A delightful Sunday afternoon, relaxing, eating the best Hawaiian plate lunches and abalone poke to the well celebrated traditional sounds of the Ukulele with great technical skill and originality.
Reiko Tokushige Rogers was the MC of the 4th Annual Ukulele Festival at Kaka‘ako Waterfront Park. The beachfront location was an ideal setting just east of the Ala Moana, with plenty of parking and shuttles to and from Waikiki.
Professional ukulele artists, performers and singers were flown in for the event filling the day with a back to back program of performances promoting three things: “Peace, Friendship and Ohana Love.”
Hundreds of Ukulele professionals, aficionados and experienced players from around the world gathered around the Kaka'ako Waterfront Park center stage where its annual Ukulele picnic is held every year in Hawai'i. Professional ukulele artists, performers and singers were flown in for the event filling the day with a back to back program of performances promoting three things: "Peace, Friendship and Ohana Love." The word ‘ohana means family in Hawaiian and nearing the conclusion of the festival the sun began to slowly fade into the ocean and the entire crowd embraced hands and danced standing together as one. From 9 in the morning to sunset, Kaka‘ako shined with melodious harmonies and well performed Ukulele sounds.
One of the most interesting food booths was the Big Island Abalone company. The exhibitor gladly pulled out a half a dozen abalone —still moving— for this journalist to wonder and gaze while the delicious but squirmy sea animal stretched its invertebrate foot in its natural home, the shell.
Fulare pad was my personal favorite group, bringing lots of energy to the stage, jumping, dancing, really revving the crowd up.
It was very moving to listen to beautiful Hawaiian music from both native Hawaiians collaborating with Japense professional virtuosos of the tradition who created an unforgettable experiential feeling of Aloha and peace all before the same Hawaiian sunset. The unity felt by all was contagious and the spirit of aloha seemed to resonate in the heartbeats of everyone in attendance. From the youngest stage dancer, little Poaihala, Pali's basist and Will's son, to the large group of people with the young-at-heart music lovers on the islands of Hawaii.