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Mc Master Slack Key Concerts

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: Malolo Rd., Hanalei Community Center, Hanalei, Kauai, HI 96714
Phone Number:
+1 808-826-1469

Since 1999, Doug and Sandy McMaster have been presenting authentic, award...

Since 1999, Doug and Sandy McMaster have been presenting authentic, award winning traditional Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukulele concerts. Fridays 4pm and Sundays 3pm at the Hanalei Community Center. Concerts are also now offered in Princeville at the Princeville Community Center (4334 Emmalani Rd. 6pm Saturdays) and at All Saints' Church (Kapaa 6pm Wednesdays).

Their 2000th concert will be held the first week of April 2017. They've been voted Best Live Show by Hawaii Magazine Readers several times. They're a key attraction and an excellent way for visitors to experience the beautiful family music tradition of Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukulele while learning its history, cultural significance, and inspirations behind the songs.

Their mission is to ho'omau (continue the tradition) as directed by Raymond and Elodia Kane (Oahu) and Keli'i Mawae (Molokai). The soothing sounds of traditional slack key music relax the audience into 'Hawaii time' bringing peace and Aloha to heart and soul.

Concerts are one of the most affordable things to do on Kauai and appeal to both the individual visitor as well as to groups or families. The venues are family friendly and accessible.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 141 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 111
  • 17
    Very good
  • 7
  • 5
  • 1
Great playing and she has a great story telling voice.

I had not heard of Slack Key before but enjoyed it and the learning of how it came to be, going back to the Spanish cowboys who had to teach the Hawaiian's how to control and... read more

Reviewed 12 March 2017
Lawrence P
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141 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 141: English reviews
Level Contributor
98 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2017

I had not heard of Slack Key before but enjoyed it and the learning of how it came to be, going back to the Spanish cowboys who had to teach the Hawaiian's how to control and contain the cattle that they brought into the islands. A nice evening in a small civic center next to the old green church next... More 

Thank Lawrence P
Port Coquitlam, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2017

Slack key guitar is a relaxed as an island breeze with floral scents and sea air mixed in to the sweet sounds of waves lapping at a beach. It's a different kind of music that either eludes you or you get entirely. If you've listened to Jeff Peterson, this is the story of that music in its more original form.

Thank WesternWilly
Dallas, Texas
1 review
Reviewed 23 January 2017

No slacking with this couple - putting on 3-4 performances a week. We have been back 5 times, love the music and the narrative that Sandy gives on how the music came about, the history, and this couples fondness of that music and each other. The best way to hear authentic native Hawaiian music. And you can't beat the price... More 

Thank bmlitt2017
Bisbee, Arizona
Level Contributor
61 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2017

I was looking forward to,. well,. more of a concert and not a lesson and talk about family stories. There were about 5 songs in the first set, half of which were person history which is fine but not all that interesting. Had to leave at intermission because I was frankly getting really bored. It was also very expensive at... More 

Thank sleepydog
New Orleans
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2017

Understand this concert is just instrumental, and that with little variety. There is no singing. I felt like someone really into guitar would enjoy this, the four non-musicians in our group found it way too long. I cannot recommend this unless you are a guitar geek. It didn’t help that it started about 20 minutes late. I believe, as others... More 

Thank travelntom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2017

The music was beautiful, and though Doug's masterful slack key guitar and beautiful compositions were the highlight Sandy's Ukulele playing complemented the guitar nicely. I enjoyed hearing the history of the development of the slack key guitar style, and seeing and hearing examples of both the distinctive tunings and the separate playing of bass line and melody. As another reviewer... More 

Thank David G
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2016

The stories and music played by the McMasters are great--you get a real sense of slack key history and theory. But we went more than once and heard all the same stuff. It's also a bit pricey now; a great deal at $15; not so much for $25. They are a little woo woo, but I enjoy that.

Thank kubatana
Sandy M, Owner at Mc Master Slack Key Concerts, responded to this review

Aloha and thank you for sharing your experience! Our mission, given to us by the elder slack key caretaker of Molokai, Keli'i Mawae, is to perpetuate this Hawaiian family music. As he said, 'As long as people hear the stories and music, they will carry it in their hearts and take it all over the world... and it will survive."... More 

Level Contributor
252 reviews
102 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 December 2016

As the old soul song goes, Doug & Sandy provide spiritual healing while educating us about the history of true Hawaiian slack key in a traditional "talk story" way in a magical setting behind the old green church in Hanalei. Keep an open mind to fully experience all that is offered here. It's a blessing they share their gifts... And... More 

Thank Ticolover
Olympia, Washington
Level Contributor
38 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2016

We thoroughly enjoyed the concert put on by the McMasters. We spotted a sign in front of the church where they were performing and stopped in on the spur of the moment. The music was beautiful and these people are talented and friendly. The concert certainly made for a complete and relaxing island experience.

Thank Westolytravelers
Lewiston, Idaho
Level Contributor
44 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 November 2016

I have never attended a Slack Key Concert while on Kauai, but looking for something authentic . It was easy to book the tickets,personal treatment and the setting is very special. The afternoon concert was special and recommend to all ages.

Thank travelsalot1995

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