Ki-ho alu masters honor Mike Young at sold-out concert

An impressive roster of musicians graced a sold-out event with much aloha Sunday at the 21st annual Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival “Kauai Style.”

For six hours, several masters of ki-ho alu, or Hawaiian slack-key guitar, took the stage before nearly 600 people at Kauai Beach Resort’s Jasmine Ballroom.

The concert was played before a packed crowd in tribute to legendary surfer and musician Mike Young, who recently passed away and had a heart filled with aloha.

Several generations of Young’s family sat on the front row, and heard many kind words about the man who always lived life to the fullest.

Young died Sept. 25, after losing a battle with cancer. In the previous months, he kept the same smile and attitude that for 63 years inspired many young surfers to live a healthy life and droves of musicians to strive for beauty and excellence.

Sunday’s concert was all his. Originally in the roster, Young’s name was kept in the event’s bill.

The concert featured Dennis Kamakahi, Brother Nolan, Norman Kaawa, LT Smooth, Danny Carvalho, Keale, Pancho Graham, Doug and Sandy McMaster, Cindy Combs, Michael Keale, Stephen Inglis, Bobby Moderow and Dwight Kanae.

Young may have gone too soon, but his music and his aloha live on.

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