Makana: Composer, Guitarist, Singer,Philosopher,SongWriter

Guest Bio
Connect with Makana Links

Makana Bio via

Born and raised in Hawai’i, Makana is an internationally acclaimed Slack Key guitarist, singer, composer, philosopher, activist and one of Hawaii’s cultural ambassadors to the world. He is considered the youngest authority on his art form and recognized as one of the top guitarists in the US (Guitar Player Magazine 2008). The NY Times calls him “A dynamic force within the style” of slack key and National Geographic Society says Makana is “Charting a new sonic frontier with deep ties to tradition”.

His songs range from traditional to highly original, both instrumental and lyrical, exploring a broad spectrum of themes: cultural, philosophical, social-political, economic, inter-personal, sensual, and universal, often through the lens of humor and a piercing wit. He has performed in venues worldwide ranging from Tianjin Opera House in China to The White House, toured nationwide with Jason Mraz, opened for Sting, Santana & Elvis Costello, and released 6 records to date.

Makana’s song Deep in an Ancient Hawaiian Forest is featured in the Academy Award winning movie, The Descendants, starring George Clooney, and his songs Flood and Will I Ever See You Again?, appear in the DVD extras.

Makana’s protest song, We Are The Many, has over 300,000 views and has garnered press from many of the major media outlets. He performed the song at an APEC Summit gala, which was attended President Obama and a slew of world leaders.

What They’re Saying

Slack key guitar music, indigenous to Hawai’i, has been around longer than the blues, and Makana is considered the greatest living player. – Esquire Magazine

“His transfixingly agile slack-key technique and genre-crossing music have relit a fire for live music in Waikiki. .”
~ – San Francisco Chronicle~

 “Absolutely amazing… You have a great stage presence. ”
~ Joe Satriani, to Makana at Guitar Player Magazine’s Superstar Competition~

Makana vibratations

Makana Acoustic – Going To California

The Spirit of Hawaii: Makana

“Slack key guitar music, indigenous to Hawai’i, has been around longer than the blues, and Makana is considered the greatest living player.” ~~Esquire Magazine~~

Composer,Philosopher,Virtuoso Guitarist and Humanitarian Makana joined me on Season 1 Episode 4 of The Philosophical Beat.

One of the most genuine artists who cares and loves humanity… that’s how I felt after having an amazing conversation with Makana in this episode…. I don’t know any other way to describe this fascinating multi-talented (in so many levels) human being.

Tune in to  get a mix of philosophical view points as well as artist view points meshed together in a well spoken and thought provoking dialogue with a legend and spirit of Hawaii who carries the torch of his homeland in so many ways beyond his beautiful music.

Makana’s guitar skills are jaw dropping to say the least, his voice is a thousand angels vibrating in your ear.

Join us to hear about Makana’s latest projects both in music and in his projects for helping to make the world a better place.

Quotables & Highlights from this episode:

  • “…there is no such thing as conditional love, because that is not love!…” Makana.
  • Human Truths we all keep inside
  • Makanas experience in writing for oscar nominated movie The Descendants with George Clooney
  • Viewpoints on the new generation and conscious parenting
  • Makana’s new projects and compositions

Episode Music Clips Credit List:


The Gift of Voice with John Torres

Grammy Nominated  Sara Bareilles has a few good things to say about him… you will too after hearing a little bit about multi talented singer & songwriter John Torres.

His voice is guaranteed to make you drop what you’re doing & soak in in the gift that is his voice and presence on stage and in his studio work.

TPB is proud to bring you one of the most poignant and honest sounds that you are ever to hear through John Torres.

Quotables & Highlights from this episode:

  • “…Just because you go on a journey, doesn’t mean the audience is going on the journey…” J.T.
  • “…No Guarantees (talking about performance) of transendence…” J.T.
  • The awareness of the power you generate on stage
  • “It Takes a Village”… to raise an artist! .. what goes on behind an artists life that makes them successful.
  • Branding 101 or 100.5
  • John’s philosophy on the meaniningful relationships you build on the artist path.

Episode Music Clips Credit List:

Part of the Plan – John Torres: Live @ the NoHo Brickhouse

John Torres: Singer/Songwriter

Guest Bio
Johns Links

John Torres is a singer/songwriter and recording artist from Los Angeles, CA.
His music is a mix of indie, pop and adult contemporary and could be described as a mix between Jason Mraz, Andrea Bocelli and Sting.

