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The Austin 100: Makana

Tony Novak-Clifford
Courtesy of the artist

Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii

Genre: Hawaiian Slack-Key Guitar

Why We're Excited: Hawaiian musician and activist Makana has played huge stages, toured the world and popped up as an outspoken advocate for social justice. He's also spent his life mastering the slack-key guitar, as heard in the soft shredding of "Napo'o Ka La" — translation: "The Setting Of The Sun" — a Makana original that shimmers like the ocean. It's as deftly played and intricate as it is evocative, timeless and beautiful. (Watch him perform the tune in a Tiny Desk Contest submission from 2017.)

SXSW Schedule:

  • March 17: CU29 (720 Brazos St.)
  • Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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