Update: Ukulele Picnic 2009 in Hawaii

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I posted an entry a couple of weeks ago about the upcoming Ukulele Picnic 2009 in Hawaii concert and it looks like we have a time slot for Keith Nakaganeku and BEGIN’s Masaru Shimabukuro. The special collaboration between these two amazing musicians is set to take the stage from 3:10 PM for a 15-minute set.

Another act worth checking out (well, they’re all worth watching but this artist crosses over to J-pop too) is Ayano Tsuji who is scheduled to perform at 4:45 PM. A popular song of the artist’s, “Kaze ni naru” from the Studio Ghibli film “The Cat Returns,” can be found below.

(Nifee deebitan for the update, Keith!)

Mark this date: 2/14/09 Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii

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One of my favorite artists of both Okinawan and Hawaiian music is Keith Nakaganeku (with his band Calabash) and I got a tip that he’ll be performing along with his friend Masaru Shimabukuro (BEGIN‘s guitarist) at this year’s Ukulele Picnic 2009 in Hawaii on Saturday, February 14, 2009. He’ll be singing “Nada Sou Sou” and Masaru will be backing him up on the Ichi Go Ichie instrument he and BEGIN designed with luthier K.Yairi.

There’s a pretty impressive lineup of musicians from Hawaii and Japan and best of all, the event is free, and will be held at the Kakaako Waterfront Park in Honolulu, Hawaii.

And if you haven’t purchased Keith’s debut album, “Hawaiian Jazz Done Asian Style,” it’s available on Amazon.com. (Image to the left contains a clickable affiliate link that helps out Karakui.com if you purchase the album from it. Nifee in advance! 😀 )

BEGIN’s record label, Teichiku, started up their own YouTube channel where you can find the band’s latest song, “Egao no Manma,” for viewing. I guess it’s a great way to see what Masaru looks like so you can give him a shaka and Aloha when you see him (and Keith too) at the Ukulele Picnic. 😉

(Nifee deebitan for the tip, Derek & Keith!)

Special guest this Wednesday at OTW

Off the Wall chef Grant “Sandaa” Murata sensei (of the Afuso Ryu Gensei Kai Hawaii) emailed to let us know that they have a special guest this Wednesday (10/15) at the restaurant. The special guest is a friend of his who lived in Hawaii about 30 years ago and often performed at the old Club Hanagasa. So who is this special guest you ask? Hint: She’s part of the legendary band Champloose and is the leader’s (Shoukichi Kina) sister. If you guessed Keiko Kina you’re right!

According to Sandaa-sensei, Keiko has started her own group consisting of her son and grandchildren who will all be in attendance this Wednesday night. Gensei Kai will open and Sandaa-sensei says Keiko’s son is a shredder (Jimi Hendrix) on the sanshin.

For more information, check out our previous post on the OTW live shows or call the restaurant at 808-486-9255. See you there!

Off the Wall to feature live Okinawan music!!!


Off the Wall
Originally uploaded by Champuru

Watch, enjoy and listen to live Okinawan music every 1st and 3rd Wednesday night of the month at Off the Wall (Aiea, Hawaii).

(From their email newsletter—nifee deebitan to Sandaa-sensei for the tip!):

Join us this coming Wednesday, September 17, at OFF THE WALL BAR for LIVE OKINAWAN MUSIC by Afuso-Ryu Gensei Kai Hawaii (featuring Grant “Sandaa” Murata-sensei, Kenton Odo-sensei & members of the club).

Music starts at 8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

For this special event we have drink specials of $7 – Orion Okinawan Beer (21 oz); purchase a bottle of Awamori and we will hold it for you—featuring Shimauta Awamori or Iichiko Kurobin Shochu Bottles for only $40.00 (at a special price only for this day).

Enjoy Okinawan food dishes such as Rafute, Goya (bittermelon) Champuru, Tofu Champuru, Eggplant Pork Miso Champuru and more!

