Owana Salazar
Gig Seeker Pro

Owana Salazar

Wailuku, Hawaii, United States | INDIE

Wailuku, Hawaii, United States | INDIE
Band World Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



This band has no press


-Hula Jazz
-Wahine Slack 'n Steel
-Masters of Slack Key Guitar, vol 2 (Grammy-winner!) - featured performer
The Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar (Grammy nominee) - featured performer
Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar (Grammy winner!) - featured performer



Owana Salazar is an acknowledged Hawaiian favorite.Here, she embarks on a delightful, lilting journey, marrying her love for Hawaiian music with her appreciation for jazz.
--Wayne Harada, Honolulu Advertiser, review of CD Hula Jazz

Owana, crowned in fragrant plumeria, then took the stage with her steel guitar artistry, added some smiling talk story about the instrument's origins and her own background, then switched to slack key, her voice as rich as her smile.The evening's program described slack key as being played from the heart and soul through the fingers and the entertainers reached out to the audience, warming their hearts as well. --Liz Janes-Brown, The Maui News

As a respected vocalist, khalu (slack key) artist and steel guitarist, Owana Salazar possesses the ability to reach out in song to intimately embrace her audience. Her profound interpretations of Hawaiian classics, traditional and contemporary music, and jazz standards truly reflects her ancestry and upbringing in Hawaiian culture. Owanas multiple talents allow her to create fusion between styles of traditional and contemporary Hawaiian and jazz performance without compromising the character and integrity of any style. Her graciousness and generosity as a performer and radiant voice makes each person in the audience feel the warmth of her aloha.

Growing up immersed in music and then hula, new musical vistas opened when she became a music major in college--voice, piano, string methods, guitar, Javanese dance and gamelan, and, notably, slack-key guitar. Her influences in slack key and open tunings included such greats as Gabby Pahinui, Sonny Chillingworth, Liko Martin, Joni Mitchell, Leo Kottke, Ozzie Kotani, Keola Beamer, and Led Kaapana.

Throughout the 1980s, Owana sang Hawaiian classics, performing with the Royal Hawaiian Band, as well as with such celebrated performers as Charles K.L. Davis, Ed Kenney, Tommy Sands, Ohta San, Genoa Keawe, and Betty Loo Taylor. She toured throughout Hawaii and Japan. In 1990 legendary musician Jerry Byrd, known as the master of touch and tone, accepted Owana as his student in Hawaiian steel guitar--she became the only female student ever graduated by him.

In 2000 and again in 2002, Owana was the first woman to tour with the Hawaiian Slack Key Festival with such artists as George Kahumoku, Jr., Keoki Kahumoku, Ledward Kaapana, and Daniel Ho. She also appeared on Garrison Keillors A Prairie Home Companion and was the first Hawaiian musician invited to perform at the renowned New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

She was a featured performer on two Grammy-winning CDsMasters of Hawaiian Music vol. 2 and Treasures of Hawaiian Music, and has released three solo CDs to date, two of which won N Hk Hanohano (Hawaiian Grammy) awards: Hula Jazz, Best Jazz Album in 2005, and Wahine Slack n Steel, Best Contemporary Hawaiian Album in 2003. Whether Hawaiian music or jazz, Owana gives the audience a genuine and cherished experience.