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S1E10 – Holiday Variety Show/Talk Story

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A random collections of thoughts and stories along with a couple songs with Brad.

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Transcript

Edited for clarity.

Aloha! Welcome to the Live Ukulele Podcast. My name is Brad Bordessa and you’re listening to the holiday variety show. …Whatever that is.

This holiday season is, obviously, quite different than others we’ve had since a lot of us are away from families and staying home and avoiding travel, all that good stuff. And I’m super fortunate to be on site with my folks, so there is a bit of family connection. But definitely want to dedicate this – and let everybody out there who is in that compromised holiday position that, you know, we’re thinking of you guys and appreciating you and, at least I, realize that, you know, that is a sacrifice to just pack in and stay home for the holidays. That’s such a big part of who we are and what we do and how we express our love for each other is that… uh I don’t know, those typical holiday gatherings. And not being able to do that is a big sacrifice. But for the better good we would all like to think.

So I thought maybe I could start with a little bit of a recap of Live Ukulele itself – and also what this year held for all of us, in that you’re part of the Live Ukulele ʻohana in a way. So Live Ukulele I started back in 2007 with my friend Isaac Wang. We were just learning how to play, just starting. He was more of a slack key player, though he dabbled in ukulele and was, you know, better than he should be for the amount of practice he put into playing ukulele. He’s just one of those crossover guys who could pick up anything and sound great. And I was a die-hard ukulele guy. And we wanted to attend the Kahumoku ʻOhana Workshop that was held in Pahala every year. I think the year before had been the first year that it had happened and we heard about it through the grapevine. Actually, Isaac was taking lessons from Keoki Kahumoku who started the workshop, at the time I believe at Donkey Mill Art Center in Holualoa. And it sounded like such an amazing opportunity to go study with all these great Hawaiian musicians, learn more about our instruments, learn to play, get to jam a lot, and the whole thing was great. But it was, you know, over a thousand dollars for tuition. We’re like, hmm certainly don’t have that kicking around in our back pockets. How can we make some money? And we thought, hey, maybe we should start a website. You know, looking back it was a good idea, but in the short term, it made us no money whatsoever and we ended up still being quite short on our funds. So as we attended the camp for a number of years, we ended up actually being scholarship students at the workshop. And so that was a real neat opportunity in and of itself in that we kind of came into it as… You know, the scholarship students were sort of the helpers and they were there on, you know, prepaid tuition, free tuition, whatever you want to call it. But we were there to help there to make sure that the dishes got washed and, you know, things got handled and taken care of, as far as, you know, behind the scenes went. But got to really integrate with all of the guys from Pahala, which is, you know, real small isolated town with, you know, not a whole lot of an economy. So everybody’s sort of always looking for things to do. And to be with these real local, down to earth people was real neat. To kind of have that window and be part of that scene.

But we started the website and ended up being scholarshiped anyways. And for me, I think that was probably one of the most life-changing experiences that I could have had at that time in my life. And just so grateful for Uncle Keoki and everybody who has been part of that workshop over the years. It’s no longer happening. Uncle’s had some health trouble and um it’s been just to not do the workshop for the past number of years. But, you know, it still remains very dear to us in our hearts and so appreciative that we have those opportunities.

Long story short, Live Ukulele was started because of that workshop. And over the years, Isaac kind of lost interest in the whole web thing, the whole computer thing. And I sort of liked it. It was fun for me, writing the content and creating the posts and doing the admin stuff. And so he kind of, he kind of phased out after a while and I ended up just taking the website forward to where it’s at today. Isaac is currently out in Purdue, Indiana going to school. He’s a PhD [student] in English. So shout out to my man, Isaac. Who… We just go super far back, we’ve always been really good friends. And yeah, thanks for jumping on the train with me and getting it started, Isaac.

So over the years it’s grown and developed and I’ve learned more and more about how the web works, how to optimize for Google, how to run the site better, run it cleaner, keep things up to date. Do all the stuff, basically by myself. Because there is – or has been – very little in the way of budget because, you know, all the funds were just fun funds, really at first, and paying somebody to do all that fancy stuff was never in the cards. So I just learned to do it myself. And that’s been a real godsend because as down the road things happen and I need to make changes, it’s not scary to jump in and figure out how to make them happen and how to work. And I see lots of people running websites and they just, “Aaa…! It’s… Everything’s so scary,” and they don’t know how to do things. And, you know, just having that DIY background of, yeah I’ve figured it out because I had to, has really served me along the way.

