Spotlight ON!

Spotlight ON! Ethan Goore

This month we shine the Spotlight ON! Ethan Goore.

Currently living in South Kohala on the Island of Hawai‘i, Ethan recently graduated from The Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy.

Ethan has been playing music for his entire life, and always looks forward to music classes in school. He started playing the drums when he was two years old, and drums are still one of his favorite instruments to play. He also started playing īukulele and trumpet in elementary school.

He became interested in the Hawaiian steel guitar while attending the Hawai‘i Island Steel Guitar Festivals in 2017 and 2018.

Ethan at 2017 HISGF
Ethan (blue shirt) watching intently at the Sunday Kanikapila
2017 Hawaiīi Island Steel Guitar Festival. PC-Kumiko Kakiuchi
Ethan at 2018 HISGF
Ethan with Natan Goore and Alan Akaka
2018 Hawaiīi Island Steel Guitar Festival kanikapila. PC-Eliza Demmi

"I noticed this young man at several of our music sessions at the 2017 festival," said Addison Ching. "He seemed very interested in the music and the instruments." While trying to identify him from festival pictures, a Facebook profile with his picture was discovered, but the profile belonged to his father.

"He also attended the 2018 festival, and that is when I thought I'd make his acquaintance," said Addison. "So I walked up to him and called him by the name that appeared the Facebook profile, Natan." He said no and gave me his real name. An "A-ha" Moment: Now we know who this young man was who appeared to be so interested in Hawaiian music and the steel guitar.

Ethan says, "I became interested in the steel guitar after attending the first and second annual Hawai‘i Island steel guitar festivals. I was amazed by the instrument's versatility as it could fit well in almost any style of music." Shortly thereafter he began Hawaiian steel guitar lessons with Kumu Alan Akaka via Skype.

Ethan made such progress on the steel guitar that he found himself performing on stage at the 2019 Hawai‘i Island Steel Guitar Festival.

"To me, the steel guitar is the secret ingredient that makes Hawaiian music sound authentic," says Ethan. He continues, "I love listening to older Hawaiian recordings and trying to copy the style of the steel guitar player – I listen a lot to Territorial Airwaves. I particularly enjoy the styles of Eddy Pang and Feet Rogers."

Ethan Goore with Sonny Lim
Ethan Goore and Sonny Lim at Napua Restaurant. PC-Natan Goore

Ethan has been taken under the wing of Elmer "Sonny" Lim of the Lim Family. Sonny has appeared as a steel guitarist at festivals and in the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase concerts and Ethan now performs with Sonny at the Napua Restaurant at the Mauna Lani Beach Club in Waikoloa Village, Hawai‘i. Ethan adds, "I have learned a ton and gained valuable practice on stage through playing with Uncle Sonny."

As a member of Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i's NextGen steel guitarists, Ethan has appeared at several steel guitar events including festivals on Hawai‘i Island, Waikīkī, and Kaua‘i. Ethan's performance videos have also been featured in the NextGen segment of recent Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase livestreamed broadcasts.

Ethan will attend Rice University in the fall of 2021, where he plans to take advantage of their music and mechanical engineering offerings.

So what about that Facebook profile that contained Ethan's picture? It belonged to Natan Goore, Ethan's dad, who is also an accomplished electric bass player and now a member of HIMELE's Board of Directors.

This video of "My Little Grass Shack" is one of several Ethan recorded for the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase Livestream Steel Guitar Saturdays series.

The video can also be seen on YouTube.

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