After 52 years, the annual Ukulele Festival Hawaii will stage its final celebration with a virtual concert from 7 p.m. tomorrow ( Sunday, July 17) via KHNL.

Roy and Kathy Sakuma, founders and caregivers of the event for more than half a century, retired from active participation in planning and staging the event.

So the Sakumas will present their final festival showcase via television and streaming. It’s closure time, for sure, after years of memories and joy.

Both continue to be the tireless instructors at their Roy Sakuma Ukulele Studios throughout the decades, even with the retirement, but wanted to have closure to the hugely popular summertime attraction.

Herb “Ohta-san” Ohta

Thus,  streaming event – also viewable at the Ukulele Festival’s Facebook page —  will spotlight a gallery of ukulele specialists and a few singers, reflecting the range of uke strummers since the inception of the festival. The only missing element will be the hundreds of kids and some adults, performing live at the Kapiolani Bandstand, witnessed by thousands of supporting residents and visitors.

The slate will include Sakuma, Herb “Ohta-san” Ohta, Danny Kaleikini, Jake Shimabukuro, Herb Ohta Jr., Paula Fuga, Natalie Ai Kamauu, NUE comprising Bryan Tolentina, Kama Hopkins and Halehaku Seabury. …

Rain forecast today at McKinley High

Crossing Rain, Hawaii’s boy band faves, will give a pair of concerts – at 2 and 7 p.m. today (Saturday, July16) – at McKinley High School. Student tickets are $25.

The group will feature dancers as part of its performance.

XR, as the group also is known, includes single-monickered troupers:

  • Monarch: lead rapper, vocalist, dancer.
  • Asher: lead dancer.
  • Haru: dancer, vocalist.
  • Jorden (aka J): lead vocalist, dancer.
  • Devin: vocalist, dancer.
  • Shotaro: dancer, vocalist.
XR members,  clockwise from bottom right:: Monarch, J, Asher, Devin, Shotaro and Haru. (Karl Sakamoto photo )

Seeking national and international fame, the island-based ensemble has been staging numerous free mall concerts and more conventional formal shows like at Blaisdell Concert Hall, creating stir among young fans. …

Try wait, he wrote and won

Kumu Kahua’s “Go Try Play Write” June winner is Daniel James Kunkel, whose short entry entitled “Commencement Speech to the Class of ’30,” was deemed best. He is a Maui County attorney who previously appeared in Kumu Kahua’s “The Territorial Plays” in 2004.

Each month Kumu Kahua Theatre co-sponsors this playwriting contest with Bamboo Ridge Press in their combined effort to nurture local playwrights and authors.

The July contest is under way, and entrants must submit a 10-page scene dealing with a conflict between supporters of different gubernatorial candidates. An example of the friction might involve sign wavers on the streets or placard posters in the neighborhood.

For entry rules, visit:

And that’s Show Biz. …

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