Kahilu Theater ‘Ukulele and Slack Key Institute

The past few days have been busy! Kahilu Theater’s annual long-weekend of music workshops has passed by again. Thursday evening there was a kani ka pila featuring the music of Jake Shimabukuro, Victor Wooten, Jeff Peterson, Benny Chong, Sonny Lim, and Nathan Aweau. Each artist came out one by one to share a song and then jammed together on a couple of phenomenal tunes. Afterwards they invited the musicians in the audience to come up on stage and play with the guys (there were probably 30 of us who packed onto the stage).

Jake played “143” and opened the show. He was the host for the night and created the program lineup (“I chose to go first because I don’t want to have to follow any of these guys!”).

The acoustics in the theater are great and he opted to speak without a mic.

Jazz ‘ukulele master Benny Chong played a smoking number and Jake took notes.

When it was time for the big jam Jake made sure everyone was all on the same page.

On Friday, Jake and Victor both gave workshops. Victor’s was based around his thought pattern of music being a language. It was very inspiring and impressive. He made incredible use of a Boss RC-50 loop pedal and opened with an extensive jam. Vic talked about timing and how to practice removing one measure at a time from a four bar drum loop until you end up with only one beat every four measures (“when I can play along with that, it’s a piece of cake to play with a drummer”). He also dropped brilliant tidbits of wisdom such as “a question will not present itself until the answer is nearby”. Mr. Wooten also mentioned that he is working on a sequel to “The Music Lesson“, his take at an instructional book.

Jake’s class was a little more basic, but no less inspiring. He talked about his learning process and influences but also went off on tangents about scoring “Hula Girls” and he played us “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

Topping off a fun and informative day was the sold-out ‘Ukulele Masters show featuring Jake and Victor. Benny, Jeff, and Nathan “opened” the show and almost stole it. But Jake and Victor were on fire as well and after a solo set from each, blew everyone’s minds with duet versions of “Bring Your Adz”, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Spain”, and more.

Meet The Author:

Brad Bordessa

Brad plays 'ukulele on the Big Island of Hawai'i. He writes original music, performs, and runs this site from a little cabin in the jungle.

1 comment… add one
  • Bonita Jerry Feb 21, 2011, 1:14 pm

    What a “dreamed granted” experience that must have been!!! How wonderful for all of you. Wish I was there. Hope some of the audience musicians will share their experience.

    Thanks for keeping us informed and up to date. Love your site. Thanks much.


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