Spotlight ON!

Spotlight ON! Hideki Hattori

This month we shine the Spotlight ON! Hideki Hattori.

Hideki Hattori is one of many musicians who started out on the guitar and evolved to the Hawaiian steel guitar, mastering the Hawaiian Slack Key guitar and other instruments along the way.

Hideki Hattori is an accomplished Hawaiian steel guitar player who comes from a suburb of Tokyo, Japan. He and his musician group first appeared at the 2018 Hawai‘i Island Steel Guitar Festival at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows (now the Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection) Open Stage, showing his skill as a steel guitar player.

Hideki Hattori
Hideki Hattori
2021 Slack and Steel Poster

Hideki also appeared at the 2016 Slack Key Guitar Festival Windward Style in Kane‘ohe, where he showed his versatility as a slack key guitarist. Hideki recently appeared in the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase's Open Stage Showcase, playing the Hawaiian steel guitar and backing himself up on the slack key guitar. Hideki largely grew up in Tokyo but spent three years in Sendai and one year in Nagoya. He started playing the guitar at age 16, focusing on rock music.

Hideki Hattori at the 2018 Hawai‘i Island Steel Guitar Festival
Hideki Hattori at the 2018 Hawai‘i Island Steel Guitar Festival with Hitoshi Uchida and Hiroshi Kaneko. PC-Don Touchi

In the late 1970s, he became familiar with and was impressed by the music of Gabby Pahinui and Atta Isaacs on Ry Cooder's album, "Chicken Skin Music." His interest in Hawaiian music expanded when he began listening to albums by the Gabby (Pahinui) Band. "They are my first experience in Da Kine music," says Hideki.

He took up the slack key and Hawaiian steel guitars in the 1990s. He first started with a Weissenborn acoustic steel guitar, playing in early-age Hawaiian style. He now plays primarily in the C6 tuning. His favorite Hawaiian steel guitar players are Gabby Pahinui and David "Feet" Rogers.

"I have fortunately learned from two Na Hoku award winning guitarists, Yuki 'Alani' Yamaguchi in Japan and Bobby Ingano in Hawai‘i," says Hideki.

In addition to playing the steel and slack guitars, Hideki also plays the regular guitar, ‘ukulele, and mandolin.

In addition to the Hawai‘i music festivals, Hideki has also played many festivals in Japan, mostly around the Kanagawa area. He plays with various musicians in the area, and his music embraces the Hawaiian, Western Swing, and Rock genres. He is currently studying self-recording at home and plans to release a CD in the near future.

Professionally, Hideki works in IT Service Planning and Management. When not working or playing music, he likes to take road trips, driving in his car.

Hideki comments, "I appreciate to Alan Akaka, Addison Ching and other staff of HIMELE for your passion and contribution to the preserving and promoting Hawaiian steel guitar and Hawaiian music."

This video is of a performance by Hideki doing "Twilight in Hawai‘i". This video was also featured in a recent Hawaiian Steel Guitar Open Stage Showcase.

The video can also be seen on YouTube.

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