Herb Ohta Jr

Joyful Uke

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In light of today's scheduled workshop with Herb Ohta Jr, I started listening to his playing. (Shameful to admit that I hadn't listened to him much.)
Wow.

That led me to buy his Pure 'Ukulele album, which I'm loving. I've got to learn to play some of these tracks. :)

So, first of all, a recommendation for those who like ukulele music, (I know not everyone here listens to it even if you play uke), give the album a try.

And, for those who are interested, Craig and Sarah are doing one of their workshops today w/ Herb, who will be teaching The Beatles' "Something".
It starts very soon, (and I got home from in time to join in!), but they usually record the workshops and have them out on YouTube later, for those who might miss it but are interested.
 
Yep, he's an amazing player. I have two of his great sheet music uke books with Daniel Ho.
 
Herb doesn't get nearly enough credit or attention in general uke circles. His style is really understated and people tend to look him over for more flashy players. He has, without a doubt in my mind, the most clean technique of any ʻukulele performer in the business. I think I've heard him play three, maybe four, misplaced notes in the almost 15 years I've known him. Absolutely on another level.

I'm partial to the Ukulele Journey album.
 
I've had the opportunity to hear Herb Jr live several times. He is very clean as was mentioned by Brad. It's true that he's not flashy but he's an extraordinary musician. I liken him to the late saxophonist Paul Desmond from The Dave Brubeck Quartet. Paul came up around the same time as Charlie Parker. Bird was a beast of a technician and almost everyone tried to copy his style. Paul didn't and stressed the placement of notes rather than speed.
Last time we heard Herb was 2 years ago with Jon Yamasato at Nico's in Honolulu. We went down with UU Member MM Stan. His playing was impeccable as was Jon's. I might add that he had returned that morning from playing in China and had not slept.
Herb will be touring the mainland with Led Kaapana and George Kahumoku Jr in January for a series of shows. The closest to my area will be a show in Boston. Definitely going to get tickets.
 
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Herb will be touring the mainland with Led Kaapana and George Kahumoku Jr in January for a series of shows.

He was talking about this at Uncle George's workshop. These are going to be killer shows!!! The three of them each bring their own kind of fun to the stage. Definitely some of the best Hawaiian music you could treat your ears to.
 
Facebook friends with Led and we always go hear him when visiting family in Hawaii. Led and George were in Boston in Jan. 2020 with Kawaika Kahiapo. It was a great show. I had not had heard Kawika before, very impressive. George had come to my area (Conn.) some years back. He's friends with someone at Wesleyan U. who arranged a few performances at a church in Deep River, Ct. . One of the shows there had been a blackout on the east coast and no electricity. George and his son Keoki had a small portable battery powered sound system. Someone brought out chairs and tiki torches and we went out on the lawn of the church. Lot's of Hawaii transplants in Ct., my wife is one. I met a women who does hula workshops who is pure Native Hawaiian when she did a workshop at my school building. Funny thing is as soon as she opened her mouth I knew she had not grown up in Hawaii. No pidgin accent! I asked her where she grew up and she said California. She asked how I could tell she wasn't from Hawaii. Told her she didn't sound like my wife's cousins!
 
Led is appearing in Portland, Oregon on November 3 at the Alberta Rose. George, Sonny Lim and Jeff Peterson will be at the same venue next year in March. Does anyone have any information about locations for the concerts with Led, George and Herb when they tour together? Thanks.
 
Led is appearing in Portland, Oregon on November 3 at the Alberta Rose. George, Sonny Lim and Jeff Peterson will be at the same venue next year in March. Does anyone have any information about locations for the concerts with Led, George and Herb when they tour together? Thanks.
Led , George and Herb are touring in Jan. Check pasifika-artists.com website. Their tour schedule is up on that site. His November shows are with his bassist Jesse Gregorio.
 
Thanks, Peanuts56! No shows for the Pacific Northwest (yet).
On another note, Craig and Sarah have posted a "Backyard Concert" series that will be available for purchase. The first is with Herb Ohta, Jr. and the next concert features Kalei Gamiao. NFI. https://craigandsarah.com/backyardconcerts

Bill
Sorry you won't get the chance to hear the 3 of them. The show with Kawika in 2020 was great. I have a cousin in Boston who met us there. She knew nothing about Hawaiian music but had a great time. By the end of the evening she was taking selfies with Led. Two of my sisters live in Cleveland and saw them a little after we did. Same thing, selfies with the guys and Uncle George gave my oldest sister a lei.
Craig and Sarah are really doing a great job of promoting the instrument. I've never had the pleasure of hearing them live. I ordered a custom tenor from Kanilea and they showed me an instrument they were building for her. I got to hold it before she did! I did meet Kalei some years back at The Kamaka Facility.
 
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I absolutely love Herb's playing! Partly because he mainly uses his thumb and index finger, which is exactly the way I play. And, I've taken considerable flack for playing that way. Ignorant Cretins!
 
I absolutely love Herb's playing! Partly because he mainly uses his thumb and index finger, which is exactly the way I play. And, I've taken considerable flack for playing that way. Ignorant Cretins!
Herb's father played a soprano ukulele using only his thumb and was one of the world's most popular and successful ukulele players for decades.
 
Honestly, with only four strings, two digits is all you really need. About the only thing you can't do with two digits is pluck three or four strings simultaneously. And, I just haven't had any call for that yet. And, I suppose if I did need to do that, I could manage to drag another digit or two into the picture on a strictly ad hoc basis.
 
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