The Cairns Ukulele Festival is delighted to bring to Australia a true legend of Hawaiian music, ukulele player and singer Bryan Tolentino (pictured). A self taught ukulele player from the island of O’ahu, he started playing the ukulele at the age of 10. At the age of 12, his best friend Asa Young first introduced him to playing Hawaiian music on the ‘ukulele. Early influences were the musical groups, “The Son’s of Hawai’i” and “The Sunday Mānoa.” The friends formed a band with Delwin Beazley and Chris Kamaka, The Side Order Band. They have performed together ever since those high school days, and it was in this formation that festival organiser Gaby Thomasz saw Bryan perform in Los Angeles recently. Excited about the prospect of bringing this brand of Hawaiian ukulele music to Australia, the two started talking about this year’s festival.
“Although I had been aware of Bryan for many years, seeing him perform live really struck a chord with me (pardon the pun). Moreover, Bryan is one of the most humble musicians you can meet. He’s a beautiful player, a great entertainer, funny, and a nice guy to boot! I’m so pleased to have him at the festival as we have not featured the style of Hawaiian music that he plays before, and it’s about time we did! Not only that, for this performance, Bryan will be accompanied by an amazing Hawaiian guitarist and falsetto singer Hale Seabury from the legendary band ‘Na Hoa’. Lovers of Hawaiian and world music will be in for a treat!”.
Bryan and Hale will be performing on Green Island during the Great Adventures Ukulele Island Gig (July 4th) and on Sunday during the finale concert evening (July 7th). Bryan will also conduct Hawaiian ukulele playing workshops.
Bryan plays Kamaka ukuleles. Make sure you check them out at the festival!