Slack Key, Hawaiian Mele & Falsetto

8.5X11 FINAL












Welcoming Sean Robbins for his first performance on the Palace stage!!

Just as it has been done since Hawaiians first began playing slack key, Sean Robbins comes from the school of “listen, watch and learn”. He was 14-years-old when he first thought he wanted to learn to play guitar.

Growing up in Kalapana, Sean began to play at the age of 14. The Keli’iho’omalu family had an early influence on his slack key style. While attending Pahoa High School, Sean auditioned as a slack key player and became a member of their Hawaiian Music Ensemble.

After meeting Cyril Pahinui, Sean‘s slack key reached a new level. Leaning from Uncle Cyril was where Sean truly learned the old style of slack key training: sit down and watch, then try to do the same thing.

Soon Robbins began studying the Hawaiian language. He became fluent so he could write his own songs in Hawaiian.

In 2010, Sean appeared on HPR’s” From the Top” winning the Jack Kent Cooke Artist Award. Each year this award offers scholarships to exceptional young musicians with financial need. In Sean’s case, it gave him the seed money to produce his first CD. Cyril Pahinui helped with the production of “Olanui”, featuring 11 original songs. The album received a Na Hoku Hanohano Award and a nomination for most promising young musician. Work on the next album is now underway.

Sean’s slack key has been described as “soothing on a soul level”, seeping into your very existence. His love of music is closely tied with his love of the aina. It is from there he receives inspiration for such songs as his single “Ka Lehua . Recently Sean made a video with this song to focus energy on the struggle against Rapid `Ohi’a Death.

Sean loves Hawaiian songwriting and realizes this is a responsibility he has accepted, to perpetuate slack key and Hawaiian song.

Much of this information came from an article in Ke Ola magainze. You can read more here:

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