He has performed throughout the country and abroad, and has performed alongside artists such as Shawn Colvin, Tyrone Wells and Sara Bareilles.

To date, John has produced 3 albums, and is currently wrapping up production on his 4th (Due out in 2013)

What They’re Saying

“John and I sang together in college. I was not only inspired by his voice, but by his songs. “Living Without You” resonated so deeply with me and inspired me to begin to write my first real song…I’ve been writing ever since. Thanks John!”
~ Sara Bareilles, Grammy Nominated Songwriter/Recording Artist EPIC Records

Closest you’ll get to hearing an angel sing without having to go to heaven. John Torres is one of the best young voices I’ve heard since Josh Groban. His range, pitch and timing are superb… his work ethic and attitude even better! I expect he will have a great career ahead.”
~ Marjorie Maye, Multi-Platinum EMI Songwriter

 “John Torres is Brilliant. I’ve been a pro musician, writer and producer for 25 years now with close to 1000 album credits, 100′s of singles and several movie soundtracks to my list with lot’s of world known artists and one of the best things about having this as my line of work is that I get to work with so many wonderful humans and sometimes also with some very unique talents…and once in a blue moon a perfect combination of both…John Torres is both in my book!!! Your road ahead is nothing but bright my friend…trust me!!!”
~ Tommy Denander, Multi-platinum Producer and Multi-instrumentalist

Check out John live doing his “thang”

John Torres performing "Hallelujah" at the NoHo Brickhouse

Into The Strings with Laurel Thomsen

Come and meet Laurel Thomsen, prodigy violinist (who was teaching students OLDER than her and had her own music school before she could drive as you will hear during our talk) .

She is to no surprise truly multi-talented, and a jack(is there a female version of this word?) of all trades including teacher, contributing author to Strings Magazine and cultivator of her students to achieve all their dreams in music.

From Laurel’s Bio:

“Laurel Thomsen has always had an ear for song, but at six, music possessed her. Concerned, she told her mother that music from a recording she had listened to wouldn’t stop playing in her mind. “Don’t worry, that happens to me too” her mother reassured. When Laurel explained that it wasn’t just a little ditty, but a whole orchestra note for note, her mother said that that sounded like quite a gift…..”

People always ask me as a musician and with the podcast if I have ever met anyone that seems like they were simply “born to play”.

I am honored and proud to say that I can add another person to that very very short list, and I was lucky enough to chat with her on this episode.

Episode Music Clips Credit List:

Laurel Thomsen: Violinist, Multi-Talented Artist & Podcast Host

Guest Bio
Classically trained violinist and violist Laurel Thomsen enjoys performance and studio recording across a variety of genres, including folk-rock, Celtic, and most recently as a founding member of the acoustic folk-blues trio, Bright Side Band. Since 1996 she has taught hundreds of students in the Monterey and Santa Barbara, California areas, in Missoula, Montana, and since 2009, online via Skype. Laurel is the creator and host of the Violin Geek Podcast, a regular contributor of string technique articles for Strings magazine, and author of Improve Your Bowing Technique, a beginner through advanced level book/video guide available through String Letter Publishing.
Contact Laurel for any of your touring,recording needs at these links

Chris Hale: Bass

Guest Bio
Chris (Left with Bviolin Trio) has been a bassist for 24 years in a variety of styles of music originally in San Diego from R&B to jazz to west African,Middle Eastern to Flamenco,most notably, 7 years as founding bass player for World Groove Ensemble  Bviolin  & Mystic Groove Since migrating to Portland, Oregon he has been spent 2 1/2 years in the Ken Hanson band as well as recent stints with Karen Lovely as well as playing in the Starlight Parade in Portland. Chris is dcurrently playing in and recording with many projects.
Contact Chris for recording or touring

Under the Radar of groove: Fretless Bass

A fascinating look with our guest Chris Hale into one of the most amazing musicians I have had the pleasure to play with via many different projects,tours & records.

This episode features a diverse discussion into Chris’s free spirit and improvisational personality and his philosophical beat on his instrument(Fretless Bass), the world of jazz (his main influence) as well as an in depth discussion on how the bass has grown and changed over the years of music recording.

Our Conversation flows into other topics including

  • Jazz Technique V.S. Feel
  • stories from touring the nation.
  • The role of the bass and compression in production

Music Clips In this Episode: