GRAMMY® nominee Sonny Lim, a member of Hawaii’s famous musical Lim family, was born and raised in the heart of paniolo country on the Big Island of Hawaii. Sonny’s father was a paniolo at Parker Ranch where Sonny also worked for 23 years. Music was a part of paniolo life and keeping with tradition, Sonny’s parents taught their children to play a variety of musical instruments. Sonny was introduced to ki ho’alu as a child watching Gabby Pahinui perform at a lu’au in Kohala. Sonny’s biggest inspiration and influence came at age 12 from well-known slack key guitarist and family friend, Uncle Fred Punahoa. Punahoa took interest in Sonny’s playing, and spent several weeks living with the Lim family in Kohala to teach Sonny. Sonny’s professional career started as a teenager when he commuted to Oahu from the Big Island to perform with the Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau. His first solo album, “Slack Key Guitar: The Artistry of Sonny Lim” was a 48th GRAMMY® nominee in the Hawaiian Music category. One year prior to this nomination he performed with 6 other solo artists on Hawaii’s first GRAMMY® award-winning CD, “Slack Key Guitar Volume 2″ (Palm Records). Sonny helped accept this inaugural Hawaiian GRAMMY award and his speech was the first time the Hawaiian language had ever been spoken on the GRAMMY® stage. Sonny has performed on a number of Na Hoku Hanohano Award winning projects. He performs regularly with his family and musician friends in Hawaii and Japan.
“Slack Key Guitar – The Artistry of Sonny Lim” (Palm Records) 2005 – 48th GRAMMY® Nominee
“Slack Key Guitar Volume 2″ (Palm Records) 2003 – 47th GRAMMY® Award Winner
“Slack Key Guitar” (Palm Records) 1998
“The Artistry of Sonny Lim” album was recorded at Lava Tracks Recording Studio in Sonny’s home town, Kamuela – the ranching region with a rich ki ho’alu heritage. It was produced, mixed, mastered and engineered by GRAMMY® Award-winning producer, Charles Michael Brotman. The guitars on this recording are a Santa Cruz Studio Model H guitar and a 1976 Ramirez classical guitar.
Cover art: “Emerging Treeline II” by Diana Lehr