A one-of-a-kind ukulele talent proves ‘anything is possible’

Music Man Nicholas Acosta

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the vast array of ukulele players, Nicholas Acosta is one-of-a-kind.

"I don't even know how to describe how I play," he said.

He plays beautifully despite what some may say is a disadvantage and disability. He was born with an undeveloped right arm.

"It was difficult at first," he said. "I only have an elbow to hold it. So when I would play the faster songs at first the ukulele would slide off and I wouldn't be able to play as fast."

Acosta started playing the instrument in middle school. He took years of lessons at Roy Sakuma’s Ukulele Studio, overcoming one hurdle after another.

"Roy took me under his wing and it went from there," he said.

Close your eyes and you can’t tell the 23-year-old doesn’t have a right hand, just an upper arm.

Acosta said the doctors explained his condition this way.

"All they said was they think the umbilical chord got wrapped around my arm and it couldn't develop," he said.

One of three children, his parents didn’t treat him differently. He played football just like his friends. He never thought, “I can’t do that!”

"They always pushed me to overcome any obstacles," he said.

Acosta now teaches ukulele, but his full-time job is as an auto mechanic, another challenge he’s conquered.

"I like to I guess prove to people that anything is possible in this world," he said.

He wants to write his own music and someday record an instrumental album. He jokes that he wishes he could sing.

"I sing in the shower," he said.

On Sunday, Acosta will be a featured musician at the 49th Annual Ukulele Festival at Kapiolani Park Bandstand.

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.