Oct 17, 2008 ~ Herb Ohta Jr. is one of Hawai’i – and the world’s – best ukulele players. He has recorded many albums, played many shows, and put smiles on many people’s faces. Apart from being a phenomenal ukulele player and musician, Uncle Herb is one of the nicest guys you can meet. Mr. Ohta agreed to answer some of my questions about his career. Thank you Uncle Herb for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview.
Brad Bordessa: Who were your heroes growing up?
Herb Ohta Jr.: My heroes growing up were: Elvis Presley, and my Dad. Elvis had a big heart. I learned that he donated a lot of money to charity without writing it off.
BB: You have played at a ton of different venues, what has been your favorite performance and why?
HOJ: My favorite performance was with Keoki Kahumoku at Whittier College in Southern CA. We were opening up for the Ka’au Crater Boys. This happened right after the release of our first Cd “Hawaiian From The Heart”. It was the first time for many people to see us perform together and we stole the show. We sold over 200 Cd’s in one evening.
BB: At what point in your career were you approached with an ukulele sponsorship?
HOJ: After my first Cd from Derek Shimizu of GString Ukuleles.
BB: What do you think is the most important thing you have practiced, and how has it improved your playing?
HOJ: Scales. When I look at the fingerboard, I am not intimidated!
BB: You’re going into the studio to record a new album this January, what can we expect to hear from this new release?
HOJ: All ukulele. No other instrumentation. No Guitar, no Bass, no Percussion. Just ‘uke!