Herb Ohta Jr - For ukulele fans who prefer unpretentious technical proficiency over theatrics, Herb Ohta Jr. is the undisputed master ukulele instrumentalist of his generation. Son of the legendary ukulele artist, Ohta-san, Herb Ohta Jr's natural talent, knowledge, technique, and speed are unsurpassed. He is a master ukulele performer, teacher, composer, recording artist, and producer. Herb creates unique arrangements of new and familiar tunes and makes each song breathtakingly fresh and definitely his own.
Recognizing his inborn talent, Herb’s grandmother taught him his first ukulele song at the age of three. His father, Ohta-San, started his early formal instruction on the ukulele and Herb continued to study music in high school. Inspired by listening to the Makaha Sons of Ni‘ihau and others he became a devotee of Hawaiian music and the ukulele.
While he enjoys listening to all types of music, Herb’s favorite songs to perform are ballads and all types of Hawaiian songs because they enhance the natural sound of the instrument. Herb’s style is reminiscent of his father’s, but distinct and recognizable as his own. There is a graceful “Nahenahe” quality that is very Hawaiian, reflecting the inspirations of ukulele greats like Eddie Kamae and Ohta-San.
At age 11, Herb, Jr. began teaching at his father’s ukulele school. In 1992, he started his own classes and continues to teach on Oahu at Sonny D’s Ukulele Shop and Harry’s Music Store. He also teaches private lessons by appointment. He is also a favorite instructor at George Kahumoku’s Annual Maui Slack Key Guitar and Ukulele Workshop and has co-authored two outstanding ukulele instruction books with Daniel Ho.
Herb still finds time to compose new material, entertain at private and public functions, produce, and record. He is a seven-time Na Hoku Hanohano Award Nominee and a two-time Hawaii Music Award Winner. He frequently tours Japan and the mainland. He recently completed a west coast tour featuring his solo performances while teaching workshops between concerts.
JON YAMASATO - A young slack key guitarist trained by the famous Slack Key guitar master, Dennis Kamakahi, Jon Yamasato, with his band, "Pure Heart", won 5 Na Hoku Hanohano awards, Hawaii's most prestigious music award.
Jon Yamasato performed with the group Na 'Oiwi (with Dennis & David Kamakahi & Mike Kaawa) recording 2 CDs: Crossroads and The Sequel. He also toured the US with bands such as Keahiwai, Round and Round, and Imua. He often tours Japan with young master ukulele instrumentalist, Herb Ohta Jr. He has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in Hawaiian Music including Keali
i Reichel, Ale`a and Justin Young, and performs regularly at George Kahumoku’s Slack Key Show, usually with Herb Ohta Jr.
Jon’s 5 Hoku awards are - Album of the Year (1999) - Island Contemporary Album of the Year - Most Promising Artist (1999) - Entertainer of the year (1999) - Contemporary Album of the year (2000)
Known as Hawaii's Renaissance Man, George Kahumoku Jr, is a multiple Grammy & Hoku Award winning master Slack Key Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, performer, teacher, artist and sculptor, story-teller and writer, farmer and entrepreneur. George is known for playing slack key on a jumbo12-string guitar because he loves the full sound and the lower bass tones. He uses a custom Art Davis guitar, and since beginning the Slack Key Show seven years ago, has changed his favorite tuning from E flat to F to make it easier to play with others.
In October 2003, George co-created the first venue ever dedicated to presenting Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. First located at the Ritz Carlton-Kapalua, then moving to Maui's Napili Kai Beach Resort where it is now. The first show CD, produced from live recordings of the show, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Vol. 1: Live in Concert from Maui won the 48th Grammy Award for Best Hawaiian Album. The 4 of the 5 sequels to this recording were all nominated, 3 of them winning Grammies.
A renowned story-teller on and off the stage, George collaborated with long-time friend, Paul Konwiser, to write down his entertaining semi-autobiographical short stories into his first book of short stories: A Hawaiian Life. George lives on Maui, directing and teaching at the new Institute of Hawaiian Music at the University of Hawaii-Maui College. George spends his free time maintaining his small 3 acre farm growing fruit and vegetables, dry-land taro (for his famous home-made poi) and tending his goats, chickens, ducks, and miniature horses. True to his Hawaiian heritage, wherever he goes, George always brings bundles of fresh produce to share with friends and students.
Every summer in June, George Kahumoku Jr.'s Annual Maui Slack Key Guitar and Ukulele Workshop takes place featuring the finest music instructors. This workshop is one of the great musical experiences in the Islands today, and the result of George's belief in sharing, celebrating and perpetuating Hawaiian culture and music.
Telling the story with graceful movement and hula hands, Wainani has loved dancing all her life. Born in Honolulu, she relocated and danced for many years on the Big Island where she joined the hula school, Halau Na Lei O Ka Holoku, led by Kumu Hula Nani Lim Yap and Leialoha Amina.
Wainani traveled nationally and internationally with Lim’s Halau sharing hula with the world while developing her considerable talent in dance, chanting, and Hawaiian culture.
Wainani now lives on Maui and, in addition to regularly dancing for Slack Key Master, Ledward Kaapana, she has danced for many years at the Royal Lahaina Resort as a soloist and as an Oli Mea (chanter) for Maui Nei Cultural Walking Tour. She was one of the principal dancer for George Kahumoku’s Hawaiian Country Music Show in Branson, Missouri in 2012 and has now become a regular dancer at George Kahumoku Jr’s Slack Key Show.
Peter was born and raised on the island of Maui. He began playing ukulele at the age of 6. Later he studied ukulele with Keoki Kahumoku and Herb Ohta Jr. Other important influences include all the masters of Hawaiian Slack Key guitar with whom he has played regularly for the last 8 years, including Ledward Kaapana and others, also Bradda IZ & Bob Marley. Peter now plays professionally around Maui both solo and in groups: Dukes-Kaanapali (Three Pounds of Poi), Kimo's-Lahaina (deAquino Braddaz), The Hula Grill (leading the band TBA), and the Hard Rock Café (Sounds of Addiction). Peter is featured on all four of the Slack Key Show’s Grammy winning compilation CDs: Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.1, Legends of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.2, and also on the Grammy nominated Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Peter is featured in a new DVD: The Best of the Slack Key Show, Vol. 1
Born and raised on Maui, Sterling showed an early talent for the guitar. At Lahainluna High School, Sterling would practice in between classes and to jam with Uncle George Kahumoku (who was the ceramics teacher) at lunch time. After attending Uncle George's Annual Summer Workshop in Napili and studying with the slack key masters, Sterling took a particular interest in Slack Key C Tuning. Sterling is the Slack Key Show sound engineer as well as a performer, and also works as a light & sound technician at the Ulalena show in Lahaina. Sterling is featured on the Slack Key Show’s Grammy award winning CDs, Treasures of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Masters of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, vol.2, and Grammy nominated Spirit of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. Sterling is featured in a new DVD: The Best of the Slack Key Show, Vol. 1.
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