43rd Annual Ukulele Festival
July 21, 2013
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.
Paula Fuga is a musician on a mission. Though many play music for the platitudes or acclaim, Paula plays music for a culture, spreading the thoughtful and evocative voice of the Hawaiian people across the world. Not content to be merely a widely respected artist, Paula has taken on the mantle of cultural ambassador---using her talent as an instrument to help bring about positive social change performing at benefit concerts for charter schools, instilling the Hawaiian culture in the generations to come. On her independent record label, Pakipika Productions, Paula Fuga has managed to release her unique flavor of music around the world, earning an astounding and dedicated fan base, while collecting impressive critical acclaim, including a Na Hoku Hano Hano Award; Hawaii's highest and most prestigious music honor, which lead to her collaboration with the Honolulu Symphony, opening for Three Dog Night.
Brittni Paiva – Multi award-winning instrumentalist Brittni Paiva is known for her stunning articulation of what she can do on the ukulele going from slow and moving, to rapid-fire, classical-ballet, to ancient Japan, translating forms of jazz, world beat, pop, Flamenco and Latin, and filter these styles through her 4-string ukulele. Brittni and her ukulele are a brilliant match: Both are humble in nature, small in size, and very powerful with proper delivery. Brittni and the ukulele in general have gained notoriety, no longer confined by stereotypes about the instrument. There’s a global resurgence in the instrument’s popularity and she is part of the trend.
Herb Ohta, Jr. represents a new generation of ukulele players devoted to Hawaiian music and influencing people to pick up the best known Hawaiian instrument. Herb Jr.'s style is reminiscent of his famous father, but distinct and recognizable as his very own. There is a graceful nahenahe (soft, sweet, melodious) quality that is very Hawaiian, reflecting the inspirations of ukulele virtuoso Eddie Kamae and slack-key guitar great Ledward Kaapana. Ukulele is in his genes... Hawaiian music is in his blood.
The Dukes of Surf are a sunny Aloha Rock band based in Honolulu, Hawaii. Founding members JP, Lee and Fish (JP’s cousin) all grew up in different beach towns across theUSA. JP is from Honolulu, Hawaii, LEE is from West Palm Beach, Florida and FISH is fromSanta Cruz, California. They share a common love for the beach lifestyle, girls, and the music that takes you back to the golden days of surf. The days when it all began on the beaches of the islands. It’s a fresh take on a classic sound, and very unique for this day in time. So kickback and relive the memories of yesteryear or create some new ones with The Dukes of Surf.
Sean Na`auao is a talented singer, musician, composer, producer who continues to work "outside the envelope" in the multi-faceted musical world. As a singer and musician, he has firmly established a successful island music solo career in Hawai`i. As a founding member of the Mana’o Company, that made a huge mark on the local music scene and is still heard on radio today, Sean began his legacy of hits such as Fish & Poi, Surf Paina and Drop Baby Drop. His repertoire runs from the most contemporary of island music to the heartfelt traditional Hawaiian mele.
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.
Ken Makuakane & Jeff Dayton - Kenneth Makuakāne has received a total of twelve Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and is recognized as a successful innovator in producing and recording Hawaiian music. He has over one hundred albums to his producing credits and performs with the multi-award winning group The Pandanus Club, composing, engineering and producing each release. Makuakane will be joined by Nashville producer/songwriter Jeff Lokomaika'i Dayton.
Nick Acosta, 16 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.'
Aidan James - In 2010, 11 year old Aidan performed Train's "Hey Soul Sister" at a baby luau and was videotaped by photographer Michael Torres who put the video up on youtube.com. The video received hundreds of thousands of hits immediately and was acknowledged as one of the Top Videos on youtube. Aidan has performed with his 2 idols Jack Johnson and Jake Shimabukuro and also with Willie K at the "Hawaii Five-0" premiere. His favorite artists are Justin Bieber and Bruno Mars. And he calls Tuesdays his “happy Tuesday” because of his ukulele lessons with Roy Sakuma.
Kalama Int. Ukulele Band - Makawao, Maui - Directed by Benny Uyetake the Kalama Intermediate Ukulele Youth Ensemble are students from the 6th to 8th grades. Students learn the concepts of melody, rhythm, and harmony and learn the ukulele as an important component to the music of Hawaii. The children have traveled and performed in the Maui Jazz and Blues Festival, Lanai Ukulele Festival, The Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival, the Maui Ukulele Festival, and Disneyland!
Strum Bums of Grass Valley –The Strum Bums began in September 2000 as a ukulele class for seniors at the Senior Center at the Nevada County, California Fairgrounds by Dan Scanlan. Today the group performs weekly at venues throughout the Nevada City regions of California’s gold rush country in addition to their special performances around the country. They were featured in the movie The Mighty Uke, as well as in a short segment devoted to them, The Strum Bums of Grass Valley. This is their second appearance at Ukulele Festival Hawaii.
