Hawaii Ukulele Festival

Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro | Photo © Heidi Chang

Hawaii Ukulele Festival
Aired on Public Radio International’s “The World”
By Heidi Chang

Each year, Hawaii’s Ukulele Festival attracts thousands of people from around the world. Portuguese immigrants brought the forerunner of the small guitar-like instrument to Hawaii in the late 1800s. Hawaiians adapted it, and called it “ukulele,” which means jumping flea. Lately, the instrument is seeing a resurgence, thanks in part to musicians like Jake Shimabukuro, who headlined the 40th Annual Ukulele Festival. Musicians came from as far away as France and Japan to perform at the event, along with hundreds of island children.

Listen to the Ukulele Festival story (4:30)

View this story on PRI’s “The World” here

Watch Jake Shimabukuro play “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on video.

View Photo Gallery of the Ukulele Festival.

This radio story won a 2010 Excellence in Journalism Award for Feature Reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists Hawaii Chapter.

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