41st Ukulele Festival draws hundreds of players from around the world

Published: Jul. 17, 2011 at 8:17 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 17, 2011 at 10:47 PM HST
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Victoria Vox
Victoria Vox
Danny Kaleikini
Danny Kaleikini

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kapiolani Park was filled with the sound of an instrument that's linked to Hawaii.

The annual Ukulele Festival is the largest of its kind, and gathered more than 800 ukulele players Sunday from Hawaii and around the world.

It also showcased many of the ukulele makers in the islands. People attending even could take ukulele lessons at the park.

The performers came from Australia, Italy, Korea, Guam, Taiwan, California and Maryland.

"Here's a small little instrument brought to us from our cousins from Portugal, and it's gone all around the world," said festival emcee Danny Kaleikini.

"It's wonderful," said performer Victoria Vox of Baltimore, Md., who was attending her first ukulele festival in Hawaii. "Everyone's just hanging out, it's great music, all day, jam-packed, and I'm just happy, really honored and happy to be here."

Vox said she started playing ukulele after she heard the late Israel Kamakawiwoole's version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" when she was visiting France.

The festival was founded in 1971 by ukulele teacher Roy Sakuma, who still runs the show every July.

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