Ukulele In Orbit

I am always amazed at the new undiscovered gems out there waiting for me. Like a rare stone sitting beneath the layers of sand, it remains undiscovered by my eyes, until the right gust of wind comes and blows away the top layer to reveal the beautiful shining crystal. Such is the case with this spectacular... Continue Reading →

The Real Top Five List

Another day, another list of the top fifty Hawaiian music albums, or the ten best Hawaiian songs or top five essential ukulele albums. While these lists are valuable in exposing outside audiences to Hawaiian music artists and albums they may have otherwise not heard about, they still are far from comprehensive in my humble opinion. As Hawaiian... Continue Reading →

The Golden Voice of Hawaii

With little fanfare and almost no mention in mainstream media, one of the most significant re releases in the history of Hawaiian music occurred over the summer. On July 24th Universal Records released a remastered version of the seminal album "My Isle of Golden Dreams" originally released in 1963. This album by the great Alfred... Continue Reading →

I Ulu No Ka Lālā I Ke Kumu

As the tourist economy continued to grow and the realities of statehood began to take hold with the people of Hawaii, a realization unfolded that the musical culture of Hawaii had moved significantly far away from its roots. While the Hawaiian language remained relatively strong in comparison with other colonized nations, musically, profound changes had occurred from the humble... Continue Reading →

The World Cup That Is Hawaiian Music Part 4: The Madeiran Musicmakers

The history of Hawaiian music was altered forever with the arrival of three woodworkers from the Madeira Islands in 1879. The Portuguese had been arriving in Hawaii in small numbers since the 1850s, mostly as cast aways from whaling ships. But it wasn't until 1878 when the Hawaiian government made a concerted effort to import Portuguese... Continue Reading →

Heart of the Ukulele Part 2

Here is a continuation of my analysis of the great `ukulele album "Heart of the `Ukulele."  For an introduction please see my post titled "Heart of the `Ukulele" part 1.  The first analysis covered Side A which was comprised of a mixture of American standards, Latin folk songs, string symphonies and a popular movie score. Here on... Continue Reading →

Heart of the Ukulele Part 1

  To my ears and soul this is the greatest `ukulele album ever made.  Creative, emotional and technically challenging, in under thirty minutes Eddie Kamae expresses all the musical voices possible on the `ukulele.  The song choice is inventive and daring and while the recording is raw and unembellished, the complex musicality is diverse in scope and execution.... Continue Reading →

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