HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The 42nd Annual Ukulele Festival on Sunday, July 22, 2012, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Kapiolani Park Bandstand promises to be bigger than ever with two dozen musical acts, featuring repeat guest Grammy award-winning musician James Ingram and ukulele players from Hawaii, California, Australia, Japan, France, New Zealand, Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand. Tony Group Autoplex joins as title sponsor of this year's ukulele festival that will be live streamed online for the enjoyment of ukulele fans around the world. The event is free.
"Each year, I am amazed about the growing popularity of the ukulele all over the world. For instance, it's booming in Korea and so we are pleased to have Bambell Ukestra from Korea and also to have New Zealand represented for the first time," says Roy Sakuma, who founded the first Ukulele Festival in 1971. "The event was live streamed last year for the first time. With better equipment this year, it should be almost as good as being at the Ukulele Festival."
The 2012 Ukulele Festival will be live streamed via "The New Livestream" with real-time photos, text and video clip updates for ukulele fans unable to be at the festival. Click HERE to sign up or login. Live streaming can also be watched on iPads and iPhones.
Ingram, who co-wrote the Ukulele Festival's theme song "Come and Join Us" in 2004 with Sakuma, returns for his sixth appearance. The two have been friends ever since a chance meeting in 1994 while exercising on the track at the University of Hawaii. Ingram is known for hit songs such as "Just Once," "One Hundred Ways," "Somewhere Out There," "Yah Mo B There," and "Baby, Come to Me," and as a songwriter.
This year's international showcase of ukulele performers also features Ohta-San, Manoa DNA, Herb Ohta Jr., Derick Sebastian, Kalei Gamiao, Nick Acosta, Aidan James, Kalama Ukulele Band (Hawaii); Sunset Strummers, Hiram Bell and the HUI (California); Adrien Janiak (France); Singto Numchok (Thailand), Yuji Igarashi, Tatae "Kolohe" Imamura, Boo Takagi, Keiki Ukulele Japan, LeaLea Ukulele Garden (Japan); Bambell Ukestra (Korea); Taiwan Ukulele Club, Chocolele (Taiwan); Ukastle Ukestra (Australia); Paul Tupou (New Zealand). Some 800 children, teens and adults of Roy Sakuma Ukulele Studios will also take the stage, performing popular tunes. Danny Kaleikini, Hawaii's Ambassador of Aloha, serves as emcee for the 41st straight year.
Twenty-Four Acts Including Music Icon James Ingram Perform at 42nd Annual Ukulele Festival,
Sunday, July 22 at Kapiolani Park Bandstand in Waikiki
"The Ukulele Festival wouldn't be possible without the support from the community and all the entertainers who perform for the love of the ukulele," adds Sakuma. "We are thrilled to have Tony Group Autoplex as our title sponsor and support from the Hawaii Tourism Authority and City and County of Honolulu's County Product Enrichment Program."
Free parking and shuttle service from Kapiolani Community College to Kapiolani Park and back will be available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. An ukulele booth where people can learn to play the ukulele, ukulele displays and giveaways, food booths, inflatable bouncers for children, and Ukulele Festival collectible pins, T-shirts, and recyclable tote bags add to the festive atmosphere.
Out-of-town visitors planning to attend the 42nd Annual Ukulele Festival are encouraged to contact the Ala Moana Hotel, the "official" Ukulele Festival hotel, for special room rates for single/double occupancy. Located adjacent to Ala Moana Center, the Ala Moana Hotel features more than 1,000 rooms and suites, three restaurants and a nightclub, fitness center, business center, and more than 15,000 square feet of meeting space. Free trolley service will be available from the hotel to Kapiolani Park and back from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. For room reservations, call (808) 955-4811 or the toll free numbers (800) 367-6025 from the United States, Canada, and Guam, or (800) 446-8990 from the neighbor islands.
Locals and visitors alike can find more information about the 42nd Annual Ukulele Festival HERE!
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