Talking Story 7

A great NY event is shaping up for ukulele lovers in just three weeks! If I had to choose a single happening to attend, I would be unable to decide. The Thursday night movie holds much promise. The film itself is a pioneer work by a female innovator, who developed animation techniques in 1926 that are still compelling today. Appropriate for the Arabian Nights tales, the charm and content of these scenes will remain with you for a long time. The soundtrack that Montreal-er Sebastien Dufour and SWP has written will be performed live in a very intimate setting with limited seating. Quite a few Fest goers consider Sebastien to be the best uke player that we have presented over our Fest tenure, so this night is a contender for “Must Do!”

But on Friday, there is the unbelievable opportunity to attend Roy Sakuma’s workshop and hear him later during the Concert. Wow! Roy as a protégé of Ohta san had every chance to launch a playing career, but he chose teaching uke as his prime path! He has honed this skill over an entire generation and untold numbers of ukulele players are indebted to him. We can sample his message and get a glimpse of how he inspired his students to develop. If that is not enough, Roy will be playing with Sam Ahia, who jazz aficionados will tell you is an esteemed guitarist. Thanks too to Roy’s wife, Kathy, who is partnering in presenting this workshop.

If you were at the White House this week, you got to hear one of our Hawaiian president’s favorite singers, Raiatea Helm. If you missed it, you better consider making this the “Must Do” segment that you pick. I heard Raiatea live at the Diamond Head Theater at Bill Tapia’s 100th Birthday party and hoped we could find a way to get her to the Fest. Well here it is. Raiatea will be doing an extended set of songs that will touch every soul in the audience.

Ukulele players are modest people and I have heard a few say that their favorite part of the weekend is the Sunday luau, where everything gets more relaxed and friendly. Everybody gets invited to the mic, hula is common, food and drink in abundance and vendors are determined to complete sales! If these choices don’t cause you to think twice, you haven’t been playing uke enough! Rather than make the choice, you can opt for the Full Festival pass and join us for the entire weekend . . .