The Cairns Ukulele Festival is excited to announce the last artist in the international artist line-up: Tomoki Sato – a 22 year old ukulele player and singer from Japan, with a maturity and stage presence that belies his age. He’s taking the world by storm, receiving so many invites from ukulele festivals around the world, he is hardly home at the moment. Amazingly, he only started playing ukulele a few years ago. “I saw someone playing it when I was 16 and I fell in love with the sound of it. I somehow knew it was for me”, he says. “It changed my life completely. I can share my stories, messages with people through my ukulele music Now, I can travel a lot of people and meet new people, connect with them thanks to ukulele. It is the best feeling.” With musical influences such as Tommy Emmanuel, Jake Shimabukuro, John Mayer and Bruno Mars, audiences can expect an interesting performance that will both show off his instrumental ukulele skills as well as his vocals. Tomoki will perform both solo and with a band during the festival. Festival organiser Gaby Thomasz says, “When I saw Tomoki perform for the first time, it reminded me a little bit of Jason Arimoto, who we had at our inaugural festival in 2010. While they are different artists musically, I think Tomoki will surprise audiences in a similar fashion with soulful vocals and ukulele playing and a great stage presence. It’s wonderful to see young talent like this and to be able to present that to Australian and international audiences”.
Tomoki will be joining an international cast of ukulele players that include 6-time Grammy Award winning artist Daniel Ho, Hawaiian Jazz virtuoso Abe Lagrimas Jr, Bartt Warburton and Craig Chee among others.