"The secret of joy in work
is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to
~ Pearl Buck
"Ohta San is the
consummate artist and genius on the 'ukulele. His technique and musical
interpretation of every type of music is untouchable."
~ Roy Sakuma
"Herb is an astonishing
player. His art is blended with the impeccable craft of the artisan.
He is respectfully faithful to the intent of the composer and will not water
down the content of a work to accommodate the limitations of the
instrument. Rather, he reaches out to insure the music is correct and
~ Lyle Ritz
"The melody, haunts my
~ Hoagy Carmichael, Stardust
Info on Herb "Ohta San" Ohta:
Sushi - Bonsai
This information comes from the
programs of "Ohta San" in Concert, 2002 and The Hawai`i
Daughter's Guild 30th Annual HolokŻ Ball, compiled by Guild
President, Sharon Ku`uipo Kana`e Paulo.
Read this adorable -- and true -- story about Ohta San:
"In 1944, a small boy came to the KGMB studios in downtown
Honolulu to play his 'ukulele for the "Amateur Hour". He
took home first prize-$10, along with a comb and brush set..."
Workshop, LA, Omni
Hotel, March 30, 2002
like learning directly from the master, himself. If ever Ohta
San performs in your area, ask around if he's putting on a workshop.
You can get up close and personal with him, and how many masters
have you done that with lately? He is very personable. Ask him
your burning questions. He'll do his best to answer them for
you. Nothing like an on-site demonstration on how it's done.
Go with realistic expectations. You're not going to be playing
like him in a few hours. He's a warm and sharing man. He'll
give you tips on strumming and picking and share his insights, such
as the foundational importance of the melody.
On a deeper level, beyond tremolos and chords, he will teach
and inspire you with his experiences, both moving and amusing. His
calming, humble demeanor is an instructive lesson in itself.
Who knows ... some of that magical 'ukulele pixie dust -- or
stardust -- might just
fall your way. Read
surprisingly at all, but Ohta San is cited several times in the
"Bible" of Hawaiian music. Written in 1972, the info
is dated, but still historically interesting.
Back then, Ohta San had "over 10 albums" out; now, 60 plus
He also has excellent all-Hawaiian music releases out, including Ka
Mea Ho'okani 'Ukulele, Where is My Love Tonight, and
World of 'Ukulele.
With his gigantic breadth and fathomless depth of virtuosity, he has
brought the 'ukulele to the fore in diverse genres.
A performer and a composer, he has matured into an innovator and improvisor
with a freedom denied the less agile and imaginative.