Makana, born Matthew Swalinkavich, is an award-winning slack-key guitar player, singer, and composer. Born and raised in Hawai'i, his guitar playing has been featured on three Grammy-nominated albums, including the soundtrack of the Academy-Award winning film "The Descendants", starring George Clooney. In 2008, he was second runner up in Guitar Player Magazine's Guitar Superstar competition eliciting praise from judges Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, and Elliot Easton. In 2012, he was awarded one of Hawaii's top musical honors: a Na Hoku Ki Ho'alu (Slack Key) Legacy Award (Hawai‘i’s “Grammy”) by the Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts.
On November 12, 2011, Makana, who had performed previously at the White House, turned a gig performing at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation dinner in Honolulu, attended by President Barack Obama and the leaders of 18 other nations, into a political protest by opening his suit jacket to reveal a t-shirt reading "Occupy With Aloha" and singing his song, "We Are the Many," for 45 minutes, in support of the Occupy movement. Rolling Stone Magazine went on to call "We Are the Many" the "anthem of the Occupy movement."