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Interview With Kimo Hussey

Dec 22, 2008 ~ Kimo Hussey is one of my favorite ukulele players. Not just because of his music either. He is one of the most incredible people I have ever met. I had the opportunity to study with Uncle Kimo at the March 2008 Kahumoku Music and Lifestyle Workshop.

Uncle Kimo is a very good teacher; he can make anything simple and asks questions to help his students figure out the answer. Mr. Hussey agreed to answer some questions for me. I hope you can learn some things from this interview and I encourage you to find a time and place to study with Kimo. Thank you for your time Uncle!

Brad Bordessa: When did you decide that you wanted to play music – when did the light bulb go on?

Kimo Hussey: I don’t ever remember a light going on. I’ve always been interested in music for as long as I can remember and continuing to be involved with it has always been a foregone conclusion. During my 30 year career in the Air Force, music had to take a back seat but now that I’m retired, I’m making up for lost time.

Who do you consider your musical heroes?

There would be two: 1. My uncle Richard who first taught me to play ukulele.  He was a wonderful teacher and were it not for his patience, I probably would never have continued with music. 2. My high school music teacher, Bob Springer. He had such a strong influence on me I ended up going to the same college he went to in order to study choral conducting with the same professor he had.

What has been your favorite performance and why?

No favorites. There have been lots of winners and each one had its own wonderful trademarks.

You do an ukulele workshop on Moloka’i, how did this year’s go? Are you planning on doing one next year?

Both Molokai workshops we did this year were FANTASTIC!!!!!!  We’re planning to do three next year.

You’ve shared some really good insight with me about playing from the heart and how I can learn about MY music. What advice do you have for other musicians to help them get in the right mindset to share the greatness of their own music?

In short, reduce the amount of needless EGO in your music. In my mind, the objective is to put the listener in touch with the music. In order to do this, the performer needs to be so in command of the music that he/she gets out of the way so the listener can make a DIRECT connection with the music.

Check out Uncle Kimo’s web site at: