Island Style Ukulele
“Island Style Ukulele,” from Neos Productions, is an instrumental compilation of 14 newly recorded island favorites by popular ukulele artists. Known as “the people’s instrument” and “the heart of Hawaii” the ukulele has played an important role in the everyday lives of Hawaiian Islanders since its introduction by Portuguese immigrants in the late eighteenth century.
Whether a first time listener or an avid ukulele aficionado, this collection of Na Hoku Hanohano and Hawaii Music Award winners and finalists such as Troy Fernandez, Herb Ohta Jr., Benny Chong, Imua Garza, Brittni Paiva, Gordon Freitas, Kalei Gamiao, and popular ukulele artists Bryan Tolentino, Daniel Baduria, Cory Fujimoto, Aaron Crowell, Jan Luna, Todd Adamski and Paka Smith, showcases the extraordinary sound and amazing versatility of the distinctly Hawaiian ukulele.
Benny Chong is among only a handful of musicians in the world who specialize in jazz ukulele. Known for his widespread left hand fingerings, Benny Chong taught himself to play the 'ukulele when he was a pre-
Ukulele virtuoso Herb Ohta Jr. is one of the leading ukulele players of his generation. A Na Hoku Hanohano winner known for his incredibly pristine technique and an ability to express emotion through his ukulele, it’s not unusual to see tears of joy in the eyes of Herb’s captivated audience. Herb Ohta Jr. performed “White Sandy Beach” on a Herb Ohta Jr. KoAloha Tenor.
Popular Ukulele Artists
Herb Ohta Jr.
Hawaii is blessed with a plethora of talent! Among the most notable in today’s Hawaiian music are popular ukulele artists which have elevated the tiny ukulele into the mighty uke:
Kalei Gamiao’s contemporary-
Lightening fast picking earned three time Na Hoku Hanohano award winner
Troy Fernandez his standing as "the Eddie Van Halen of the ukulele.” Credited with inspiring an entire generation of ukulele players, Troy Fernandez mesmerizing musicianship is solidly on the forefront of contemporary Hawaiian music. Troy Fernandez performed “Take Me Home Country Roads” on a custom Sonny D tenor ukulele.
Imua Garza is a master musician whose talents extend beyond the ukulele to the piano, guitar, violin, and electric bass. Imua made his recording debut at the age of 11 as one of Hawaii’s most promising ukulele players and hasn’t stopped to take a breath since. In addition to performing on over a dozen album projects, Imua Garza is an accomplished producer, recording studio engineer and musical arranger. Imua Garza performed “Waika” on an Applause UAE-
Bryan Tolentino, a virtuoso whose passion for the ukulele earned him the reputation for “playing magic,” has been passionate about the ukulele since the age of 10. One of Hawaii’s most popular ukulele artists, Bryan’s early influences were the musical groups, “The Son’s of Hawaii” and “The Sunday Manoa.” Having performed at the finest venues such as New York City’s Carnegie Hall, his journey with the ukulele has been nothing short of phenomenal. Bryan performed the breezy “Puamana” on a custom Kamaka ukulele.
Daniel Baduria, son of ukulele master Donald Baduria, does his father proud on “Lullaby for a Rainy Night,” which he performed on his G-
Popular ukulele artist and up-
Paka Smith has a unique flamenco-
Brittni Paiva immediately connected with the ukulele at the age of 11 when her grandfather first presented one to her. Although she would also become proficient with guitar and bass the ukulele became the heart of her musical journey. Her repertoire encompasses many genres and appeals to a wide range of audiences. Brittni Paiva once said, “I want the strings to be my voice and portray as much feeling as a singer would.” The recipient of both a Na Hoku Hanohano and Hawaii Music Award, Brittni Paiva is known for her creativity, dexterity and strength. Brittni Paiva performed “Kawika” on a custom KoAloha with a Fishman prefix pro-
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