I’ll be performing solo steel guitar this Wednesday at Mulligans Wailea. 6:30-8:30. No cover chargeJoelKatz-CoverArt4


I’ll be playing by the food trucks tonight at Kihei Fourth Friday.
I am looking forward to the Na Hoku Hanohano awards tomorrow. Dania and I are going. My Adventures in Hawaiian Steel Guitar CD is a finalist in both jazz and audio engineering categories. My first CD “Hawaiian to Jazz” was also a finalist in the instrumental category two years ago. When I think back that was actually a real honor because the instrumental category has more entries than jazz. I didn’t go because I had committed to a gig here and I didn’t think I had a prayer for winning. I was up against the legendary Bobby Ingano, a great steel guitar player and he did win that category.
Being a finalist in the engineering category is really an honor because a committee of engineers that have a proven record of engineering successful projects judges it. The way that works is the committee is given a link to download 3 selections in mp3 format from the nominated CDs. They created the mp3 files from submitted CD’s. I am opposed to using MP3 for judging for a few reasons.
The entries are graded on a scale and private firm tallies the results. The criteria for what is good engineering is not really spelled out. I submitted my notes and comments last year that I used for my own reference in scoring. My sheet was used as an example for other engineering judges this year so I guess they see (hear) things the way I do.
The other entries in the jazz category are all good performances and sound quality. My CD is very different from others, mainly in the uniqueness of Hawaiian Steel Guitar playing this variety of music. The jazz category is also judged by the general Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts membership voting on a ballot. There is a preliminary vote, and then a vote on the 5 finalists in the many categories. It is the vote on the finalists that will be revealed tomorrow evening.
It is very difficult to actually listen to all the entries and get access to the material. I only voted in categories where I was making an informed choice. My opinion is that all entries should be posted in one place on line like the engineering category. As it stands you have to pay the academy to have a CD mailed out or $200 to have an email with a link sent to academy voting members.
I’d like to win these two Na Hoku awards. If I don’t it’s still OK and getting this recognition for my work is great. I’m looking forward to being a part of this whole event of people who contribute to recording music in Hawaii.


Hawaiian Steel Guitar at Mulligans Wailea

May 17, 2015

I will present an evening of Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar at Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea. http://www.mulligansontheblue.com. 6-8 PM Wednesday, May 20. My presentation will be a talk story on the history and technique of Hawaiian Steel Guitar. Music will include selections from my new CD, “Adventures in Hawaiian Steel Guitar”, along with traditional [...]

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I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You, Lap Steel Lesson revised

April 30, 2015

This classic song is actually pretty easy to play, even around the minor chords. The melody harmonizes in two notes nicely out of home base and the bridge at the 4 and 5 chord position.I revised this chart on May 2, 2015 after my class worked out some better notes and positions. Enjoy! My students [...]

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Review of my new CD in the Maui News by Jon Woodhouse

March 20, 2015

Many thanks to Jon Woodhouse for his wonderful review of my new “Adventures in Hawaiian Steel Guitar” CD. I think Jon really grasped what I am doing musically on this project and expressed some of the interesting points in our phone conversation. This was in the Maui Scene in the Maui News Thursday, March 19. [...]

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Here Comes the Sun Ukulele demo

August 21, 2014

Here’s a demo for a wedding that I just did. I may make a tablature for this for my class.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjyfATnddzM&feature=youtu.be

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Cannon in D for Hawaiian Steel Guitar

July 30, 2014

I’ve had requests for this song for weddings so I decided to adapt it for Hawaiian Steel Guitar. Here is my first attempt. I’ll continue to develop some of the variations. The key of D opens up many possibilities for the bar pull offs you hear which really sound nice if you can let other [...]

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A busy week for Steel guitar

June 30, 2014

I’m looking forward to a busy week of Hawaiian Steel Guitar. Come check me out at the public performances. Tonight, Hyatt Tihati Luau, Wednesday Mulligans, Thursday Ko at the Kea Lani, Wailuku First Friday, Saturday and Sunday at old Lahaina luau. George Kahumoku’s workshop week was fantastic and I recommend it to anyone who wants [...]

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June 5, 2014

Here’s tablature and a Demo of my lesson for Miloli’i for lap steel. Contact me for chord shapes for vocal accompanymentMilolii lyrics and Tab C6 Hi G(2) Audio demo for Miloli’i      ©

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Keanae on Hawaiian Steel Guitar

May 20, 2014

Keanae positions and Tab This is a Fun and fairly simple song I did in my Hawaiian Steel Guitar class this semester. I show the melody in tablature and also some positions to accompany the vocal. We use a C6 tuning with a High G string, a very versatile tuning for Hawaiian music. High to [...]

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