Waikoloa Beach Resort presents the 13th Annual Great Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival, Saturday March 2, at Queens’ MarketPlace. Starting with a free ‘ukulele workshop with Roy Sakuma, the celebration of Hawaii’s favorite musical instrument includes nonstop entertainment from 12 to 7 p.m., with a special appearance by multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winner Sean Na‘auao.
With Hawaii’s “Ambassador of Aloha” Danny Kaleikini as Master of Ceremonies, the ‘Ukulele Festival spotlights thirteen performances on two stages, and lots of giveaways. Lei-making, ‘umeke making (decorated gourd bowl), ‘ukulele making demonstrations and ‘ukulele lessons will be offered throughout the afternoon.
“If you play the ‘ukulele or you just love the music, the ‘Ukulele Festival is a great way to spend the day,” said Margo Mau Bunnell, Queens’ MarketPlace Sales & Operations Manager. “It’s a real pleasure for us to bring these amazing musicians to Queens’ MarketPlace for everyone to experience—keiki to kupuna. And, it’s always fun to see so many people come and bring their ‘ukuleles for the free workshop with Roy, stay for lunch and enjoy great Hawaiian music all afternoon.”
Roy and wife Kathy created the first annual ‘Ukulele Festival in 1971, while Roy was a maintenance worker for the City and County of Honolulu. Today, their efforts have grown into a series of events on four islands, with over 20,000 participants. The original ‘Ukulele Festival at Kapi‘olani Bandstand in Waikiki, hosts a performance by an 800-member ‘ukulele orchestra every July. Their 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, ‘Ukulele Festival Hawaii, was established in 2004, “To bring laughter, love and hope to children and adults throughout Hawaii and the world through the music of the ‘ukulele.”
Appearing with Roy at the ‘Ukulele Festival will be his mentor for over 50 years, Herb “Ohta-san” Ohta, jazz guitarist Nando Suan, and his protégée Nelly Toyama-Baduria. Sponsors include Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queens’ MarketPlace, ‘Ukulele Festival Hawaii, Roberts Hawaii, ‘ukulele companies: MGM ‘Ukulele, KALA, Kamaka ‘Ukulele, Kanile’a ‘Ukulele, KoAloha and Ko’olau Pono Guitar & ‘Ukulele Company. For more information, call Queens’ MarketPlace office at 886-8822 or visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net.
Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.
‘UKULELE FESTIVAL: SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Queens’ MarketPlace Studio
10:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
‘Ukulele Workshop with Roy and Kathy Sakuma. BYOU (bring your own ‘ukulele). Free.
Stage 1: Coronation Pavilion
12:00 p.m. ‘Aoia!
1:00 p.m. Na Kupuna O Kona Ali‘i
2:00 p.m. Kupuka‘as
3:00 p.m. Kona Pacific Public Charter School
3:30 p.m. Aidan James
4:00 p.m. Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki with Nelly Toyama Baduria and Daniel Baduria
5:00 p.m. Sean Na‘auao
6:00 p.m. Ohta San and Nando Suan
Stage 2: near Romano’s Macaroni Grill
12:30 p.m. Kris Fuchigami
1:00 p.m. Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki with Nelly Toyama Baduria and Daniel Baduria
2:00 p.m. Benny Uyetake and the Samuel E. Kalama Intermediate School ‘Ukulele Band (Maui)
3:00 p.m. ‘Ukulele Lehulehu
4:00 p.m. Ohta San and Nando Suan
‘Ukulele Making Demonstration with Bob Gleason
‘Ukulele Lessons with Aunty Barni Fischer
Lei-Making with the Ladies of the Ka‘ahumanu Society (while suppl