Best Amateur Ukulele Players Duke it Out at Duke's Ukes Contest - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Best Amateur Ukulele Players Duke it Out at Duke's Ukes Contest

Ross Anderson Ross Anderson
Taylor-Anne Maeda Taylor-Anne Maeda

(KHNL) - Hawaii's best amateur ukulele players will duke it out at the second annual "Duke's Ukes Contest", this Saturday. 2006 Elementary Division Winner, Taylor-Anne Maeda and Duke's Waikiki General Manager, Ross Anderson, are here to tell us more about the contest.

MARVIN:   Good morning to the two of you.  

ROSS:  Good morning.

MARVIN:  Ross, I'll start out with you.  First of all,  it's the second annual but why did you guys start this ukulele contest to begin with?

ROSS:   You know,  Duke loves Hawaiian music.  We have a lot there, live everyday and we thought this was a good way to kind of raise up the next generation, give them a chance to come out and strut their stuff and have a good time.

MARVIN:  How important is it to preserve that old Waikiki feel?

ROSS:  It's vital to us.  There's a long tradition of the Beach Boys strumming ukuleles and singing on the beach  and the Beach Boys have a home with us and it's good.

MARVIN:  Now this contest is kind of revving up right about now, you have contestants from ages six to 71, let's talk about who can participate and the kind of age brackets you have?

ROSS:  Basically, it's opened to all non-professional ukulele players.  We do have auditions that we've already filled most of our slots for it.  They ranged, as you've said, from six to ten, 11 to 15, 16 to 19  then on up.

MARVIN:  So Taylor-Anne, I know you're excited to talk to us.  I can feel it, I can feel the energy oozing from you, that's it.  So, tell us about yourself.  Where you're from and how old you are.

TAYLOR-ANNE:  I'm from Mililani and I'm going to be 11 this month.

MARVIN:  So a big shout out to what, Mililani Middle School, is that where you go?  Mililani Middle School, all you kids watching, right here Taylor Anne, don't worry about it, she'll be in class pretty soon.  Hey, when did you start playing the ukulele?

TAYLOR-ANNE:  I started when I was five.

MARVIN:  What's the story there?  Why did you begin and how much do you love playing?

TAYLOR-ANNE:  When I was younger, I wanted to play like an instrument, and I guess I just chose the ukulele.  After I kept playing, I kind of like it afterwards.

MARVIN:  Just fell in love with it, huh? Very good.  Now Ross, for those who are gonna go down and check out the contest itself, what can the audience expect when they get down there?

ROSS: Well, we've got a real great line up.  Seeing the kids that were at the auditions, we've got a lot of talent there.  Mayor Hannemann is gonna come down and kick us off about 10 o'clock. We have Mandy, from "Mandy in the Morning" is gonna be there and it's a lot of fun, it's a great venue, we're right there on the beach and you can always have something to eat.

MARVIN:  Hey, it's gonna be a great time, all you folks at home, here's the information you're looking for.   Saturday, 10 o'clock all the way till noon.  It's gonna be the big one, the big "Duke's Ukes Contest" over at Duke's Waikiki at the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel.

Powered by Frankly