A Taste Of The Tropics… In November

Ward off the Winter blues with the sound of the Islands at Seattle Slack key festival.

If late autumn chilliness takes the spring out of your step, a visit to the  3rd Annual Seattle Slack Key Festival might be in order. Scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 13, this celebration of Hawaiian music, food and culture will have you ditching the winter coat and grabbing your ukulele on your way to Town Hall Seattle.

The festival boasts a line-up of Hawaiian musicians and Slack Key aficionados, such as Cyril Pahinui, Makana and Sonny Lim, as well as Ukelele phenomenon Kunia Pahinui-Galdeira and two renowned MCs, Skylark Rosetti and Braddah Gomes. The term ‘slack key’ refers to the musical style and way that the instrument is tuned; the sound is accomplished by detuning, or ‘slacking’, the strings of a standard guitar. Guests can also enjoy Hula dances, beautiful displays of Hawaiian tropical flowers and prize drawings.

The festival is scheduled from 1 to 6 p.m., but the fun doesn’t stop after the scheduled performances wrap up. The Meet the Artists Dinner will begin at 6 p.m., and feature a Kanikapila (impromptu live jam, usually performed on the beach) by several festival performers. Audience members can sample a delicious selection of heavy pupu — Asian-influenced appetizers that are often associated with Hawaiian cuisine. The dinner is a great opportunity to meet and mingle with this superstar line-up of artists, listen to their stories and enjoy their music in a much more intimate setting.

This Saturday, workshop sessions will teach attendees about the unique arts of slack key and ukulele. Students will learn to create the ‘slack key’ sound through repetition of simple exercises and solos. Sessions are $40 per person, or $70 for two.

If you can’t make it to the islands this winter, Seattle Slack Key Festival is the next best thing. Tickets are available online.

Seattle Slack Key Festival at Town Hall Seattle | 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13