Maui Arts & Entertainment

9th Annual Maui ʻUkulele Festival and Workshop

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9th Annual Maui ʻUkulele Festival. Image courtesy Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

9th Annual Maui ʻUkulele Festival. Image courtesy Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

By Wendy Osher

Renowned ʻukulele advocate and teacher Roy Sakuma returns to Maui for a weekend workshop and festival that’s aimed at spreading the joy of the four string instrument.

Sakuma serves as the emcee for the free festival on Sunday, Oct. 12, that features an afternoon of island music from 12 to 6 p.m.

The lineup will showcase Grammy and Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winning musicians, as well as a mixture of senior players and young rising stars.

From the flying fingers of Willie K to the soulful talent of Taimane, more than a dozen island artists will take the stage for an afternoon dedicated to the ʻukulele.


The 9th Annual ʻUkulele Festival also features: Richard Hoʻopiʻi, ʻAHAmele from the San Francisco Bay area, Sam Ahia, Nelly & Daniel Baduria, Kamakakehau Fernandez, Paula Fuga, Raiatea Helm, The Hula Honeys, Aidan James, Andrew Molina, Brittni Paiva, Tamlyn Tamura, Nick Acosta, and Yoza.


In addition to professional talent, Maui student musicians from the Samuel E Kalama Intermediate School ʻUkulele Band under the direction of Benny Uyetake, and the Seabury Hall Hawaiian Ensemble led by Jon Toda, will also perform.

Set at the MACC’s outdoor A&B Amphitheater, the public is invited to relax in a family friendly atmosphere on the lawn, and take in the music on their low-back beach chairs or blankets.

Roy Sakuma photo by Wendy Osher.

Roy Sakuma photo by Wendy Osher.

Those in attendance also have a chance to win a dozen ʻukulele that will be featured as door prizes, view displays of made-in-Hawaiʻi arts and crafts, and enjoy a selection of island food available for purchase during the event.


ʻUkulele doorprize sponsors include: Kamaka ʻUkulele, KoAloha ʻUkulele, Kanileʻa ʻUkulele, Koʻolau ʻUkulele, Kala ʻUkulele, Mele ʻUkulele.

If you’re in the spirit to learn, a free ʻukulele workshop will be offered on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the McCoy Studio Theater.

Roy and Kathy Sakuma will teach songs designed for beginning and intermediate players.

Those in attendance will also be invited to participate as a group in Sunday’s ʻUkulele Festival to play one of the songs learned during the workshop.

Workshop participants are required to be able to hold a C, F, and G7 chord, and should bring their own ʻukulele, notepaper, and pencil to the session.  No reservation is required.

There will also be a drawing to win a new ʻukulele.

The weekend festivities are presented by the Maui Arts & Cultural Center and ʻUkulele Festivals Hawaiʻi, with support from the County of Maui and the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority.

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