View Full Version : My KoAloha Story Project - 15th Anniversary KoAloha Ukulele

05-18-2010, 03:11 AM
Aloha All!

It's been a long time. I've been away from the UU community working on some other community film projects and had recently touched base with Alan Okami about the possibility of putting together something special for the 15th Anniversary of KoAloha.

I've had the idea for a while of sending a HD camera out to trusted individuals around the country and the world really who would film themselves telling a story, playing a song and perhaps giving their own testimonial about their own KoAloha story. I'm calling the project, "My KoAloha Story".

I don't see the posts here anymore but I was really moved when a year ago we had the world premiere screening of The KoAloha Ukulele Story and folks here were so warm and receptive sharing their own personal stories and experiences about how they found the ukulele and found a connection to the Okami and KoAloha family.

Since the anniversary event will be just around the corner. I would like to invite folks here who would be interested in sharing their KoAloha story. I plan to do a long form version in honor of their 15th Anniversary and would like to do a short version as a teaser selecting up to five to seven individuals who have compelling stories and or music to share.

Ideally, I'd like to have the backing of UU and support to help get folks here to participate since we were really blessed to have your support with the premiere last year.

I'd like to move fairly fast on this so please let me know asap if you are interested. You may contact me through PM or via my website at http://www.componentgeek.com

I've had this concept set for ukulele for a while and tested it out last year with a local community project here in Philadelphia working with NYC based artist Taiyo Na using his beautiful song "Lovely to Me (Immigrant Mother)".

I gave the camera to youth and community members who filmed their moms and grandmothers and they passed around the camera putting the camera in the hands of the community.

This is the film that I just finished for Mothers Day that incorporates this basic idea combining both documentary and music video elements.


I'm hoping to capture the same spirit with the "My KoAloha Story" film project and I hope you will participate.

I have been very blessed to work with the Okami family and have had the humble honor of making a documentary animated story about Papa KoAloha that I hope captures the heart of what they do best and that's sending love out to the world with their beautiful instruments.

Papa KoAloha's story was just the seed. This story is your story too.

I hope to hear from many of you.

Please feel free to share this in your own communities and pass the word around. I'd like to get as many people involved as possible.

With every good wish,

Gary San Angel
The KoAloha Ukulele Story

05-18-2010, 12:40 PM
I, for one, can't wait to see the finished product. I loved "The KoAloha Story," and I'm sure that this will be a wonderful film as well. I know that I adore my KoAloha, and I can't say enough wonderful things about the Okami family -- they treated me like ohana when I visited their factory and they are certainly worthy of your documentary efforts.

Good luck on the project, and I look forward to watching. :)

05-18-2010, 11:23 PM
Sounds like a cool film. As the owner of 6 KoAloha Ukes (formerly 7, regretably traded my Soprano away a long time ago, and wish I could I could get it back...then I'd have everything from Soprano to Tenor to PS and Sceptre) I know the company is an awesome one, and having visited them a few times--even hanging out with them on Paul's bday-- I know that the Okamis are great people. I can't take part in the documentary, but will be there supporting it in spirit. Best of luck with it, Gary!

05-20-2010, 12:40 PM
Thank you wickedwahine11 & experimentjon for your support and kind words.

I want to reiterate to you both as well as anyone here in UU, that this is an open invitation in the manner that you would like to share whether it be in the form of on camera, in an e-mail, Skype, mp3, or CD, or even still picture. On camera is ideal but it doesn't have to be. I mean we lost our camera footage and that didn't stop us from putting together animated visuals to Papa KoAloha's story.

In a way, I hope this is a thank you to the Okamis as wel as an honoring of their work thus far in the ukulele community. So please share, the more the merrier!

I encourage any KoAloha player to contribute a little something. You don't even need to own a KoAloha necessarily. It's really your connection or story to KoAloha and perhaps your own interpretation of what KoAloha means to you.

Hope that helps clarify! I'd love to have a few folks here represent!

Thanks all! Gary

Kaneohe til the end
05-20-2010, 10:04 PM
Jon: you dont have the tenor neck soprano...

Gary: when do you think youll be flying back?

05-22-2010, 02:04 PM
when do you think youll be flying back?

Hey Kaneohe, I hope to come out this summer. Glad you are still a part of KoAloha!:)

I've had a few folks e-mail me and it has been pretty exciting. Some folks have shared some very touching stories just in their e-mails to me regarding how they got their first KoAoha or the generosity of the Okamis.

It's exactly what I was hoping to hear. There's no right or wrong. As long as you have something to say. Please share it for this rare opportunity to acknowledge and recognize this very special ukulele company.

Keep it coming guys! Mahalo!

05-23-2010, 06:01 PM
Sounds like an awesome project. I had been asked to do a couple of different interviews for movies etc.. way back when my CD was popular, but I turned them down. I'm back in the game now, so If you want to contact me, I would love to be apart of it. www.myspace.com/killerukulele or you can email me at tonyrocks99@yahoo.com
All the best brotha!

05-23-2010, 07:32 PM
This is an awesome idea and tribute Gary.
You know I'm in!

Just in case anyone missed the objective of this thread....if YOU have a KoAloha story...and I know that MANY people here have some great ones...and you would like to help pay tribute to KoAloha and the Okamis, post your stories here and/or contact Gary if you would like to be a part of this special tribute.
Let's how KoAloha some love for all that they do!!!

Ukulele Jim
05-24-2010, 09:53 AM
I own a KoAloha concert. I bought it from Mike Atkins at Alternate Tunings a few years ago when he still had a storefront. I went in there just looking around and saw his personal KoAloha hanging on the wall. He let me play it, and I instantly knew that I had to have one. I waited a couple months for mine to arrive, and when it finally came I knew I'd found a new favorite ukulele. I use it on almost all my recordings and when I play in front of an audience. I can't believe how perfect the intonation is, how light it is, and how sweet it sounds.

It's not really a "story", I realize.

06-03-2010, 03:13 PM
Sorry, I've been away wrapping up on a few Music Videos one of which I'll share here for a competition that we entered:


For those who have seen The KoAloha Story this is in the same spirit and hopefully can excite some of you all to know that we are not playing around. We are truly here to make a knock out film that not only highlights KoAloha but the amazing ukulele community especially here in UU.

So the only way that this is gonna work is with as many community folks! Some of you already have written beautiful stories. There are ways that I can even just record you reading what you wrote on the phone. For you web based people- We could do Skype, iChat, NetMeeting, Video Conference, phone call, whatever as long as you got a story to tell a big six hour Pops KoAloha story or a one minute story. That's all fine and dandy so please share here, PM, or whatever. Your story is important. You may not think so but it is.

Thanks all for those who have already said, "Yes!" It truly means a lot!



06-03-2010, 03:42 PM
I am very new to ukulele's but I picked the sceptre tenor as my instrument of choice to learn on and keep for my life time I have had a very positive experience with this family company and product in case you would like my input