There are teachers, and then there are Teachers. Roy Sakuma is truly one of the gifted ones.
As a student of Herb “Ohta-San” Ohta, dean of Hawai‘i’s ‘ukulele artists, Roy Sakuma quickly proved himself as a stellar student. When Ohta-San encouraged his disciple to venture out on his own, Roy didn’t follow in Ohta-San’s footsteps as a performing artist. Instead he devoted himself wholeheartedly to teaching.
Since then, Roy has developed an effective and joyful method to teach anyone to play the ‘ukulele. His system is fast and fun, about as close as you can get to becoming an instant ‘ukulele player.
Roy opened the first Roy Sakuma ‘Ukulele Studio in 1973. Since then, the Studio has expanded to four locations on O‘ahu with a staff of 25 instructors, all of whom are former students.
Since 1970, Roy Sakuma and his sponsors have presented the Annual ‘Ukulele Festival in Waikiki. He is the founder and executive director of the free Festival, which brings together the finest ‘ukulele players in the world, a ‘ukulele ensemble of over 300 children, and celebrity entertainers from Hawai’i and the mainland.
As a record producer, Roy has brought the beauty and versatility of the ‘ukulele to a much wider audience. As well as featuring the ‘ukulele in the traditional setting of Hawaiian music, his catalogue showcases the instrument’s adaptability to Rock, Pop, and Jazz. Sakuma’s label has garnered several Na Hoku Hanohano Awards.
Today, Roy and his wife Kathy continue to teach and promote the “‘UKULELE”.
Note: This Profile and Photo was given to Herb from Roy Sakuma for this website