But let’s talk about this year. This year was um, I guess a good year for Live Ukulele. Of course, we had the 2020 blues happening so there was a lot of staying home time, which may or may not have been more productive than normal. It’s funny how having less to do makes you even less productive to, you know, putting your time into the things that you should be working on when you have that spare time. Anyways. But we started the podcast. I just kind of woke up one morning and maybe I saw a video or somebody saying that, hey this is a good idea, and I had known for a long time that it was a good idea. And I’ve always been really interested in radio. Even as a kid I’d go into different radio stations through homeschool groups or whatever. I ended up going on the air when I spent a year living back in California with Michael Keene actually, out of KVMR, is that the one up in Grass Valley? But he had a Hawaiian music show and I emailed him one day, like, hey, could I come up and see the thing? And he ended up putting me on air and, you know, ever since then I’ve been interested in just the idea of broadcasting and putting out that sort of spontaneous signal. So sort of replicating that a little bit here with the podcast, but it also seemed like a good way to to present things, to present music things. Because so much of it is a listening art. And so often we get attached to visual things – especially in these days of Youtube where you can go online and, you know, oh, I want to learn to play this song by Katy Perry and you look it up and there’s the Ukulele Teacher and he’s very excited to show you how to play it. And that’s cool, but, you know, a lot of the musicianship part of music comes from just listening. So being able to present in just an audio format I really do like. And I know some people have said oh well you should just do video as well while you’re at it and yeah, I probably should, but really I do enjoy just standing in my bedroom recording the podcast wearing my pajamas or whatever. It’s great. There’s no need for appearances. All you need is my lovely voice to speak softly to you on the podcast. Anyways.

I’m gonna play you a song. This is called “The Jig is Up.” Named by Chuck Moore and I recorded it on my If Only album. Sending this out to Chuck. Love you, buddy. Hope you’re doing well and recovering.

Yeah, kind of botched the ending, but you get the idea.

Actually something that’s been real interesting relating to the pandemic and, at least my, kind of, musical inner life, is that I really haven’t been inspired to play all that much. Which is funny because I know that every time I pick up the ukulele and I play some music that it feels so good and it’s such amazing medicine. But just like, the inspiration to to pick it up and play – to like, start playing has really kind of gone away. And maybe that’s just the stress mind talking. You know, how your… The stress takes up so much space in your mind um that there’s no room for that music to like tickle your fancy and say like, hey, you know, take me out of the case, let’s play something. And, you know, talking to Herb Ohta, Jr., if you caught the Herb Ohta, Jr. interview on the podcast, he was saying that, you know, for him as well. He hasn’t really been playing. And then some of the people he knows, you know, just haven’t been picking it up. And that’s a total shame because, you know, all of us, especially as teachers, you tout all the time like practice, practice, practice. If you don’t practice, you’re not getting any better. And, you know, now we’re kind of on the other side of the sword experiencing that. Because I’ll pick up my ukulele and be like, “Boy, I’m pretty rusty! Hard to play this stuff!” But what’s even more interesting is that when you do pick it up and you spend that time kind of, getting back into the physical motions of playing, you know, if you sit down for an hour or whatever and you kind of bring the chops back to life with a little bit of bellows and a chocolate pill, right? Princess Bride status. Mad Max – Miracle Max. That what you do play is like so much more meaningful and soulful. And I find that everything that I am playing when I do play is like, really nice. And maybe it’s just my ears aren’t used to hearing myself play so it’s like, oh, this sounds pretty good, you know, it’s exciting to hear yourself play. But it just feels real good when I do play, about what is coming out. And I just wonder if it’s sort of like, you know, the haole blues or whatever. They say you can’t play the blues if you don’t have, like, a sad background or whatever, but I wonder if just having those… You know, seeing all this life happening around us, if that informs your spirit that comes out in the music and that that is what I’m hearing. I’d be curious to hear if anybody out there is also experiencing similar things with their music. If they feel like they’ve, I don’t know, improved their their touch or their feel. Not so much their technical ability, but like, you know, their soulfulness in the music and then bringing it to life as an emotional thing. I certainly feel like that’s the case for me.

