The NextGen is a group of "Next Generation" Ke Kula Mele keiki students who excel in their craft and are selected to represent the school in various public performance functions such as the HIMELE Hawaiian steel guitar festivals held statewide. Once a student earns the designation of NextGen, the student retains that privilege until he or she is no longer a student of Ke Kula Mele or graduates from college.
NextGen musicians are selected for their musical proficiency, confidence in performing, and willingness to engage an audience and share their musical story.
NextGen musicians typically are proficient in multiple instruments, and many also sing. When not performing as a featured artist, a NextGen musician will participate as a part of the backup musical ensemble for the featured artist.
NextGen musicians are selected by Kumu Alan Akaka when they demonstrate their readiness to join this select group of musicians.
NextGen musicians with
Kumu Alan Akaka and Bobby Ingano
Statewide Steel Guitar Festivals
Kaua‘i Steel Guitar Festival
Maui Steel Guitar Festival
Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week
Hawai‘i Island Steel Guitar Festival
Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival
Kona Steel Guitar Festival