Jim “Kimo” West
Jim Kimo West is recognized as one of the world’s top “slack key” guitarists and brings his own unique musical perspective to this great acoustic guitar tradition. He is a current nominee in the 61st Grammy Awards, a winner of the 2008 Hawaii Music Awards, a three-time Na Hoku Hanohano (the Hawaiian “Grammy”) nominee and a two-time winner of the LA Treasures Award for his contributions toward the perpetuation of ki ho’alu.
Founding member of the six-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winning group Maunalua, Bobby Moderow, Jr. is a renowned slack key guitar and falsetto artist. A member of the prestigious Honolulu Boy Choir from ages 9 to 12, Moderow later become a protégé of the late slack key guitar master Raymond Kane, who was proclaimed a National Living Treasure by the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts in 1987, and awarded funding for the apprenticeship program under which Moderow studied.
With his Maunalua brothers, Moderow has performed all over the world, including at the inaugural luʻau for President Obama; the 150th anniversary of the Smithsonian; and solo several times at the Grammy® Museum. As part of his desire to give back and to be one of the “keepers of the [Hawaiian music] flame” Moderow also teaches slack key – the award-winning artist Makana having been one of his students – and he has taught elementary school children at the Grammy® Museum for the past few years.
He is currently teaching at the University of Hawai’i West Campus on O’ahu. Having begun his music career as a solo artist, Moderow is currently returning to his roots with the 2019 release of his debut solo album, “Inspired”.