Please support the Museum by becoming a member, and enjoy all Saigo Series programs, all year round, at no charge!
Seating is limited; first come, first seated.
On Monday evenings only, additional parking is available next door at Hilo Union School, Kapiolani St. entrance; park, then walk through our green gate in the rock wall.
On Monday evenings, doors open at 6:30PM. E komo mai!