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  • Writer's pictureAISGC

Announcing the 2024 AISGC Festival!

We are excited to announce the 2024 AISGC Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival with special guests, Bobby Ingano and Joseph Zayac! The festival will be held July 25-27th, 2024, at the Towne Square Community Centre in Winchester, Indiana! This is going to be a special year as we commemorate the 50th year since the first ever Hawaiian steel guitar festival took place in Charles Moore’s basement in Winchester, Indiana! Therefore, we are planning a special celebration featuring more seminars, performances, jam sessions, Q&A, and learning opportunities! This year, 2022 AISGC guest artist, Alan Akaka, will also be in attendance and will be conducting a seminar. More information about the festival can be viewed at our Festivals page. Information about our 2024 guest artists can be viewed below.

Bobby Ingano

A protégé of the famous steel guitarist, David "Feet" Rogers (Sons of Hawaii), Bobby Ingano learned from Rogers his gentle style of guitar and humble philosophy of life. Now a highly sought after studio musician, Bobby can occasionally be seen touring on the mainland or Japan with the biggest names in Hawaiian music. His style of lap steel guitar is melodic, understated, and distinctly Hawaiian.

Bobby was born on Lana‘i Island. When he was seven, his family relocated to Honolulu. After being diagnosed with polio, Bobby spent the next 7 years in and out of Shriners Hospital. It was here, out of boredom, that he learned how to play the ‘ukulele, and was a natural, coming from an extremely musical family.

In high school, Bobby became immersed in playing the "blues" and joined a band. By the time Bobby was 18, having spent most of his teen years "bucking heads" with his father, Bobby moved out on his own and met a man who was one of the most notably influential people in his life–David "Feet" Rogers, original slide steel player of the renowned Sons of Hawai‘i. Feet instilled in Bobby the importance of playing with discipline and love. He would say, "When you play music, always have fun and the main thing is, making people happy…PERIOD! No worry about competition. It's not a sport. Just be happy and smile…and never, ever, put yourself above anybody else. Bobby, always, ALWAYS play from your heart!" It is this wisdom that Bobby now shares with young steel guitar players and other young musicians.

Bobby's CDs include his solo recordings "Steel 'n Love," "Steel Reflections," and "Stranger Here." Bobby is also featured as a soloist on 3 Grammy Award winning Hawaiian music compilations and is the steel player on a myriad of studio CDs by Hawai‘i's most prominent artists. (HIMELE)

Joseph Zayac

A resident of Honolulu, Oahu, Joseph Zayac hails from the plains of Aurora, Colorado. As a child he was immersed in a rich culture of New Mexican, Tejano and Mexican traditional music. His earliest guitar and musical influences stem from, "The God Father Of New Mexico Music" Al Hurricane Jr., Frank Corrales, Eddie Dimas, AJ Martinez, Tobias Rene, Flaco Jiménez and Lorenzo Antonio.

Picking up the clarinet at the start of intermediate school, his love for big band jazz emerged as the music of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman; This would later influence the way he wanted to play chord melodies on Steel Guitar. "It's amazing how much the Steel lends itself to playing like a horn section or how much the lower strings remind me of the clarinet!"

Upon his enlistment in the United States Marine Corps just shy of 18 years of age, Joseph went on to be assigned to the 1st Battalion 3rd Marines infantry unit, where he met gentlemen whose roots were in country and bluegrass music. Joseph often reminisces on the times he was taught these wonderful and uplifting melodies, "Nothing can quite compare to the feeling of peeling off your combat gear after a long, hot patrol and gathering around with a guitar and banjo. Man, those guys could sure play and sing!"

Soon after his time in the service, Joseph found himself playing in one of Oahu's premier Gypsy Jazz bands, Gypsy808. As primary rhythm guitarist for nine years, you will hear where his desirable accompaniment in swing, la pompe, bolero, gypsy bossa, rhumba, waltz, and ballads was developed and fine-tuned.

On the steel side of life, Joseph was gifted his first steel guitar from Jeff Au Hoy in late December of 2017 and later an 8-string Jerry Byrd Fry Pan from Bobby Ingano, both of whom he continues to study from. He makes use of the classic C13th and A6th tunings. "I'm so thankful to have steel guitar mentors like them, especially when I hit a road bump in my playing. They are always most encouraging and an endless supply of musical knowledge." (HIMELE)

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