Sunday, May 23, 2004

Ohta-San vs. Ohta-Son

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin today featured a profile of the Herb Ohtas, senior and junior. The two are competing as finalists in the "Best Instrumental Album" category in the 2004 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards which will be held May 24th at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. (The Hokus are the local equivalent of the Grammys.)

The article also notes that Ohta-San is on his way to Japan demonstrate Yamaha's new ukulele synthesizer:

"When I first saw it, I thought it was just another toy, but it really sounds good," Ohta-san says.

"It's a standard-size ukulele (and) has four strings that will never go out of tune, and you can tune it just by a twist of wrist of the peg to low G, high G, tenor sound, soprano sound. And with a turn of the peg it will sound like a violin, a Hammond organ, a trumpet," he said, adding that the instrument can also be programmed to show a novice the correct fingering for up to eight songs.

"It's not on sale yet, but they're going to sell it for under $300.

I'm sure this new instrument will spark a heated debate within the uke community, but I can't wait to check one out! (I haven't found any info about them on the Yamaha site yet. If anyone has found more information, please send me an email.)

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