Something my family has decided on this year is minimal gift giving. Just because we’re sort of simple people and, for those of you who don’t know, my mom is actually Kris Bordesa. She runs the wonderful website, Attainable Sustainable. Attainable-sustainable.net. And has written the Attainable Sustainable book for, drumroll, National Geographic Publications. It’s a pretty pretty big deal, we’re proud of her. But, you know, that’s sort of like our MO living out here in Hawaiʻi in the country is that, you know, trying to really live a little bit more sustainably and reduce our waste and grow as much of our food as possible. And, you know, we got… Like, I know all the vegetarians out there are going to hate me, but we’ve got roosters coming up from our newer chick batches coming out and we’re planning on butchering them in a couple of weeks. And, you know, eating bananas off the stalk and all that good kind of stuff. And so the limited or no gifts thing sort of fits with what we do in reducing consumerism and that kind of stuff.

So I was thinking the next little bit of the variety show… I need like a house band to give me a little theme song for what I’m doing. But five things that you can give loved ones on Christmas related to ukulele.

First of all, you could write them a song. That’s pretty special. I’ve written a handful of songs in my time for people and it’s always, like, it kind of blows them away is my impression of the whole thing. They’re always very touched in a way that, you know, I’ve never seen from giving a physical gift.

You could teach somebody to play a little bit of ukulele. Doesn’t take much. If you don’t have any ideas you could… I just actually posted a brand new lesson on novice ukulele. Just like never even seen it before, pick it up, learn two super easy one or two finger chords, and play a number of songs. I’ll put a link to that in the show notes and you could check that out. That might be some inspiration for how to teach somebody. That would especially be a fun Christmas day activity if you’re cooped up with your people and you need something to do besides watch football or whatever Christmas happens to fall on this year. I don’t even know what day it’s going to be. That would be fun, get them singing along. If anything, get whatever your crew is to sing along with you and then if some of them want to learn to play, bring out some extra ukuleles if you’ve got them.

A simple performance. It sounds kind of simple, but for a lot of people that’s a real vulnerable big deal. And if you haven’t done much performing I think that the person that you were to play for would even appreciate that more. I know that in the past I’ve played new songs for people, kind of as gifts, like the first debut of a song. And it’s, you know, it’s sort of that moment of uncomfortableness of, hey, this is really new, and, hey, maybe this is really personal and I’m being vulnerable. It kind of makes it that much sweeter to bring that person into your creative process of learning the song or writing the song or whatever it may be. Even if the song isn’t, you know, necessarily for them, as in written for them, but just performing for them can be a real sweet thing. Especially if you haven’t done it before. If you haven’t done it before, it could be, you know, hey, I haven’t really performed before, but you’re so special to me, I want to share this with you.

Something else that happened recently is Live Ukulele landed t-shirts! Finally. I finally got some designs on Teespring. If you ever have been inclined to wear a Live Ukulele t-shirt or – completely going back on the previous section – if you want a t-shirt for somebody, you could share with them the Live Ukulele logo on a t-shirt. They’re pretty comfy.

You know, along the way of my learning and my playing there have been a lot of people who have very generously opened their careers and their lives to me in sort of a mentor capacity. And they are really too many to name. It’s been super humbling to have access to so many people. You know, let alone any of them, but so many. And that is something that I am super grateful for, all the time, but especially this year when, you know, it’s the little things that live in your heart that kind of help bolster your spirits and move you along and, you know, make you feel good about things that have happened and things that you’re working on, is having kind of that backbone of people who care about what you’re doing. And, you know, just so grateful to have the opportunity to study with all these different folks.

