Peter Moon: The Legendary Ukulele Master

Peter Moon is known principally for his ukulele and slack key guitar music. This traditional music of the Pacific Islands constitutes one of the rich musical elements of the Hawaiian Islands. Moon is given great credit for dedicating a great deal of his life toward the promotion of Slack Key and other forms of traditional music. Moon started his career in the 1960s, when his band, Sunday Manoa, recorded an album that receives much credit for having promoted the greater awareness of Hawaiian culture that began in the 1960s and continues on until today.


Listen To The Legend


The Start of Peter Moon

Moon’s first musical group that received a great deal of recognition was Sunday Manoa. The band recorded the album Guava Jam in 1969. At this time, there was a new found interest in the culture and traditions of the Hawaiian Islands emerging and this album is widely considered one of the most important factors in helping that along. Though he remained active in the music world, Moon would have his greatest success in the 1980s, with the Peter Moon Band, which went on to record several albums.

Continued Success

Among those albums was Tropical Storm. This album would begin a long tradition of Moon taking home awards for his musical efforts, with Tropical Storm garnering no less than four Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. Later releases would see the Peter Moon Band achieving even greater levels of success, winning awards for their albums Cane Fire and Black Orchid. The band toured worldwide and became a recognized influence in Hawaiian music. Later releases in the 1990s saw Moon moving toward an instrumental-dominated format, as well as his continuing and expanding work as a promoter of music and of Hawaiian culture, a tradition he had started decades before and continues with today.

Hawaiian Music Awareness

Moon started the Kanikapila music festival at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the 1970s. It ran for almost three decades. The festival was a part of his commitment to fostering more awareness of the Hawaiian arts and music. He also recorded instructional videos for the ukulele, the instrument that he is most associated with and that he did a great deal to promote. He promoted other events and festivals, as well, all of them designed to bring Hawaiian music to a broader demographic and to celebrate the unique cultural and musical history of these Pacific Islands.

Family Legacy Continues

In addition to his ukulele skills, he is considered among the foremost Slack Key guitarists. His work to promote Hawaiian music and the influence of the album Guava Jam on the renaissance of Hawaiian culture have both garnered him wide acclaim and respect. Many of his albums remain in print and available and, over the years, he has recorded an impressive catalog of works. His son, Peter Junior, is also an active musician, carrying on the family tradition. Moon’s albums remain some of the commensurate works of Hawaiian music and still provide a way for new people to learn about the ukulele.

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