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11th Annual Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival

Hot licks, cool music and great ‘ukulele giveaways

Media Release:

Waikoloa Beach Resort will present the 11thth Annual Great Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival, Saturday March 5, 1:00-7:00 p.m. at Queens’ MarketPlace.  With Hawaii’s “Ambassador of Aloha” Danny Kaleikini as Master of Ceremonies, the Festival spotlights ten different performances on two stages, a free workshop with Roy Sakuma and chance to win one of seven top of the line ‘ukulele from Kala ‘Ukulele, KoAloha, Kamaka ‘Ukulele, Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele, MGM ‘Ukulele, Ko‘olau Pono Guitar and ‘Ukulele Company and the ‘Ukulele Festival-Hawaii.  Lei-making, ‘umeke making (decorated gourd bowl), ‘ukulele demonstrations and lessons will be offered throughout the afternoon.

Sakuma 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 Sakuma at the Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival will be Roy’s protégée Nelly Toyama-Baduria, his mentor for over 50 years Herb “Ohta-san” Ohta and jazz guitartist Nando Suan.  In addition, Horace Dudoit, Chris Kamaka and Glen Smith, members of the Grammy-nominated band Ho‘okena make a special appearance.

Sponsors include Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queens’ MarketPlace, ‘Ukulele Festival Hawaii, ‘ukulele companies Kala ‘Ukulele, KoAloha, Kamaka ‘Ukulele, Kanile‘a ‘Ukulele, MGM ‘Ukulele, Ko‘olau Pono Guitar & ‘Ukulele Company and the ‘Ukulele Festival-Hawaii, in addition to Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa and Roberts Hawaii.  For more information, call Queens’ MarketPlace office at 886-8822 or visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net

Schedule of events, Saturday, March 5

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa:

  • 10:00 a.m.-Noon  ‘Ukulele Workshop. BYOU (bring your own ‘ukulele).  Free.

Queen’s MarketPlace:

  • 2:00-6:00 p.m.  ‘Ukulele Making Demonstration by Bob Gleason of Pegasus Guitars & ‘Ukuleles
  • 2:00-6:00 p.m.  ‘Ukulele Lessons with Auntie Marjorie Spencer
  • 2:00-6:00 p.m.  Lei-Making with the Ladies of the Ka‘ahumanu Society
  • 2:00-6:00 p.m.  ‘Umeke Making with Auntie Donna Jensen

Island Gourmet Markets Stage

  • 1:00 p.m.  Auntie Lani Lee & Na Kupuna O Kona Ali‘i
  • 2:00 p.m.  Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki and Nelly Toyama-Baduria
  • 3:00 p.m.  Herb Ohta and Nando Suan
  • 4:00 p.m.  John Keawe
  • 5:00 p.m.  ‘Ukulele Lehulehu

Coronation Pavilion

  • 2:00 p.m.  The Kupuka‘a’s
  • 3:00 p.m.  Kris Fuchigami
  • 4:00 p.m.  Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki and Nelly Toyama-Baduria
  • 5:00 p.m.  Herb Ohta and Nando Suan
  • 6:00 p.m.  Chris Kamaka, Horace Dudoit and Glen Smith of Ho‘okena

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 contemporary concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens.  For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822