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Slack Key Guitar Instrumentals Redefine Traditional Christmas

Slack key guitar master Jim Kimo West redefines traditional Christmas songs with his gorgeous soothing playing style and adds an original new traditional composition to your must-have Christmas listening list. Kimo's Hawaiian Slack Key Christmas is the absolute antidote to seasonal holiday stress.

Hawaiian slack key guitar master, Jim Kimo West presents arrangements of traditional and contemporary Christmas songs in his nahenahe or warm and heartfelt style. Also included is an original composition, Mauna Kea Sleigh Ride. From his bouncy and facile take on Winter Wonderland to the Celtic harp-like strains of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Kimo brings a distinctive island-y sound to Christmas music. Cover art is by noted artist, Caren Loebel-Fried, who has illustrated and authored story books in collaboration with the Beamer family of Hawaii.

Editor Amazon

The soothing sound of slack-key guitar is perfect for Christmas music—beautiful in and of itself, and as an antidote to the seasonal stress. James Kimo West makes a welcome contribution to the short list of slack-key Christmas albums with this collection of 11 holiday standards and a single original, Mauna Kea Sleigh Ride... anyone interested only in mellow background music for Christmas listening need look no further. Fans of the genre will enjoy his work and others might be intrigued enough to seek out more information on it. 

Honolulu Star Bulletin - John Berger - Island Mele

Inspiring - Relaxing - Beautiful - FIVE STARS

This is my first Kimo West CD -- and let me tell you, the man is talented! Kimo takes traditional Christmas songs and provides amazing, beautiful slack key guitar interpretations. If you're looking for a CD that will inspire you and provide relaxing Christmas instrumentals, this is the one. I'm ordering additional CDs for some friends and family, because it's rare to find someone who can so perfectly capture the Spirit of Christmas.


Jim Kimo West

Jim Kimo West is recognized as one of the world's top slack key guitarists bringing his own unique musical perspective to this great acoustic guitar tradition. Besides his solo slack key career, West is best known as the long-time guitarist on CDs and tours for the world's most famous musical satirist, "Weird Al" Yankovic whose recent CD, Mandatory Fun debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts and won the Grammy for Best Comedy Recording. West is also a prolific composer with a generous output of new, exciting slack key guitar originals.  In addition he writes and produces music for too numerous to mention feature films and television shows.

A Canadian native, West grew up in Florida and was playing professionally in various rock bands by age 16.  A decade later he landed in Los Angeles and began working with "Weird Al" Yankovic.  West can be heard on and seen in all of Yankovic's iconoclastic videos, albums, and concerts playing guitar.

In 1985 to decompress after a long summer Weird Al tour, Jim made his first trip to Hana, Maui. He fell in love with the culture and the physical landscape of Hawaii.  As the sounds of Gabby Pahinui, the Sons of Hawaii, Sonny Chillingworth, The Sunday Manoa, and others played on the turntable, Jim jammed along for fun and relaxation. Already a long-time devotee of open tunings, he was immediately drawn to the gentle rhythms of the slack key guitar and soon began writing his own songs.  West didn't concentrate on learning the standard riffs and songs but instead developed his own unique slack key vocabulary which now defines his very unique approach to this great tradition.

While always retaining the heartfelt essence of traditional slack key, Jim Kimo West brings his own musical heritage to his original slack key instrumentals.  His style can best be described as nahenahe, a Hawaiian term that means soft, sweet, or of gentle voice - a fusion of old and new deeply rooted in tradition. Kimo's seven slack key CD's have garnered him much praise and well over 75 million streams on Pandora and Spotify.

Besides being acknowledged by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for his work on Mandatory Fun, West is also a recipient of the Hawaii Music Awards (American Music Awards equivalent) and has been honored by the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts with a Na Hoku Hanohano Award (Hawaiian Grammy) nomination, is a two-time winner of the LA Treasures Award for his contributions toward the perpetuation of the Hawaiian slack key guitar, and most recently his album Moku Maluhia (Peaceful Island) received a nomination for the recording industry's most prestigious award, the GRAMMY at The Recording Academy's (NARAS) 61st Annual event. Honoring excellence and exceptional achievement, it is the recording industry's most prestigious award.

 Kimo - Christmas
Jim Kimo West  - Kimo's Hawaiian Slack Key Christmas - WMR 30005

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