View Full Version : Ukulele Instrumentals on CD?

09-12-2018, 07:35 AM
Looking for ukulele instrumentals on ukulele recored on CD's. No vocals and very little struming. Just nice chord melodies and or fingersltyle playing of nice popular music or old favorites. Is there such a thing? Where to find?

09-12-2018, 08:37 AM
One of my favorite's is Jake Shimabukuro's "Grand Ukulele", and it was produced by Alan Parsons! Includes originals and some covers of popular tunes. If you're looking for something more traditional someone else will chime in.


09-12-2018, 08:47 AM
John King recorded a CD of Johann Sebastian Bach pieces. Marvelous stuff (if you're a fan of Bach!).

09-12-2018, 10:12 AM
Ukulelezaza*! Roy Smeck**! Lyle Ritz***!

*¨has an etsy shop, you can find his CD there
** has a CD with just uke, 'The Magic Ukulele of Roy Smeck', and lots of uke tracks on the mixed CDs Plays Hawaiian Guitar, On With the Dance, Wizard of the Strings
*** his two 1950s albums How About Uke and 50the state jazz are now compiled on one CD, and then there are his recordings in the 2000s, especially No Frills, Time and A Night of Ukulele Jazz with Ohta-San.

Joyful Uke
09-12-2018, 10:12 AM
Some of my favorite CDs:
Daniel Ho
Matt Dahlberg

I've bought tracks by Brittni Paiva, James Hill, Kris Fuchigami, Aldrine Guerrero.

And, of course, Jake Shimabukuro. Probably my favorite CD of his, since I'm a big Beatles fan, is Across the Universe. One track does have vocals, but the others don't.
But, I'm a big fan of his in general, so it doesn't have to be Beatles music, and he does cover a wide range of music on his various CDs.

09-12-2018, 10:32 AM
Steven Strauss.. a local treasure and ukulele enthusiast for 50 years. His arrangements are understated and beautiful. And if you are ever in the the San Francisco Bay Area you can catch him every Saturday morning playing at a local cafe in Oakland. Old YouTubes of Steven abound, especially of his Saturday morning stints,

Not every great musician is famous. Some rather practice their craft. But all should be recognized for their contributions. Check out Steven Strauss ukulele player extraordinaire! It is sure to put a smile in your heart.

Ukulele Eddie
09-12-2018, 12:36 PM
Daniel Ho's Polani remains my absolute favorite instrumental ukulele CD.

Recently I've been listening to Abe Lagrimas, Jr.'s latest CD which I really enjoy, but it's not just uke (he's actually a jazz drummer who took up the ukulele) but it's a terrific album.

09-12-2018, 01:57 PM
I enjoy my Gerald Ross CDs. He's very expressive. You can hear samples of his playing on YouTube, and buy his CDs (and listen to some sound samples) here:

09-12-2018, 02:03 PM
Check out Benny Chong. His partner here, Byron Yasui has done some recording as well.


09-12-2018, 04:29 PM
Great recommendations so far! I'd start with any and all of those, and anything by Ohta-San. Greg Hawkes if you like Beatles instrumentals. I also find the tracks that come with the James Hill, John King and Tony Mizen Jumpin' Jim books quite listenable.

If you're willing to spend a bit and order from Rakuten or CD Japan, there's a whole world of instrumental ukulele music out there. I love anything by Kenji Kondo and Tomotaka Matsui - their Ukulele Mozart album might be hard to find, but it's what got me into them.

09-12-2018, 09:01 PM
+1 for Polani, and the rest of Daniel Ho for that matter.

Also check out Kalei Gamiao.

09-13-2018, 01:23 AM
Paul Hemmings. Excellent.

I tried to post links, but they were blocked as spam???


09-13-2018, 03:31 AM
Corey Fujimoto,
Andrew Molina
Neal Chin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sT-WOAaZESY

09-13-2018, 03:44 PM
Yay! A use for my ukulele geekdom. I have SO much ukulele music on CD... Here are the ones specifically containing several instrumentals. All are available on iTunes as well as other sources.

Flamenco, many other styles: Daniel Ward. Some of his CDs also contain guitar, but El Ukulele is all uke
As another said, for classical: John King. J.S. Bach Partita no 3 BMV 1006 for Unaccompanied Ukulele and Royal Hawaiian Music. The CDs that accompanied his books The Classical Ukulele and Famous Solos and Duets also great for listening.
For everything from classical, to jazz/swing, to bluegrass or Van Halen: James Hill. It's a shame his earliest 2 CD's are no longer available (I have and love both), but A Flyin' Leap has always been my favorite.
For Hawaiian and classical: Brittni Paiva
Hawaiian and Jazz (as already mentioned): Herb "Ohta San" Ohta or his son Herb Ohta Jr
Folk, swing: Dan "Soybean" Sawyer
Others have mentioned Jake Shimabukuro, but his brother Bruce Shimabukuro also has some fantastic music
For traditional Americana: Aaron and Nickole Keim of The Quiet American. While much of their music includes singing, the instrumentals are fantastic (often feature clawhammer, etc)
Jazz/Blues (but often has singing): Sarah Maisel

So much good stuff out there... So glad to discover other artists on this thread, too!