Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association... encouraging the study, teaching and performance of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar

Joliet Hawaiian Music Festival 2012Alan Akaka

The new Joliet Hawaiian Music Festival is set for October 4-6, 2012 at the Holiday Inn Conference Center in Joliet, Illinois. Newcomers and the public are encouraged to attend this 3-day festival of performances, workshops and Kanikapila.

Thursday will feature opening ceremonies and on-stage music sessions throughout the day. On Thursday evening we will enjoy "Talk Story" with this year's Honored Guest, Alan Akaka from Kailua, O'ahu. On Friday we will have on-stage music sessions throughout the day. Friday evening will be set aside for more music and jamming.
Saturday is the day of big changes! Newcomers and anyone with an interest in 'ukulele, slack key and steel guitar will certainly want to check it out. Music will fill the air as "Steel Guitars in Concert" will be featured morning and afternoon.

Expert-led steel guitar, slack key, and 'ukulele workshops will be held at the same time as on-stage performances on Saturday. Advanced registration for these workshops is not necessary and there is no extra charge - just drop in! Attend as many as you like. Saturday will indeed be a celebration of all Hawaiian music!

As always, the lūʻau and floorshow will cap off the festival on Saturday evening. There is an extra charge for the luau - tickets available at the door. And don't forget about the legendary all-night jam sessions.

Wednesday, October 3
Check into the hotel, set up, talk story, have dinner, sleep, or get the jam session started.

Three Days of Steel Guitar in Concert - Playing Schedule

Thursday, Oct 4 Friday, Oct 5 Saturday, Oct 6
New! Workshops All Day
See Schedule Below
Opening Ceremony Membership Meeting
(Open to All)
Duke Ching
Duke Ching K Koster and S Angelio
Kamaka Tom Derrick Mau Ivan Reddington
Jack Aldrich Rick Aiello Chris Kennison
Ron Simpson Erich Sylvester Kamaka Tom
Dick Briggs Vaughn Passmore Mark Prucha
Vaughn Passmore Frank and Donna Miller Dave Kolars
Lunch Break
(Meal not Provided)
Lunch Break
(Meal not Provided)
Lunch Break
(Meal not Provided)
Ron and Arlene Wenger D Fullmer and C Hidy Gerald Ross
Mike Scott Dick Lloyd Alan Akaka
Virginia Grzadzinski Don Woods Derrick Mau
Jamie O'Connell Gerald Ross Mike Scott
Chris Kennison Bill Creller Ian Ufton
John Plas Williams Twins   Main Room Closed
for Luau Rehearsal
Ian Ufton Evelyn Brue-Roeder  
Tony Fourcroy Greg Wong  
Ivan Reddington Alan Akaka  
Alan Akaka  
  Cash Bar and Social Time
Pre-Luau Music
      Luau Dinner
Not included in registration fee.
Luau tickets are ONLY available
at the festival registration desk.
Talk Story
with Alan Akaka
    Luau Show and
Time for Aloha


Saturday, October 6
New! Saturday workshops - drop in on any session - no registration or extra cost!

  Main Room Board Room Heritage Room Rialto Room
9:00 Steel Guitars
in Concert
Beginning Slack Key
Chris Kennison 9-10
Beginning Steel
Gerald Ross 9-10
Beginning 'Ukulele
Terry Truhart 9-10
11:00 Recording Technology
Chris Kennison 11-12
Jam Session Etiquette
Gerald Ross 11-12
'Ukulele Sing-Along
Terry Truhart 11-12
noon Lunch Break
(meal not provided)
1:00 Steel Guitars
in Concert
2:00 Advanced Slack Key
Chris Kennison 2-3
Steel - Alan Akaka 2-3
Swing 'Ukulele
Gerald Ross 2-3

Course Synopses for Saturday All Day Expert Workshops
(no extra charge, just drop in!)

Beginning Steel Guitar (C6th) This starting-from-scratch C6th steel guitar workshop will cover how to hold the bar, correct placement of finger picks, a simple strum and how to correctly place the bar on the strings. By the end of the hour you will be playing an easy song. This class assumes no previous knowledge of the steel guitar. Previous experience on any stringed instrument is desirable but not mandatory. Instructor: Gerald Ross.

Intermediate/Advanced Steel Guitar (C6th) Playing "Hawaiian Style" steel guitar is quite different from playing steel in other types of music. The workshop will cover the playing techniques and equipment needed to achieve the "Hawaiian" sound. Workshop topics include selecting a tone bar, picking technique, muting and blocking, how to practice, how to play backup, how to play vampsóin short, knowing when and what to play. Also, we'll cover what to look for in a steel guitar. The session will focus on the C6th tuning. The class is open to everyone, but familiarity with the C6th will be a plus. Lap and pedal steel guitarists are welcome. If possible, bring your steel guitar to the class. Instructor: Alan Akaka.

Beginning 'Ukulele This intro class focuses on three areas: the mind, the left hand, and the right hand. It is a plus, but not essential, if you know the three chords in the key of C (C, F, and G7) in the High-G Hawaiian tuning (GCEA). Low-G people are also welcome. You will learn to play chord transitions clearly and effectively, how to practice your strumming, and how to get it all to work together so you sound like you know something! The goal is to have fun and learn a ton. Instructor: Terry Truhart.

Swing 'Ukulele You will learn how to make a 'ukulele swing. We'll take the basic 'ukulele chords and convert them into more swingy/bluesy sounding chords and learn how to get the correct swing rhythm and sound. Can you play your basic open position uke chords and switch between them smoothly? Do you consider yourself a confident beginner? If so, then you are ready for this workshop. No knuckle busting chords, no music theory or music reading. Just fun! Instructor: Gerald Ross.