But, I don’t know, I don’t know, there’s so many stories I could pick, but I thought I would share a story from um one of my mentors. You know, my main mentor, who I’ve probably spent the most time with, just like people time, living time, not necessarily music related, is Uncle George Kahumoku. Who is just an amazing man, a hilarious man. He’s always doing awesome, awesome things and he’s a four, five, six, whatever number time Grammy winning musician and he lives such a simple, humble lifestyle, but it’s always so interesting and so fun. When I was going to school in Maui at the Institute of Hawaiian Music, he would call me up – I was rooming with Axel Menezes, my good friend over on Kauai, for a long time and he was also close with Uncle George – and we’d go out together um to Uncle George’s farm in Kahakuloa on the west side of Maui. Sort of on the north, northwest side. On the sketchy, sketchy, sketchy road. He’s out at the end when the road finally gets nice where kind of the rich people live. It’s like, oh well, we didn’t die on the bad part of the road. Here we are on the nice part of the road in the middle of nowhere. But we’d go out there and he’d call us up in the morning, like you know, 5:30, 6 o’clock, you know, “I’m in town. I’ll come pick you up… I’ll be at your dorm in five minutes!” And, you know, we’re like fast asleep, you know, just out of… Well, I think we were still even teenagers: 18, 19 when we were in school. And so, like, that early is unheard of. We’d sleep until nine or ten if we were let to do that. But he’d come pick us up and we’d go ride right around out to the farm. Being at the farm was always… You know, it was always hard work because it was farm work. Uncle’s got a, kind of a small time, big production sort of farm. He’s always got a million irons in the fire even though he’s not like commercially selling anything. But he’s always got enough stuff for him and anybody who’s around he could give to. So he’s got like papayas and, you know, taro and sweet potatoes. He’s also got a big herd of goats which, I guess, I guess, he eats. I was never part of that. But there were always baby goats and I helped him bury a goat one day that had some sort of illness. But always something… Oh, mamaki tea. That’s his big money maker. He grows mamaki tea. He harvests it, dries it, and um that dried mamaki you put in a tea. It’s a lovely kind of calming, restorative, sleepy tea. And so he sells that at the Slack Key Show by the bag for like 20 bucks for this little teeny, tiny vacuum sealed bag of mamaki. I always thought that was just so typical Uncle George. He’s such a smart, astute business guy. He’s always got, you know, what is going to be my biggest return on effort and then boom, he does it.

But we’d go out to the farm and we’d help uh… Mulch was kind of our, always the joke we had. It’s like oh always carrying garbage cans of mulch. And a lot of times the mulch would be at the farm already and we would help spread it around different plants. Because the mulch helps retain the water and feed the plants, give them good nutrients from the decomposing wood chips. But the mulch would be there from like the previous week when we actually went to get the mulch. So a lot of times these days would start at the farm and we’d hang out and Uncle would… We’d work in the morning, right, until like 8:30 or 9 or whatever. And then Uncle would take us inside, we’d cook this fabulous breakfast with, you know, farm fresh eggs and farm fresh this and that and the other thing. It was always awesome. Uncle’s a killer cook and he’d put us to work in the kitchen. It’s like, “Eh, stand here stir this until it’s done.” or whatever – and at the time I wasn’t much of a cook. Still not much of a cook, but uncle helped me along. But then we’d hang out for a little bit, jam a little bit of music. And this was always on a Wednesday. Because Wednesday was the Slack Key Show. And then we’d drive out the upper way to Napili. Up around the top side of West Maui where the road gets even more sketchy, if it’s possible. Uncle would squeeze his truck on the very side of the road to pass somebody, cliff side of the road, naturally. “Ah come on, come on, there’s plenty of room!” He’d pull the mirrors in and just like, inches to spare and, you know, hundreds of feet down the cliff to fall in if the truck went off the cliff. But it worked every time. Uncle always seemed to have it under control. But we’d drive up that way and he… I guess he had a hookup at one of the golf courses where the maintenance guys would chip the landscaping rubbish from the trees that they’d trim. And so we’d go with his little Toyota’s Tacoma and he’d have a big giant stack of garbage cans in the back. And then we’d get out and we’d fill the garbage cans and, you know, you put the mulch in the garbage cans, stack them in the truck, and, you know, okay the truck’s full, we’re good. You know, start to relax. It’s like, “Hey, what are you doing? Get some more garbage cans!” And we would fill more garbage cans. And I was always just blown away at how many garbage cans Uncle George could possibly fit in the back of a Toyota Tacoma we’d have the tailgate down… There were times when the garbage cans weren’t even on the tailgate. They were just strapped to other garbage cans with rope.

And then that would be the run. We’d go to his house at Hawaiian Homes in Lahaina and cruise there, take a shower, take a nap, get ready, and then… It was Slack Key Show night so, you know, he’d get ready, he’d dress up in his aloha shirt and everything and we’d go out to the Napili Kai and they would do the Slack Key Show. And Axel and I would always hang around and get to meet whoever the guest artist was, because there’s a different guest every week. And there was a short while where Axel and I were playing the pre-show show. Which is like, basically where they would be playing the CD, we got to play while people were coming in to get in their seats. But that stopped after a while for some reason or another.

