The 2023 AISGC Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival was held July 27-29, 2023 at the Winchester Community Centre in Winchester, Indiana. The 3-day festival schedule was packed with a linuep of performances, jam sessions, and learning opportunities.
This year's guest artist was steel guitar extraordinaire Kapono Lopes, from Hawai'i. Kapono played captivating sets on Friday and Saturday morning of the festival, and performed as the featured musician in an unforgettable luau show reminiscent of the "Hawaii Calls" radio broadcast on Saturday night. Guests were astounded by his amazing technique and phrasing skills, as well has his harmonious singing voice.
The festival opened with a welcome address from the mayor of Winchester, Indiana, Bob McCoy, and then proceeded with amazing performances by Alan Akaka (HI) and The Williams Twins (MI). The afternoon program featured more great performances by Ron Wenger (IN), Sharon Edmonson (IN), Michael Bonnice (AZ), Dick Martiny (MI), and Virginia Grzadsinski (MI). Michael Bonnice also put on a great seminar about steel guitar licks and audio comping features on Thursday afternoon.
2023 Kapono Lopes
2022 Alan Akaka
2019 Jeff Au Hoy
2018 Bobby Ingano
On Friday, the talent continued with performances by Kapono Lopes (HI), Richard Briggs (IN), Greg Wong (WI), Ivan Reddington (FL), Dave Kolars (IL), and Nancy Beck (IN). Alan Akaka also gave a great seminar on technique where players were able to ask questions and learn about the many tunings, tips, and tricks, of steel guitar.
Saturday featured another packed lineup of talent with performances by Kapono Lopes (HI), Mark Prucha (IL), Sharon Denny (IN), Vickie VanFechtmann (HI), Christo Ruppenthal (WI), Alan Akaka (HI), and Bill Wynne (NJ). Festival organizer Joyce Briggs, also organized a special birthday recognition beginning with members in their 90's and then younger. Saturday night featured an all-star luau show with Alan Akaka as emcee and ukulele player, Ian Ufton on bass, Bill Wynne on rhythm guitar, Mark Prucha on supporting steel guitar, Ron Cabanada on ukulele and supporting vocals, and Kapono Lopes on lead steel guitar and lead vocals. Ivo Garza also did a great job running sound throughout the festival and luau show. The festival closed with all gathered together to sing "Hawaii Aloha" and "Aloha 'Oe".
The 2023 AISGC festival was made possible by the generous donations of Hawaiian music lovers and contributors. Thank you to all our attendees! We hope to see everyone next year!