"The secret of joy in work is contained in one word - excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it." 
~ 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 true."
~ Lyle Ritz


"The melody, haunts my reverie..."
~ Hoagy Carmichael, Stardust

Biographical Info on Herb "Ohta San" Ohta:

  • Bios

    How did Ohta San become who he is?  What are the highlights of his career?  Who were his influences?  What makes him stand out from the rest?


Sushi - Bonsai
1964


This information comes f
rom 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..."  
Read on...



Workshop, LA, Omni Hotel, March 30, 2002

Nothing 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 on...

  • More bio info

    This is a catch-all area of bits and pieces that I found on the 'Net about Ohta San.  I'll be adding more to it as time goes on... Read on...


1968

Not 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 releases.

He also has excellent all-Hawaiian music releases out, including Ka Mea Ho'okani 'Ukulele, Where is My Love Tonight, and The Wonderful 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. 
Read on...

 

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