Aloha Picking Ohana –The Aloha Picking Ohana are students learning to pick the ukulele under the instruction of Mel Ogata, a 1956 graduate of Maui High School. The classes meet in the Gardena/Torrance area but the students come from all over Southern California. Most students are retired senior citizens with Hawaii roots who only began learning to pick the ukulele since 2008 or later. Collectively there are over 40 students with over one-half women. The picking style is from the 1950’s where chords form the foundation for creating the melody.
Sunset Strummers – San Diego, CA. Back by popular demand, the Sunset Strummers have about 70 members mostly seniors, but they welcome children, too. Directed by Hawaii born Eleanor Nedjar.
Nihon Ukulele Association was established in 1959 by Harry Haruhiko Haida, a Hawaii-born Nisei who moved to Japan at a young age and is known for bringing 'Hawaiian Music' to Japan in the 1920s. Following World War II, Haida met Herb Ohta, an American Marine stationed in Japan, and a serious ukulele player. This affirmed Haida's interest in the ukulele and influenced him to form the Association. NUA celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010 and the number of current active members is 250. NUA has monthly sessions including ukulele, steel guitar, singing and arranging Hawaiian songs as well as other songs.
Boo Takagi – In 1964 Boo Takagi joined the comedy band, The Drifters, and opened for the Beatles first concert in Japan. The Drifters weekly TV show became the most watched TV show in Japan. In 1985 Boo Takagi started his solo act. For spreading the Hawaiian culture in Japan, he received his Hawaiian name "Hoakokua" from Rubellite Kawena Johnson, a direct descendant of King Kamehameha. Hoakokua means "helping friends, sharing the spirits."
Tatae “Kolohe” Imamura and Matt Kobayashi - 83 year old Tatae “Kolohe san” Imamura learned to play the ukulele during his high school days and Hawaiian music continues to be his passion. In 1993, he organized the Hawaiian band “Kolohe Imamura & Lei Kings” and this year marks their 20th anniversary. He also owns the “Kolohe Imamura Ukulele School” and has been participating in the Ukulele Festival every year since 1995.
YAMAHA Music School of Ukulele –was started since 1997. Today, there are more than 4000 students of all ages in our school. This is our 4th appearance Ukulele Festival Hawaii and joining us are members of Niulani Akane Hula Studio. Our motto is to have fun! to enjoy music! to give aloha to everyone! Thank you for your support.
Fulare-Pad - Kyoto, Japan - Fulare-Pad is a combination of a Japanese word "furari" and a English word "pad" referred to as a free and easy journey. Their unique harmony of ukulele and acoustic guitar takes you on a musical journey soothing your soul. Daisuke Maeda and Hideyuki Shimizu sStarted their professional carrier in 2008, and has released three CD’s and performed nationally and internationally including Hawaii, Canada, Thailand, Australia and Italy. Their recent CD "ARIGATO" has made their worldwide debut on iTunes.
Ukastle Ukestra is from Australia's most vibrant and successful ukulele city – Newcastle. They are widely recognized as Australia's best community ukulele group and have entertained audiences all over Australia and Hawaii since their formation in late 2009. Members of the Ukastle Ukestra come from the 200+ people who each week participate in Ukestras directed by Mark Jackson and Jane Jelbart who teach and conduct ukestras and choirs for adults and children in Newcastle.
Central Coast Ukulele Club – Since Liz Kitney formed the Central Coast Ukulele Club in 2011 the Central Coast Ukulele Club has grown to become a popular ukulele group performing on tv, radio, and local events in and around Sydney, Australia. After selling out their first album, Coastalele’s, in a matter of weeks, their second album, The Uke Factor, is earning rave reviews. With delightful vocal arrangements, djembe drums, and unique arrangements, this group is on their way to beautiful Hawaii thanks to the 43rd Annual Ukulele Festival in Waikiki, a dream come true.
Singto Numchok and Ribbee Ukulele Club - Singto Numchok's music career began after winning the first Ribbee’s Thailand Ukulele Contest. After releasing his first single using the ukulele as an instrument, his music reached top rankings on Thailand radio charts. Singto is known as the first popular musician/singer to present ukuleles on stage and in all of his music videos.
Byung Hoon Lee - Charlie's Ukulele – Byong Hoon Lee recorded the first instrumental ukulele album in Korea after finding the healing effect that the ukulele on daily life. With a three other albums, Ukulele Picnic and Charile’s Secrect Private Lessons, and Ukulele Heros, and an ukulele sheet music book, Charlie’s Ukulele Master, under his belt, Byong Hoon continues to share the wonder of ukulele around Korea.
Pica Pica Ukulele Orchestra
Johnny “Johnny Ukulele” Chang started his music career at the age of three and is proficient in composing, piano, guitar, vocals and ukulele. For three consecutive years, he was a champion in the National College Music Competition. Johnny owns the well-known studio and blog “Johnny’s Ukulele” in Taiwan. Currently on tour and will have his first uklele instructional book published in April.
“Come and Join Us”
Theme Song CD
Ukulele Festival DVD