But it was always just such a wonderful time and an amazing time and Uncle George was always… He always worked us really hard, but he was always super appreciative in the most humble of ways. You know, we’d go out there and, you know, he’d cook us dinner, he’d hook us up, he’d play music with us, he’d teach us musical things, and then you know he’d pass us 20 bucks for our time. And I just… Everything about him is so gentlemanly and to have had those moments, you know, as a young person getting into music and getting into life, really just seeing somebody who is so adept at maneuvering people and maneuvering music. Just being able to spend that time with him means so so much. He is the person I’ve spent the most time with, but there are many others who have, you know, taught me musically and mentored me, musically, but Uncle George stands out just because of the sheer amount of time I’ve spent doing one thing or another with him, doing different different errands and chores and playing gigs. And, you know, he’s this Grammy-winning musician, but he would go out of his way to help a friend who needed music at, like, the little, teeny tiniest local farmers market and he’d set up his PA and we’d play there for two hours – for free. You know, maybe he’d get a couple papayas for his time, but he’s like, just so humble, so amazingly humble. And he would give you the shirt off his back. Good times, good times.

Axel and I were both away from home. I’m on Big Island and he’s on Kauaʻi and we moved to Maui for school. And it was hard being away from home as young men. You know, we look back and it was good times. At the time it was kind of hard. We’d be calling home a lot. And, you know, not quite crying, but like, you know, “Oh, Brah, this is so sad to be away from home. I want to go home! and it’s like, I’m over it, whatever. But then you’d have moments with Uncle George or any of the other people who we also enjoyed and spent time with on Maui.

But it’s the little moments like that just inform life so much and really just, you know, enrich it. And I’m sure we all have stories like that of, maybe we didn’t see it for what it was at the time, but now, you know, looking back you have… That’s just heartwarming. And it’s those kind of things that… You know, I’m not much of a nostalgic person at all. Everybody who knows me is like… Knows that I don’t, you know… The whole holiday thing is kind of… I love the camaraderie and the love and the family time and all of the reflection and things like that. Like the Christmas trees and the Christmas music and the dressed up Santas and all that, you know, that’s not so much my scene. But certainly this time of year I do think back on good times. And especially this year, it’s nice to have those stories since we haven’t really made any stories this year with people. And that’s been really too bad is feeling like you do kind of… You have missed out on some opportunities and some things and some moments. But at the same time, you know, life happens and you don’t realize it at the time, but a lot of those moments are gonna be treasured as you move on.

This is a tune called “Radio Hula.” A song that I was inspired to learn, of course, by Uncle Ledward Kaapana who is somebody I’ve also crossed paths with more times than, you know, any person really would deserve. Because he is another incredibly nice man and an incredible guitar player and somebody who really brings playfulness to music in a way that I haven’t really seen before. And has really influenced my playing style especially in Hawaiian music in trying to sort of bring out the funniness of music and tell jokes with your music and be able to just kind of bend the rules and be okay playing things off and learning to make those off things right. And so this is a song called “Radio Hula” that Uncle Ledward Kaapana plays all the time.

That’s the Uncle Led chord for anybody out there who needs a real fancy, fancy chord for ending their songs. A 6/9 is how Uncle Led ended almost every song when he was playing with Hui ʻOhana, which, if you’re not familiar with the Hui ʻOhana records, that’s gonna be a real treat for you getting into Hawaiian music is the Hui ʻOhana records. Especially… I like the first one. The first record to me was real… That was, that’s it. But that’s just my opinion. So yeah “Radio Hula.”

I actually have my… I’m playing my Moore Better tenor and I’ve got it tuned down a half step – or maybe more. I don’t know, it’s been a while since I tuned it with the tuner. But it’s so interesting how different instruments change the way you play. I could play that same thing on a different instrument, say like my Blackbird or whatever, and the way I would approach it and the way I would lean into the notese would be kind of different. Just from, I mean, I guess how the instrument plays, but also how it sounds. Like that ukulele sounds really rich and warm and, you know, just big. Especially with the down tuning, which, I like it for my voice, but I also like it because it kind of makes the sound a little bit more fat and round. And it might be a little bit muddy and, you know, dark at times because of the lower tuning. When you tune things up and you get a little more tension on the sound board, it can kind of tighten everything, as you might expect. But the half step down is where I will go naturally most of the time if left to my own devices. So that’s what you’re hearing. That song is called “Radio Hula.” A great standard of slack key guitar that I adapted for ukulele.

