Ukulele Festival Hawaii’s mission is to bring laughter, love and hope to children and adults throughout Hawaii and the world through the music of the ukulele.
Roy and Kathy Sakuma have dedicated their life’s work to spreading the joy of the ukulele through lessons, festivals and community events. In 2004, they established Ukulele Festival Hawaii, a non-profit 501(C) (3) organization, to bring laughter, love and hope to everyone through the ukulele.
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In 1971, at a time when very few people were interested in the ukulele, Roy Sakuma organized the 1st Annual Ukulele Festival. It was Sakuma’s dream to present a free concert to show people that the ukulele could be played as a solo instrument of sophistication and virtuosity and not just a rhythm instrument for background music.
Today, the annual Ukulele Festival at Kapiolani Park Bandstand in Waikiki is now a summer tradition in Hawaii. It has grown internationally and is by far the largest ukulele festival of its kind in the world, with crowds of thousands, guest artists from around the world and an ukulele orchestra of over 800 students, mostly children.
In response to popular demand and the ukulele renaissance in Hawaii and throughout the world, Ukulele Festival Hawaii with the support of sponsors has taken the ukulele festivals on the road to the islands of Hawaii (Waikoloa), Kauai and Maui.
Grammy Award-winning national pop artist James Ingram has been a frequent guest at the ukulele festival since 1994 when he and Roy met by chance while exercising on the tracks of the University of Hawaii. James Ingram, who has 6 children of his own, was so taken by the concept of the Ukulele Festival whose main stars are the 800 children. They quickly became friends and in 2004, James Ingram and Roy Sakuma composed the theme song “Come and Join Us” for Ukulele Festival Hawaii. The Hawaii Music Awards honored it with the “Single of the Year.”
“Come and join us at the Ukulele Festival where the magic is in the music and the love that we share...”