MORIKEN’s Ukulele Okinawan Sweets

via Twitter

Nope. It’s not something you can eat but maybe it’s something your ears will find tasty. There’s a catalog listing for MORIKEN on Apple Music but sadly it’s still in Preview and not available to be added to one’s Library yet. As soon as they become available globally, we can’t wait to listen to the Sweets albums — especially with ukuleles performing the Kachāshī song Tooshin Dooi.

Sanshin + Ukulele = Sanlele and the Amazing Kouei Tsuha

Elisa over at oki yo! blogged about the sanlele about a week ago and I’ve been meaning to reblog about here at Karakui.com. The funny thing is that Norman-sensei and I was talking about Kouei Tsuha (son of minyou singer Koutoku Tsuha) several weeks ago and it was a nice coincidence that he was the artist featured in the YouTube clip (above).

Getting back to the sanlele, the instrument is a three-stringed ukulele with the same tuning and positioning as a sanshin (similar to K.Yairi x BEGIN’s Ichigo Ichie guitar). Check out the sanlele website for more information as well as their YouTube channel.

(Via oki yo!)

Seibun Tokuhara, Johnny Ginowan, hirara to perform at the Okinawan Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii

We’re just about two weeks away from the 27th annual Okinawan Festival held in Honolulu, Hawaii, and like every year the event features several guest artists/groups from Okinawa. Performing at this year’s event is utasaa (Okinawa folk singer) Seibun Tokuhara, one of the top musicians of Ryūkyū minyou and classical music in Okinawa, ukulele musician Johnny Ginowan who released his latest album “Waserge” on June 25th, and Miyakojima-born beauty (and she sings!) hirara (who looks to be a fan of K-drama).

Johnny Ginowan’s “Que Sera, Sera”

hirara’s “Tsuki ni Negai o” (CM for Kiku no Tsuyu, a brand of awamori from Miyakojima)

hirara & David Ralston in a Kiku no Tsuyu CM jamming to the Miyakojima folk song “Kanikubata”

You’ll be able to catch hirara’s performance on Saturday, September 5th (scheduled for 3 PM)—don’t forget to bring your camera. Johnny Ginowan and Seibun Tokuhara are scheduled to perform at 12 PM as part of the Radio Okinawa show on Sunday (9/6/09).

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!)