47th Annual Ukulele Festival
July 16, 2017
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, 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.
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.
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
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
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, 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.'
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
Apollon Ukl Ensemble
was established in March of 2013. There first opening Seoul concert was held in December of 2013 and now performs yearly.
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.
Northern Virginia Ukulele Society
“Come and Join Us”
Theme Song CD
Ukulele Festival DVD