'Ukulele Sing-Along The sing-along will be open to anyone who wishes to sing. I will stick to 3- or 4-chord standards that everyone should know, and we'll cover a little vocal technique. You don't have to sound greatójust have joy in your heart! Instructor: Terry Truhart.

Beginning Slack Key Guitar Slack-key is a finger-style guitar genre that originated in Hawai?i. This intro to slack key will include some history and cover the popular taro patch open tuning with some simple songs and vamps to get you started. This is not a beginning guitar classóstudents should be able to tune their guitars, read tablature, play at an intermediate level, and be familiar with finger picking. Familiarity with open tunings is a plus but not required. Bring your acoustic guitar. Tablature and handouts provided. Instructor: Chris Kennison.

Advanced Slack Key Guitar We'll explore one or two other open slack key tunings and another song. Anyone from the beginning class is welcome. Instructor: Chris Kennison.

Jam Session Etiquette Yes, there is an unspoken etiquette to any jam session. It may look like a free-for-all but there are guidelines that are easy to follow that will make any jam session more fun, musical and satisfying for all. You'll learn these few easy rules and then jam on basic, easy-to-play songs! Everyone will get a chance to lead a tune if they wish. All instruments and playing levels welcome. Instructor: Gerald Ross.

Recording Technology Workshop This will be a fast-paced introduction to the basics of using two affordable music software applications to create pro level recordings on a PC or Mac. First we'll look at Band In A Box, which lets you create your own jam tracks. Then we'll see how those tracks can be used with computer recording software to complete a finished song for a CD, or for the web. Bring a notebook. We will only talk about the software tools described above. You should know how to use your computer, install software, save and find files in folders, burn CDs and install hardware. Instructor: Chris Kennison.

Legendary All Night Jam Sessions

The legendary HSGA "no sleep, all night" jam sessions happen each night of the festival (including "pre-festival" Wednesday and "post luau" Saturday).†They usually start around 9pm (after the last seminar of the evening). These impromptu, informal, fun and free sessions are open to all musicians and listeners.†The musicians at these sessions are friendly and open. They are enthusiastic and eager to share playing tips, tunings, "talk story" and sometimes even give a quick free lesson. Sitting a foot away from a world-class steel guitarist and watching their hands is the fast track to learning the instrument. Brush up on jamming skills, consider taking the JAMMING ETIQUETTE WORKSHOP on Saturday at 11am.

Saturday Night Luau and Floor Show

The traditional HSGA Joliet Saturday night Luau and Floor show is happening again this year!  Join us at 5:30 for pre-luau musical entertainment, cash bar and social hour.  At 7:00 enjoy a Polynesian-style dinner, then sit back and enjoy the Luau Floor Show at 8:00.  Note: There is a separate per-person charge for the luau, payable at the festival.  Luau admission is not included with your festival registration. Luau tickets are available at the festival registration desk.  Get your tickets early!   Luau tickets are only available for purchase during the festival. There are no advance sales. Guests are encouraged to wear their finest Aloha wear!


Please register in advance

To help us plan for the event, please fill out and mail this simple festival registration form by September 1, 2012 to Wally Pfeifer, 115 N. Clinton St., Dwight, IL 60420. Do NOT mail to Honolulu headquarters or to the Holiday Inn. Note: If you wish to play on stage, advance registration is mandatory and you should not wait until the last minute! We assign playing spots on a first come, first served basis.

Missed the registration deadline? Don't worry - please attend anyway! The 3-day festival fee is $45 per person, and the walk-in daily fee is $15 per person. Remember that you do not have to pay in advance. You may pay on arrival in Joliet. We encourage everyone who's interested in HSGA, Hawaiian music, steel, uke, or slack key to attend!

Where to stay in Joliet
Convenient lodging right at the Holiday Inn can be reserved by mailing this Holiday Inn reservation form to Holiday Inn • 411 S. Larkin Avenue • Joliet, Illinois 60436 or by calling 815-729-2000. When reserving your room, use the code 'HSGA' on the outside of your envelope or during your phone call to receive the special rate. Reservations must be received by September 1, 2012. Reservations will be held until 6pm only, unless accompanied by a deposit or credit card guarantee for your first night's lodging.

Lodging and festival registrations are handled separately. Do not send your Room Reservation forms to Wally and do not send your festival registration form to the Holiday Inn. Thank you!



If you're planning on performing, complete the applicable portion of the registration form and mail it to Wally Pfeifer, 115 N. Clinton St., Dwight, IL 60420 ASAP - playing slots are filled on a first come, first served basis.

All performances are 25 minutes INCLUDING SET-UP TIME, and will be assigned by the committee. This will allow us to schedule all music sessions during the day, thus leaving the evenings free for seminars and jam sessions. No music sessions are planned for the evening hours. Whether you're a first time, or a longtime performer/attendee we need your registration form. We cannot make up a program list if we don't know who's coming and who wants to perform. No matter who you are, if we don't get your registration, you WILL NOT have a spot on the program. The sooner you register, the better. When all slots are filled, you will be put on a stand-by list. We cannot guarantee which day or time you will appear on the program, but we will try to honor preferences when possible. Last minute registrations are not guaranteed a playing time. Please bring at least two sets of chord charts for your back up players.


Questions may be directed to:


- phone (815) 485-6765 or    - phone (815) 351-2140