Seating is limited!!!

For More Information conctact us @ Ph: 808.486.WALL (808.486.9255).
Located @ the Pearl Kai Shopping Center, across from Pearlridge Sears
98-199 Kamehameha Hwy, B-10
Aiea, Hawaii 96701

The food and atmosphere there is excellent (okay, to be fair, I’ve only been there once—check out Donna’s pics of their delicious food—but more reason to go back, yeah?). I’m so there! Tobiiri anyone? (And Sandaa-sensei, I’m coming for one of those bottles of Shimauta Awamori. 😉 )

Tamagusuku Ryu Senjukai Frances Nakachi Ryubu Dojo to celebrate 10th anniversary on 11/16/2008

I had a chance to chat with Frances Nakachi-sensei, director of the Tamagusku Ryu Senjukai Frances Nakachi Ryubu Dojo, this weekend at the Okinawan Festival and found out that her dance troupe will be celebrating their 10th anniversary with a performance at the Hawaii Theatre on November 16, 2008 (Sunday) at 2 PM. More information is available on her dance troupe’s website.

Katsuko Teruya’s “Koto Rainbow” on October 26, 2008

Master Katsuko Teruya will be holding her 40th anniversary concert, “Koto Rainbow (Kutu Nuuji),” on Sunday, October 26, 2008. The concert will take place at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center and featured guests from Okinawa include Choichi Terukina (Afuso Ryu), Nozo Miyagi II (Miyagi Ryu) and Hiroko Akamine (president of the Ryukyu Sokyoku Koyo Kai). Guests from Hawaii include Yoshiko Nakasone (Hooge Kai Nakasone Dance Academy), Yoshie Nakasone (Kinryosho Geino Kenkyusho Hawaii Shibu) and Grant “Sandaa” Murata (Afuso Ryu Gensei Kai Hawaii Shibu).

Okinawan Festival is just around the corner!

I hope all of you are enjoying your summer vacation and as July comes to a close, coming up in August will be the Okinawan Festival at Kapiolani Park (Honolulu, Hawaii)! This year is the 26th for the festival and it’ll take place on the weekend of 8/30 to 8/31. More information on the festival can be found on their official website. Nidaime Teishin Kai Hawaii Shibu (the group I’m with) will be performing on Sunday so I hope to see you there!

Update on BEGIN

I received information from CDJapan on an upcoming — yet-to-be-named — single by BEGIN and noticed that quite some time has passed since I last posted an entry on our favorite O-pop band. The new single is set to be released on June 25 and will be the band’s first new release of 2008.

Prior to this upcoming single, BEGIN’s other releases for 2008 include: a concert DVD (“BEGIN Acoustic Concert 2007 Live is Orai” 2/27) and a 2-CD concert album (“BEGIN Live Daizenshuu” 3/26) which is monumental in that it features three songs that were recorded from their appearance in 2004’s Okinawan Festival at Kapiolani Park (Hawaii). That show rocked!

And the final bit of news regarding the trio is guitarist Masaru Shimabukuro’s “shimablog” which he started posting entries on April 11. Hopefully it’ll become more open — as it’s not open to comments nor is there an RSS feed to subscribe to the blog — in the future.

“LooChoo nu Kwa” coming to Honolulu

Our successful and emotionally charged production of LooChoo nu Kwa will be coming to the Mamiya Theater, on the St. Louis/Chaminade Campus on Waiʻalae Ave, in Kaʻimuki on Sunday, August 24th, 2pm. Tickets are $25 general admission, and $20 seniors (60 and over), students (12 and under). Seats are limited so buy early as we are expecting a sellout event. Tickets are available through the Ukwanshin Kabudan, or by calling/online at, honoluluboxoffice.com, or 550-TIKS/550-8457. A service fee of $2.50 will be added to each ticket purchased online, or through HBO.

For more information, check out the original post over at the Ukwanshin Kabudan blog.