‘Ukulele Chord Shapes eBook
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Letters Home

Once again the Kahumoku ‘Ohana Music and Lifestyle Workshop has come and gone. This year the camp seemed even better than last year. But for me, this year it was a learning experience as well as a trip home from school for a week (that’s to say, maybe I’m biased!).

For those who aren’t familiar, the Kahumoku Workshop is an annual week-long music camp that focuses on teaching ‘ukulele, slack-key guitar, and Hawaiian culture to people from all walks of life. Instructors include the who’s who of Hawaiian music (Keoki Kahumoku, Sonny Lim, Dennis Kamakahi, Herb Ohta Jr., John Keawe, Brittni Paiva) along with a few names from outside the state (James Hill and Anne Davison). It is held in the small, middle-of-nowhere town of Pahala on Hawai’i island at the Pahala Plantation House.

For the first time at this camp I felt I had arrived as a musician – able to hold my own in music and discussions about the art. I owe all of that to the people I spent my time with last week. They are my teachers, my friends, my support system, my students. All becomes one and one becomes all.

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The plantation house – getting old, but still beautiful.

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Morning circle.

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Uncle Dennis Kamakahi contemplating the morning.

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Private lessons with Uncle Herb were ongoing for the youngsters.

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Kitchen jam.

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Uncle Moses Kahumoku playing some tunes in the entryway.

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Prepping the pig for the imu.

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Aunty Hope Keawe taught haku lei making all week.

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The runway of my life.

Thank you to my brother, Evan Bordessa, for the photos, Kris Bordessa, Keoki Kahumoku, Tiffany Crosson, Susie Kagami, James Hill, Herb Ohta Jr., Hualalai, Sonny Lim, Dennis Kamakahi, Darci Baker, the Wang ‘Ohana, and all the rest of the beautiful people who made the dream come true yet again.

Meet The Author:

Brad Bordessa

Brad plays 'ukulele on the Big Island of Hawai'i. He writes original music, performs, and hunts unicorns - all with only an 'ukulele.

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