THE CHAT with Karen Hutton: Makana

Check this dream off the list: “Do an episode of ‘The Chat’ with Makana“. Done. Check. Sigh.

Makana 101:

Makana is an internationally acclaimed slack key guitarist, singer, and composer. Described as “dazzling” by the New York Times, he is considered to be the greatest living player of the art form. His song “Deep In An Ancient Hawaiian Forest” is featured on the Academy Award winning soundtrack for The Descendents with George Clooney. He’s toured with Sting, Carlos Santana, Elvis Costello and Jason Mraz. Appeared on CNN, the BBC, ABC and other major news outlets. He has played for the President. His newest album “Ripe” was produced by a multi-platium producer and boasts contributions by grammy award winning talent.

Music in a Redwood Forest

Despite all the heady accolades, for our Chat Makana just wanted to be somewhere natural and peaceful, where music could lead the conversation. So that’s exactly what we did. We schlepped our gear into an ancient redwood forest in Felton, California. We talk about what slack key guitar, what it’s all about, the tuning, his thoughts on the true nature of activism… and he plays segments of several of his well-known songs all throughout. Plus, I got to hear a funny brand new tune that I’d never heard before!

SO THRILLED to bring you… Makana.

I’ve adored Makana’s music and life philosophy for years. I opened a conversation with him this year after one of his concerts, when I spoke with him for like, a second, after a concert. He always greets people afterwards… and I told him he should let me help him get started on Google+ (click the link to see his profile). For some reason, this sounded good to him – and a fantastic ongoing conversation started.

We all had dinner when the hubs and I were in Hawai’i. We brainstormed. Laughed. Agreed to do The Chat when he came out on his West Coast concert tour. Have ideas for more stuff. I’ve loved getting to know him. The thing is, while you can most certainly call him a singer, songwriter, slack key guitar master, activist, writer, Mind Mint originator – and be right on all fronts… he truly prefers no labels. He understands the need for them… but pretty much rolls his eyes at the whole notion. I think of him as a true artist; he lives his life as an art more than almost anyone I know. In the moment, as a living, breathing creation. Now THERE’S a description that fits Makana!


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