Roy Sakuma

Roy Sakuma is truly one of the gifted ones.

As a young protege of Herb “Ohta-San” Ohta, dean of Hawaii’s ukulele artists, Roy Sakuma quickly proved himself as a stellar student. When Ohta-San encouraged his disciple to venture out on his own, Roy didn’t follow in Ohta-San’s footsteps as a performing artist. Instead, he devoted himself wholeheartedly to teaching.

Since then, Roy has developed an effective and joyful method to teach anyone to play the ukulele. It begins with the understanding that many people find learning an instrument intimidating – especially if they can’t read music. Using Roy’s unique method, students learn to play and to read music at the same time. The system is fast and fun, about as close as you can get to becoming an instant ukulele player.

Roy and his wife Kathy opened the first Roy Sakuma Ukulele Studio in 1974. Since then, the Studio has expanded to four locations on Oahu with a staff of 25 instructors, all of whom are former students. Lessons are taught using a wide variety of musical styles ranging from traditional Hawaiian music, to pop and rock, to classics and jazz. The effect is to broaden the students’ musical repertoire.

Since 1970, Roy Sakuma and his sponsors have presented the Annual Ukulele Festival in Waikiki. Roy is the founder and executive director of the free Festival, which brings together the finest ukulele players in the world, an ukulele ensemble of over 300 children, and celebrity entertainers from Hawaii and the mainland.
As a record producer, Roy has brought the beauty and versatility of the ukulele to a much wider audience. As well as featuring the ukulele in the traditional setting of Hawaiian music, his catalogue showcases the instrument’s adaptability to rock, pop and jazz. Sakuma’s record label has garnered several Na Hoku Hanohano Awards (Hawaii’s Grammy’s).

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