Because, if you are so inclined, at this year’s Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat, October 15 – 21, you can also learn to play Hawaiian lap steel guitar with Konabob or with the “King of Mid-Western Swing,” Gerald Ross! This not only means we’ll be able to offer two 5-day classses in Hawaiian lap steel, it also means we’ll be able to offer it in two tunings: C6 (with Gerald) and G6 (with Konabob).
Just take a look at what Gerald will be bringing our way!
And this is in addition to the other classes in ‘ukulele, hula, rhythm, and story telling being taught by our esteemed staff: Kevin Carroll, Brad Bordessa, Kaliko Beamer, Lehua Wilson AhSam, and Lady Ipo.
And it’s not just all about Hawai’i, either. It’s about the joy of music of all genres. Just look at what Kevin Carroll is bringing to the table: Celtic Music for ‘Ukulele and Tchaikovsky!
So, the Kohala Village Hub in Hawi, is not only the best place to come learn to play your ‘ukulele this October, it’s just the best place to be, period!
Please contact us if you’d like to join us. The rooms at the Kohala Village Hub are currently spoken for, but there are other options nearby.
Roughly interpreted: Lehua was born in Kaneohe, Oahu; raised in Hilo, Hawai’i; and lives today in “deep” Kohala with her husband’s family.
But there is much more to Lehua Wilson AhSam than all the places she has been, and she continues to astound us all with her resources, talent, skill, and generosity. She is the “tock” to the “tick” of the Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat: consistently sure and steady, relentlessly operating in the background (as the Executive Director of the Kohala Village Hub), and absolutely indispensable.
She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and a Master’s in Hawaiian Studies, is fluent in Hawaiian language, and teaches Hawaiian Studies at the Hawaiian Community College. She is also trained in Hula and has performed at the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo. . . . .and to hear her sing is to take a journey back to the time of the Hawaiian monarchs.
Lehua is also a crew member for Makali’i, Hawai’i Island’s own voyaging canoe.
“He waʻa he moku, he moku he waʻa”
“The canoe is our island, and the island is our canoe.”
It is Lehua’s passion for Hawaiian culture and all things wa’a (canoe-related) that will inform and enhance our “extra-curricular” activities, especially our visit to the Maka o HuleHeiau. It is her attention to every detail during our stay at the Kohala Village Inn that will ensure our success, again, at this year’s Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat October 15 – 21, at the Kohala Village Hub in Hawi.
Lehua joins a staff of exemplary talent at this year’s retreat: Gerald Ross (‘Ukulele and Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar); Brad Bordessa (‘Ukulele); Kevin Carroll (‘Ukulele and Uke-estra); Lady Ipo (‘Ukulele and Hula); Kaliko Beamer-Trapp (‘Ukulele and Story-telling); and KonaBob (Slack-key Bass and Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar.)
We first met at Keoki Kahamoku’s Hawaiian Lifestyle Workshop in Pahala, back in 2007. Brad was just 14 years old at the time, but even then, he showed amazing promise and a passion for music that went well beyond wanting to “wow” everyone with youthful skill and speed. He was hungry to learn and eager to share what he was learning with everyone around him, but he did it in an unassuming and generous manner. Barely in their teens, Brad and a friend created Live ‘Ukulele, one of the first on-line blogs devoted exclusively to the instrument. That blog, now more than 10 years old, is still maintained by Brad and is updated regularly with lessons, tabs, and gear reviews. To this day, it is a valuable resource for all students of the ‘ukulele.
Over the years, Brad, who now lives in Honoka’a, just over the hill from Hawi, has been mentored by the very best: Chuck Moore, George Kahumoku, Herb Ohta, Jr., and James Hill. And while Brad is an amazing performer and a thoughtful and talented songwriter, he also excels at sharing with his students all he has learned from the masters in an easy-going, informative manner that is easy for “adult learners” to comprehend.
Brad is always on the look-out for things he thinks we need to learn and ways to teach complex concepts in an understandable fashion. That’s what he brings to the Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat each year, That’s why we keep asking him back.
Among other things we can expect from Brad at the retreat this year are some definitive workshops on ‘Ukulele Chord Shapes, since he just wrote the book on that subject. He’ll also be teaching us how to play using our ears–and not our eyes–and how to strum and pick to deliver a cleaner, more polished, sound, over all. For more advanced players, Brad will be teaching a brand new workshop on how to tab out some favorite tunes, so you can create your own arrangements with a little finger picking, alternate chords, and chord melody. And he’s putting together a jam of contemporary Hawaiian tunes.
While the Kohala Village Inn is totally booked, you can still register for this year’s retreat if you can find someplace nearby to stay! (Search Airbnb or VRBO for Hawi–there were still some great options available the last time I checked!) Or, feel free to contact us in case there have been any last minute cancellations.
Here’s a little “freebie:”
Really, you really should take this opportunity to take some classes from Brad now, so you can say, “I knew him when.”
He’s been such a welcome addition to the last two Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreats, that we have decided to put KonaBob on full-time this year, which may seem a little odd because he doesn’t even play the ‘ukulele! Even so, he has a wealth of information to share about music in general and, as the Big Island’s most in-demand bass player, he will have your back…..and everyone’s back throughout the retreat. And he can help you make the music you love to play even better.
Plus with the rising popularity (and availability) of ‘ukulele basses, we wanted to add some classes for those of you looking to increase your skill set at the “bottom end,” whether you play upright bass, Walkingbass, or ‘ukulele bass. Because, regardless of what your instrument, you need to learn to think like a bass player, and Kona Bob is just the one to help you do that. And, if you don’t play bass (and don’t want to) he can help you understand how to work with a bass player to improve everything about your sound.
But that’s not all KonaBob will be bringing to this year’s retreat. He actually began his musical career playing Hawaiian steel guitar and studied under Bob Brozman and Ken Emerson, and has since introduced many a neophyte to its plaintive sounds…..a sound that invokes the islands like no other instrument. So, in addition to “bringing up the bottom,” KonaBob will be available to help anyone who may be dabbling in steel guitar already (or who simply want to get their feet wet), and will be offering a number of sessions throughout the retreat that anyone is welcome to join. He’ll have a spare guitar for anyone who wants to give it a whirl, and if you’ve got your own, all the better. Bring it and work with KonaBob on possibly accompanying one of the bands on Band Night. It’s great fun, and the skills you learn here will translate to all kinds of other music.
Registration for the 2015 Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat is open and we still have rooms available in all categories (and a lovely woman looking for a roommate!) It’s a whole new Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat, and we’d love YOU to be part of it. Here’s the link to register: