“Nice guys don’t all finish last. An inspirational story wrapped in a hilarious package.”
I am willing to bet that I am the only ʻukulele playing investment adviser to appear on the big screen as Elvis! How’s that for exclusive club?
“Performing is an experience, for me, that is as humbling as it is energizing.” -Charley Pride
I am thankful for the return invitation to join HAPA as their opening act at New York Cityʻs Highline Ballroom. My family and friends, including clients, were able to come to the show! Glad for the opportunity to play Hawaiian slack key guitar in New York and try out some new songs too. Jake Shimabukuro has performed here in the past as well as marquee artists from Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Carlos Santana to Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Amy Winehouse. What an amazing experience for me to play solo and then be invited to join HAPA for their hana hou!
As an ukulele performer and Halawai board member, I was honored to be a panelist at the New York screening of Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings. Back in 2004, I was fortunate to see Jake at venues like the Knitting Factory and attend workshops that he taught in New York. Jake’s career has really taken off since the days when I was among a dozen people to turnout to see him perform at the Lion’s Den in Greenwich Village. Today, Jake sells out major venues and tours much of the year. Jake’s famous New York moment, of course, was the youtube video of him in Strawberry Fields playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” that went viral and launched his international stardom. The little ukulele definitely has history here in Manhattan!
“To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.” Henry David Thoreau
The Asian American Arts Alliance (a4) is dedicated to strengthening Asian American artists and arts/cultural groups in New York City so it was with great pride that Marina and I performed at their 30th Anniversary Gala with honorees Deepak Chopra (author), Vishakha N. Desai (CEO of Asia Society), Fred Ho (Baritone Saxophonist), and Christine Toy Johnson (Actor, Playwright, Filmmaker.)
What an honor to perform wedding ukulele in New York. Katie and Scott’s wedding was my first time at the United States Merchant Marine Academy located in Kings Point. The ceremony was held at Mariners’ Memorial Chapel built to commemorate the sacrifices of the officers and men of the U.S. Merchant Marine who gave their lives at sea in World Wars I and II.
It was an amazing experience working with the dancers of Pua Aliʻi ʻIlima and performing at such prestigious dance venues. The kumu, master hula teachers, Vicky, Jeff and Momiala sure know how to put on fantastic shows. Along with my fellow musicians, I will cherish the memories of being a part of this East Coast tour. Mahalo to everyone involved, especially those who came out to support and who we met along the way.
Amazing to celebrate a 60th wedding anniversary in Flushing, New York. What a party! 8-course Chinese banquet with hula, music, ballroom dancing, piano/bass duet, and surprise visit by NYC Comptroller John Liu. The highlight had to be the anniversary couple singing Lei Aloha Lei Makamae! I am so grateful to have been a part of the special celebration.
“An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing.” – Samuel Smiles
I am thankful for the opportunity to have performed with HAPA in Philadelphia and New York City during their 5-week mainland tour. HAPA’s music has been a huge inspiration to me since their self-titled debut album in 1993, so their friendship and support mean a lot. Imagine buying their CD in Farmington, CT and wearing it out listening to it. 18+ years later, sharing the stage with HAPA? Who’d have thunk it?!?!