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George Kahumoku, Jr.

One of the heralds and preservers of traditional Hawaiian culture, George Kahumoku Jr. is an artist, musician, composer, farmer, storyteller, and teacher. As a musician he is best known for playing a 12-string slack key guitar, but his immersion in teaching and promoting the Hawaiian way of life extends far beyond his music. His educational history gives some hint of his range: he is a 1969 graduate of the Kamehameha Schools; a 1973 graduate of the Oakland, California-based College of Arts and Crafts, where he earned a BFA in sculpture; and a 1993 graduate of the Hawaii State Ag-Leadership Program. Since then he has spent the majority of his time as a farmer, musician, and teacher, eventually leasing his organic hog, coffee, and herbal tea plantation out so that he and his family could move to Lahaina, where he teaches in the Special Motivation Program at Lahainaluna High School on Maui.

His music career has been long and equally varied. He began playing professionally in the mid-'60s when he was only 13 with Kui Lee and performed with his brother, Moses, as the Kahumoku Brothers in the '70s and '80s. In 1979, he received the highest honor in Hawaii's recording industry, a Na Hoku Hanohano Award, for his slack key compositions on Aunty Edith Kanaka'ole's album Hi'ipoi I Ka 'Aina Aloha (Cherish the Beloved Land). His sound has been described as being very traditional and organic, with a smooth balance that betrays a harmonious relationship with nature. Displaying both his position in the Hawaiian music scene and his educational bent, he has played a part in several films about the culture and music of Hawaii. He contributed to the soundtrack of Steven Okazaki's 1992 documentary Troubled Paradise and had a part in two slack key documentaries, Eddie Kamae's The Hawaiian Way (1993) and Susan Friedman's 1994 film Ki Ho'alu -- That's Slack Key Guitar. Kahumoku also completed a soundtrack for a film about Hawaii's sovereignty movement, specifically the economic issues that have affected native Hawaiians since the overthrow of Queen Lili'oukalani. The film, titled Onipa'a, is set to be issued by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Kahumoku's work on that film inspired him to release his first solo album, a tribute to Queen Lili'oukalani titled E Lili'u, in 1995. That year also brought Kahumoku's first release with his son, Keoki Kaliko Kahumoku, titled Ho'oilina -- The Legacy. The album, which featured father and son playing slack key guitar and ukulele, includes traditional Hawaiian family songs as well as new compositions. In 1999 Kahumoku also released an album of Hawaiian Christian hymns entitled Hymns of Hawaii with Daniel Ho. Hawaii's Classics followed a year later. ~ Stacia Proefrock, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

gmtwest
I want to play this way on MY 12-string! Can you teach me, too?
apriledie
Love
I've never been to Hawaii but have recently just fallen in love with slack key guitar music. It is so peaceful and spiritually moving. I've seen several Hawaiian musicians here in Albuquerque, including George and his son Keoki. George is returning in January with Ledward Kaapana, whom I've never seen. Should be another great show.
His album "Hawaiin Lovesongs" is truly wonderful. Enchanting ear candy.
Love my uncle George!!!!!!
Makes me miss Kauai so much. Love Hawaii
Hawaiian music, is like music from heavens. I love to listen to, and even sing along some of the songs that I have learned some of the lyrics. They are great singers, and the music really brights up my day. Truly that's what I listen to every day.
*learned...s o r r y
If you like George's work, you should check out his friend and student Daniel Ho.. he truly earne at the feet of a master
MAN!!! that guy is good!!!!
sounds like paradisaic music
..and I'm just discovering this magic!
I love Hawaiian song
jkdejon
Takes me back to the 70s and 80s when living in Kona and hosting C&K at the new Kona Surf Convention center - sailing from the pier after having breakfast at the old Oceanview restauarant on Alii Drive across from the sea wall - and then sailing down to kealakekua Bay...and all was good in Hawaii ne!
drrichard87
It's all good...this music keeps the dream alive!
@Gerald, yes Kauai gets into your heart in amazing ways. Love how George Kahumoku can take me back to the islands in an instant with his amazing way of capturing and defining the spirit and soul of Hawaii with his 12 stings! Thx George for the beauty!!
As a Jazz fan I would call this genre "corny" however..... . I just returned from Kuaui and hearing this music causes my eyes to tear!! I can't shake the enchantment!
remohair
I just saw him @ the southern California Slack Key festival along with Bob Brozman. It was his 60th birthday and he put on a great show!!
lcadmo
(Hanohano Hawai'i) Makes me miss Maui so bad!
daveklene
Enjoyed his program at Whale Day '09 last February in Kihei, Maui. Very entertaining and the lovely lady with him performed a beautiful hula dance.
Saw him last winter near Lahaina. Wonderful concert, and a very friendly and kind gentleman.
Saw George K in Spokane several years ago. Truly enjoyed his music and storytelling . Makes me too homesick though. He would make an awesome venue at the Sandpoint music festival in Idaho.

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