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An intriguing combination of Chinese erhu player Tsun-Hui Hung, with two Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winning artists, Hawaiian steel guitarist Greg Sardinha and slack key guitarist Jeff Peterson. Three virtuosos on their respective instruments combined talents to present a unique cross-cultural collaboration.
Add the Peterson name to the Top 10 list of slack-key giants.
Although the cultural ties between China and Hawaii stretch back over two hundred years, there has been little contact between Hawaiian and Chinese music. This is the first project where the steel guitar, Hawaiian slack-key guitar, and ukulele meet the Chinese erhu.
Based on the group’s award-winning album Across the Sea, the program includes original, classic Hawaiian, and Chinese melodies. Some of these songs were written to celebrate the beauty of Hawaii. Others describe the experience of traveling to reach a cherished place. People have traveled to Hawaii in search of an idealized island paradise for centuries, for its natural beauty, lush tropical environment, and island culture. In addition to the indigenous Polynesian culture that first settled the islands, Hawaii’s musicians have adapted the music of other cultures to create music that is uniquely Hawaiian—the Hawaiian technique of ki ho’alu or slack-key guitar, the ukulele, and the Hawaiian steel guitar. And, since the beginning of the twentieth century, musicians in other parts of the world have embraced the music of Hawaii while adopting and adapting in turn.
Greg Sardinha is one of the foremost Hawaiian steel guitarists of his generation and has contributed to this Hawaiian art form for more than three decades as a musician, songwriter, arranger, and record producer. Jeff Peterson is unique among ki ho’alu guitarists—in addition to his mastery of slack-key techniques, he has also had extensive formal training in the traditions of Western (European-American) classical and jazz guitar. Taiwan-born Tsun-Hui Hung is internationally recognized as one of the most innovative players of the erhu. Across the Sea opens a new chapter in the evolution of Hawaiian music. The group hopes their songs will inspire all the travelers as they journey to realize their dreams.
Producer’s Circle member Tom G.