On the Scene
Friday, August 5, 2005
ROY KNOWS GOOD UKULELES:
Roy Sakuma, left, congratulated KoAloha Ukulele founder Alvin "Papa" Okami on Monday as the Okami family hosted the KoAloha Ukulele 10th Anniversary party at Jay Restaurant at the Willows. Many of Hawaii's leading ukulele players were invited, and guests who didn't make the mistake of leaving prematurely enjoyed performances by Daniel Ho, Herb Ohta Jr., Raiatea Helm, Melveen Leed, Brittni Paiva, David Kamakahi and James Hill (Hill, in from Canada for Sakuma's 35th Annual Ukulele Festival, has an endorsement deal with G-String Ukuleles and got some kidding about playing a KoAloha when he was called up). Sakuma said he never plays "except when I'm teaching," but thrilled the crowd with a crisp rendition of "Misty" after he was given a new KoAloha in appreciation of his support.(The first KoAloha ukuleles were fully functional miniatures. Sakuma encouraged Okami to make full-scale models and helped promote the instruments). James Ingram and Jon Yamasato also stopped by.
YES, IT'S REAL!:
Braddah Sam Langi played a miniature KoAloha that was on display in the back of the restaurant.
THEY'RE BOTH SELF-TAUGHT MUSICIANS:
David Kamakahi, left, talked with Gordon Mark before the formal program started.
James Hill, second from left, was welcomed by David "Davey D" Daniel's of KCCN/FM100, left, Daniel Ho and Herb Ohta Jr. All four wore blue jeans to the party. Daniel's' name tag lacked the apostrophe he uses, but that was soon corrected.
DAVE GETS DOWN:
Hawaii radio veteran Dave Lancaster, morning guy at 95.5 The Fish, tried out a KoAloha six-string before the buffet lines opened. Lancaster said the new instrument is perfect for guitarists who want to try playing an ukulele but don't want to give up two strings.
GREAT PARTY, GUYS!:
KoAloha executives Alan Okami, left, and his brother, Paul, were all smiles as the party rocked on. Both teared up while thanking their parents and some of the people who have supported the company. The two gave their parents matching ukuleles. Paul surprised Alan with a new one, too.
"THREE GIRLS FROM MOLOKAI":
Raiatea Helm, left, introduced her cousin, Charice Kaahanui, center, to Melveen Leed as they checked out the instruments on display. Leed sat in later with David Kamakahi and Kawika Kahiapo. Helm's falsetto set was another highlight. There was so much great music the party ran 90 minutes overtime.
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