Hawaii Slack key guitar fests slated for Waikiki Aug. 12 and 14 By Shane Nelson / August 05, 2016 Share 1 Kawika Kahiapo, a 2010 Grammy Award winner for his contributions to “Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar,” is one of the performers at the festival this year. -- Music lovers visiting Oahu can soak up some distinctively Hawaiian tunes on Aug. 12 at the third annual Slack Key Jam planned for the Outrigger Waikiki Reef Hotel. Some of Islands' most beloved slack key artists will be performing from 5 pm to 9 pm at the property's Hawaiian music hub, the Kani Ka Pila Grill, and the evening's entertainment is free. The third annual Slack Key Jam is a warm-up for the 34th annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival, which will be held this year just a short walk from the Outrigger Reef at the Waikiki Beach Walk on Aug. 14. The popular event will feature many of the Aloha State's most respected musicians. For those unfamiliar with slack key, the tradition originated in Hawaii and is referred to in the Hawaiian language as ki hoalu, meaning to loosen the key. Slack key musicians typically use a solo, fingerpicked style, slacking the guitar strings to produce a distinctive melody. Slack key music as a genre features many songs retelling stories about the Hawaiian Islands' people; their past and present; and tales of the destination's natural beauty. The Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival has been held in previous years on the eastern end of Waikiki in Kapiolani Park, but Outrigger Hotels & Resorts is offering presenting-partner support in 2016, and the event will take place for the first time in the heart of Hawaii's most popular visitor destination at the Waikiki Beach Walk. "Celebrating this distinctive art, as well as the slack key guitarists who continue to engage and entertain us, is so satisfying and a wonderful way to help preserve and perpetuate the vital role music plays in our island culture," Bitsy Kelley, the vice president of corporate relations for Outrigger Enterprises Group, said in a statement. Like the Outrigger Reef's Slack Key Jam, the 34th annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival is free. For details, visit www.slackkeyfestival.com.