Performers

47th Annual Ukulele Festival

July 16, 2017

Herb Ohta-san Ohta

Herb "Ohta-san" Ohta, internationally renowned musician, began playing the ukulele when he was only 7 years old. Influenced greatly by Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso Eddie Kamae, this exceptional musician is credited for elevating the ukulele to a solo instrument of virtuoso status. Ohta-san's diversity and style reflect his lyrical sense and is respected as the height of ukulele artistry. Ohta san is the world’s most prolific ukulele recording artist.

Danny Kaleikini

Danny Kaleikini, Hawaii’s Ambassador of Aloha, has supported the Ukulele Festival since 1972. A legend in Hawaiian entertainment drawing audiences from around the world for well over 40 years, Danny is the spiritual and physical embodiment of aloha. Through his music, cultural promotion, historical awareness and charity, he touches the hearts of millions.

Willie Kahaiali`i

Raised on Maui, Willie Kahaiali`i (a.k.a. Willie K) has been entertaining audiences with his music since the age of 10. He has evolved into an eclectic and charismatic singer, songwriter, entertainer, and now actor. One of Hawaii’s most versatile talents, Willie performs a myriad of musical genres, including Hawaiian, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, Rock, Country Western, and even Opera. He has played with or opened for musical giants B.B. King, Santana, Willie Nelson, Prince, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Elvin Bishop, Bonnie Rait, Jackson Browne, Mick Fleetwood, George Benson, Jimmy Buffett and more.

Herb Ohta, Jr.

International recording artist Herb Ohta, Jr., is one of today's most prolific `ukulele masters with multi Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and four-time Hawai‘i Music Award recipient. His “Ukulele Friends” CD with Bryan Tolentino was honored the 2016 Na Hoku Hanohano award for Ukulele Album of the Year. Herb, Jr. effortlessly translates the beauty and culture of Hawai‘i through his creative expression of music. The son of `ukulele legend "Ohta-san," he started playing at the age of three.  He now shares the music of Hawai‘i and the beauty of the ‘ukulele with people around the world, performing and conducting instructional workshops.

Kamakakehau Fernandez

Kamakakehau Fernandez — If anyone could be described as having “Hawaiian heart and soul,” it is indeed Ryan Kamakakehau Fernandez. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, this 6 week old African American infant was adopted and brought to the shores of Maui, Hawaiʻi. It is here that his new family and home shaped "Kamakakakehau" He was one of the featured performers on the 2004 “Aloha Festivals Falsetto Contest Winners CD; he was the 2012 winner of 4th Annual Kani Ka Pila Grille Talent Search; and he worked with multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano award-winning producer Dave Tucciarone on his debut solo album "Wahi Mahalo," which Kamakakehau won the 2013 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for Extended Play.

Manoa DNA

Manoa DNA — Award-winning group Manoa DNA has been entertaining audiences with their family harmonies for over 12 years and continue to find new ways to push their music to new levels. Lloyd Kawakami, “DAD”, and his two sons Nick and Alx, or “DNA”, all still live and create new music in Manoa Valley.

Nick Acosta

Nick Acosta, 20 years old was born with one hand and arm. Nick started ukulele lessons with instructor Royanne Labuguen and at the age of 9 she brought him under the wings of Roy Sakuma.   Nick has become an ukulele extraordinaire inspiring many. Roy Sakuma says, “You think Nick has limits, but he just works around it.” His mom Kim never taught him the words “you can’t” always encouraging Nick ‘you can do whatever you put your mind to.'

Beat-Lele Mania!

Beat-Lele Mania! performs the timeless music of The Beatles with an island flare as they play and sing their respective parts strictly on ukuleles with Sonny Aquino as “John”, Nolet Quiason as “Paul”, Alastar McNeil as “George” and Dennis Muth as “Ringo” on cajon for percussion. You’ll appreciate these great songs as you remember them with the instrument of aloha; the ukulele!

Ukulele Band

Roy Sakuma 700-piece Ukulele Band - An ukulele orchestra of 700 students from 5 to 85 will take the stage at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki and delight the crowd. They’ll perform Hawaiian, oldies, pop, reggae, jazz, country, rock, classical – tunes that you never imagined could be played on the ukulele.

