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13th annual Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival (March 2)

Roy Sakuma performs with his workshop students at the 2012 Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival. (Photo courtesy of Queens' MarketPlace)

Roy Sakuma performs with his workshop students at the 2012 Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival. (Photo courtesy of Queens’ MarketPlace)


Waikoloa Beach Resort presents the 13th Annual Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival 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. Saturday, March 2, with a special appearance by multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Award-winner Sean Naauao.

With Hawaii’s “Ambassador of Aloha” Danny Kaleikini as Master of Ceremonies, the Ukulele Festival spotlights 13 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 more than 20,000 participants.

The original Ukulele Festival at Kapiolani 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 more than 50 years, Herb “Ohta-san” Ohta, jazz guitarist Nando Suan, and his protegee Nelly Toyama-Baduria.

Sponsors include Waikoloa Beach Resort, Queens’ MarketPlace, Ukulele Festival Hawaii, Roberts Hawaii, ukulele companies: MGM Ukulele, KALA, Kamaka Ukulele, Kanilea Ukulele, KoAloha and Koolau Pono Guitar & Ukulele Company.

For more information, call Queens’ MarketPlace office at 886-8822 or visit:


Queens’ MarketPlace Studio

10 a.m.-11:15 a.m.
Ukulele Workshop with Roy and Kathy Sakuma. BYOU (bring your own ukulele). Free.

Stage 1: Coronation Pavilion

Noon Aoia!
1 p.m. Na Kupuna O Kona Alii
2 p.m. Kupukaas
3 p.m. Kona Pacific Public Charter School
3:30 p.m. Aidan James
4 p.m. Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki with Nelly Toyama Baduria and Daniel Baduria
5 p.m. Sean Naauao
6 p.m. Ohta San and Nando Suan

Stage 2: near Romano’s Macaroni Grill

12:30 p.m. Kris Fuchigami
1 p.m. Roy Sakuma’s Super Keiki with Nelly Toyama Baduria and Daniel Baduria
2 p.m. Benny Uyetake and the Samuel E. Kalama Intermediate School Ukulele Band (Maui)
3 p.m. Ukulele Lehulehu
4 p.m. Ohta San and Nando Suan

Queens’ MarketPlace

2-5 p.m.
Ukulele Making Demonstration with Bob Gleason
Ukulele Lessons with Aunty Barni Fischer
Lei-Making with the Ladies of the Kaahumanu Society (while supplies last)
Umeke and Ipu Making with Aunty Donna Jensen

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