Kamaka Ukulele's 100th anniversary

Bryan Tolentino & Herb Ohta Jr.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

2:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: $47.00

Herb Ohta Jr. and Bryan Tolentino (as well as some friends and possible special guests) are bringing their wonderful music and aloha to the Shannon Center to help Kamaka Ukulele celebrate 100 years of making high quality ukuleles.

Kamaka Hawaii, Inc., makers of Hawaii's finest ukuleles, and the home of the original Pineapple Ukulele! Kamaka Hawaii was established in 1916 in the Territory of Hawaii, and is a family-owned and operated business. The Kamaka family has been dedicated to building skillfully-handcrafted ukuleles for nearly a century. The heritage of ukulele making at Kamaka Hawaii is preserved by second and third generation Hawaiian luthiers, as well as the many talented craftsmen at the Kakaako factory in Honolulu.








Tickets $47.00

The ‘Ukulele is the best-known Hawaiian instrument. In the 1950’s and 60’s all the bands had ‘ukulele players. Some of the great musicians that made the instrument very popular were: Eddie Kamae, Ohta-san, Lyle Ritz, Don Baduria, Sr., John Lukela, Jesse Kalima, Kahauanu Lake, and Peter Moon.

Today there is a renaissance of sorts, thanks to the popularity of the new generation of ‘ukulele players influencing the young people of Hawai‘i to pick up and learn to play; Troy Fernandez, Kelly-boy Delima, and Jake Shimabukuro. Herb Ohta, Jr. is just one breed of ‘ukulele players.

Herb’s interest in music was very evident at an early age. Herb’s grandmother taught him his first song on the ‘ukulele at the age of three. The song was “Happy Birthday.” His father, Ohta-San started his early instruction on the ‘ukulele and Herb continued to study music playing the viola in high school. Herb was also a member of The Honolulu Boys Choir, The Honolulu Children’s Opera Chorus, and The University High School Select Choir.

Herb continued to take formal lessons from his father until he was 12 years old, because he started to have other interest. After being inspired by listening to the Makaha Sons of Ni‘ihau and other local musicians at the age of 17, he became a devotee of Hawaiian music and the ‘ukulele. The ‘ukulele is in his genes and Hawaiian music is in his blood. Herb enjoys listening to all types of music, Classical, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Country, Hip-hop, Rap, Latin, Salsa, and Reggae. But Herb’s favorite songs to perform are anything Hawaiian and any types of ballads. He feels that Hawaiian songs and ballads bring out the natural purist sound of the instrument. Herb’s style is reminiscent of his father, but distinct and recognizable as his very own. There is a graceful “Nahenahe” quality that is very Hawaiian, reflecting the inspirations of ‘ukulele virtuoso’s Eddie Kamae and of course Ohta-San.

Bryan Tolentino is a self-taught ‘ukulele player who began playing the instrument at the tender age of 10. His early influences were the musical groups The Sons of Hawaii and The Sunday Manoa. After graduating from Saint Louis School in 1979, Bryan and some friends formed a musical group called The Side Order Band. Bryan's repertoire is a mixture of Hawaiian, contemporary, and original songs, blending creativity and diversity with the ‘ukulele.


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