Kamehameha Schools Performing Arts Academy Hawaiian Ensemble

Australia

Ukestralia

Ukestralia – Since 2010 Mark Jackson and Jane Jelbart of Newcastle, Australia have been building an international reputation for unique, entertaining and educational ukulele “Ukestration” workshops. Ukestration is where contemporary songs are arranged into parts for a ukulele orchestra. The very essence of a ukestra is inclusion, so the parts cater to a wide range of abilities. Need a part that can be played by old arthritic fingers? Ukestrate. Need a part that can hold the interest of a seasoned social player? Ukestrate. But a great part of ukestration is also incorporating good vocal arrangements. A ukestrated song not only holds the attention of a wide range of players, but also of the audience.

Canada

Langley Ukulele Ensemble

The Langley Ukulele Ensemble, directed by Paul Luongo is in its 36th year of existence. The ensemble has developed a reputation for excellence in musical performance. The ensemble members range inage from 19 to 21 years and are students attending middle, secondary and post-secondary schools. Their motto is “enriching lives through music”. They hope to leave audiences with a sense that there is reason to be hopeful about the future of today’s youth.

Japan

Fulare Pad

Fulare-Pad - Kyoto, Japan - Daisuke Maeda on ukulele and Hideyuki Shimizu on acoustic guitar, childhood friends, fulare_pad started their professional career in 2008, by having their signature tune “Summer Spur” featured on the TV commercial of Japan’s premiere beauty brand SK-II. They have released five CD’s and one EP, which has made their worldwide debut on iTunes. They have performed nationally and internationally including Canada, Hawaii, Australia, Italy, Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand, and have pleased audiences with their delightful performances.

Ryo Natoyama

Ryo Natoyama meticulously plays the ukulele with transcending techniques and soothing atmosphere and is one of the ukulele players with the highest immediate future expectations in the world. In 2016, Ryo’s “Ukulele Splash!” was awarded the 39th Na Hoku Hanohano International Album award. He received it magnificently at as the youngest Japanese winner.

Nihon Ukulele Association

Nihon Ukulele Assocation - NUA is a non-profit organization for Amateur Ukulele Players in Japan. It was founded in 1959 by Harry Yukihiko Haida, a Hawaiian-born Japanese-American who contributed a lot to bring 'Hawaiian Music' to Japanese people, and is having more than 50 years of history to promote ukulele music and friendship with Hawaiian people.

Nihon Ukulele Association

Yamaha Music School of Ukulele was formed in 1997 and now has over 4,000 students. We are happy to have the Niulani Akane Hula Studio join us at the 47th Annual Ukulele Festival Hawaii. Our motto is to have fun! to enjoy music! give aloha to everyone!

South Korea

Apollon Ukl Ensemble Apollon Ukl Ensemble was established in March of 2013. There first opening Seoul concert was held in December of 2013 and now performs yearly.

New Zealand

Ukulele Heaven

Ukulele Heaven - Avon Hansen-Beadle, established ukulele tutor in Auckland and leader of Ukulele Heaven brings her group of enthusiastic ukulele players all the way from Aotearoa, New Zealand to attend this premium event run by Hawaii's best- 'Uncle Roy' Sakuma! This is Avon's second such venture, having previously attended in 2014.

Virginia

Northern Virginia Ukulele Society

Northern Virginia Ukulele Society - Founded in November 2008, The Northern Virginia Ukulele Society (NVUS) is one of the largest and premier ukulele volunteer based clubs in the Washington, DC area. With a membership of over 250 ukulele enthusiasts, we provide opportunities for ukulele players of all levels to play together as a group, improve skills, socialize and share our love of the ukulele. We meet twice a month for lessons, song sharing, jams and open mics. NVUS performs locally at senior centers, community events and local festivals and are regulars on the stage at the Lake Anne Ukulele Festival.

Ukulele Festival Hawaii Gala
Ukulele Festival T-Shirts Ukulele Festival
T-Shirts
Go To Store - T-Shirts
Ukulele Festival CD “Come and Join Us”
Ukulele Festival
Theme Song CD
Go To Store - CD
Ukulele Festival DVD 35th Anniversary
Ukulele Festival DVD
Go To Store - DVD