I don’t want to just ramble on here in my little impromptu variety show, but it’s kind of fun to just talk about some things that come to mind and share a little bit more of my background. I know a lot of people know me from Youtube and from the website and, you know, they’re familiar with me, but not everybody knows that, despite appearances and despite my albums that I’ve released, that really my background is in Hawaiian music. That’s what I grew up playing and that’s what I learned to play ukulele with. That was my… Kind of, my foundation and my building blocks was Hawaiian music. Learning how to play all the stuff that I use in my own originals, that all that all came from experimenting in kani ka pilas playing just hawaiian music. And so really that’s my passion and that’s really what I love.

It’s just, you know, it’s been difficult as a haole person to come to Hawaiʻi, you know, as a young teenager and get into a brand new instrument and get into a brand new genre that is basically foreign to you and to feel confident bringing those songs to light. And I know a lot of people have encouraged me, a lot of people in the industry and, you know, Hawaiian players and they encouraged me to do that. But it’s still a little weird to get up there as, you know, the haole boy and sing a Hawaiian song. And that’s something that, you know, I would really like to get better at. And I really want to put together a Hawaiian album. I just, I’m kind of waiting because I feel like if I meditate on it a little bit longer and I come up with some solid ideas, that I can really toe that line between, you know, maybe the little bit more radically inclined I would be on my original stuff with, you know, mesh that with the tradition that I’ve been steeped in.So that’s the next project. And if not for COVID, maybe I would be playing more Hawaiian music live. Last year I was pushing and forcing myself to like play more Hawaiian songs and starting to work on a little bit of, like, falsetto stuff and get to a point where I could just be comfortable doing that. Because I’ve gotten comfortable over the years doing, like, singer-songwriter kinds of folk rock stuff. You know, it was uncomfortable and it was probably pretty bad at first, but it’s gotten better and I’ve gotten more comfortable doing it and I would like to get to the same place with Hawaiian music. And hopefully life will provide that. Hopefully there will be opportunities to continue to get the community that Hawaiian music provides and that that all ukulele playing usually provides.

Cause so much of what we do is based on a community or a jam group or a kani ka pila or whatever you call it in your place in the world. And that’s kind of on pause. So, you know, we’re all missing that. Whether you’re a performer, whether you’re in between, or whether… I guess I should say whether you’re professional, whether you’re a performer who’s kind of in between, or whether you’re just, you know, just kind of a hobby ukulele player who does it for fun and enjoys it, we’re all missing that community. I know everybody that I talk to on the podcast and just in passing throughout my day, they’re all like, oh, man, so many festivals were canceled that, you know, there’s just no opportunity to connect with people in the same way that we’re used to. Especially with Hawaiian music. It’s so old school and so people-driven that… Really, really miss that. It’s hard to synthesize that over ZOOM. Because it’s really just a raw style of music.

But anyways that’s that. Yeah, that’s that. I could lie to you and tell you I’m wearing a Santa hat right now to make it feel more holiday, but I won’t. I’m better than that. I try and keep it on the up and up.

But yeah, thanks for tuning in. This is kind of an experiment I had one last episode of the year to fill in and… I was sitting on another pre-recorded thing, but I thought I would do something fresh, something a little bit more spontaneous, and closer to the release date. Love to hear if you liked it or not, which bit of the podcast you’re enjoying most, whether interviews or tips and lessons or rambling, what have you, Let me know so that I can better prepare in the future. Because, I believe, after the turn of the year, we’re going to flip into season two – whatever that means. I’ve heard it said that seasons are just when you choose to change the number. But it feels like the beginning of the year should at least be another season. I believe this is episode 10. That’s about right.

From the jungle in Big Island wishing you all the happiest of holidays, the happiest of new years. Be safe, take care of one another, you know, show your love, express your love as best you can for these troubled times. Do it responsibly and, you know, keep playing that music. It is truly good medicine and I wish you the best.

Thank you so much for making Live Ukulele a success. Thank you for playing the ukulele and making, really all of my peers… All of our livelihoods possible. Just… I’m feeling very nostalgic and humbled right now and, you know, really appreciate that I’m able to be here talking about this just on my own time on a casual weekend.

And away we go… May 2021 treat you right, treat you better, whatever you need it to be. And I’ll see you on the other side of the new year. Aloha no.

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brad bordessa avatar About the author: Brad Bordessa I’m an ‘ukulele artist from Honoka’a, Hawai’i, where I run this site from an off-grid cabin in the jungle. I’ve taught workshops internationally, made Herb Ohta Jr. laugh until he cried, and once jammed with HAPA onstage in my boardshorts. More about me