Arts

Hawaiian Christmas Concert with Grammy Winner Jim Kimo West

Who wouldn’t like a little Hawaiian sound in their Christmas tunes? A little Hawaiian slack key Christmas song to brighten up the mood. It is beautiful storytelling through dance and the rich history of Hawaii’s people and their music.

Jim Kimo West brought the soothing sounds of Hawaiian slack-key Christmas music with two hula dancers and his wife Diana at the Cultural Center on December 22 at 7:30 p.m.

What a treat! It’s been a couple of years since Jim Kimo West was at the Muckenthaler. We heard a few songs from his recent album Ka Honua Maluhia: Peaceful World and the traditional Christmas songs.

What is Hawaiian slack key music?

“Slack key” is a way of tuning combined with a specific way of playing the guitar. Changing the tuning the relationship of the open string notes to allow for new melodic and chordal possibilities on the fretboard. There are literally hundreds of tunings.

Slack-key guitar is a fingerstyle genre of guitar music that originated in Hawaii after Portuguese cowboys introduced Spanish guitars there in the late 19th century. The Hawaiians did not embrace the tuning of the traditional Spanish guitars they encountered.

Grammy Winner Jim “Kimo” West is known as one of the world’s top “slack key” guitarists. He’s also a composer for film and TV and a long-time guitarist on “Weird Al” Yankovic’s CDs and tours. He performs regularly at concerts and festivals.

My favorite song was “Twelve Days of Christmas” (Covid Version). They play around with the lyrics, being creative and original. The song’s lyrics constantly change every year. For more information on entertainment at the Muckenthaler visit: https://themuck.org

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