"My ʻUkulele World" By Herb Ohta, Jr.

Herb Ohta, Jr.
“My ʻUkulele World”

Lele Music Productions (LMPCD 1013)

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  1. 01 Hilo Hula
  2. 02 Paradise
  3. 03 Pua Lililehua
  4. 04 'Ulu Palakua
  5. 05 Haleakalā Sunset
  6. 06 Lēʻahi Morning
  7. 07 Sanoe
  8. 08 Noho Paipai
  9. 09 Nothingʻs Gonna Change My Love For You
  10. 10 Shore Break
  11. 11 Hanamizuki

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Executive Producer(s): Lele Music Productions & Herb Ohta, Jr.
Producer(s): Herb Ohta, Jr. & DJ Pratt
Recording Engineer: D.J. Pratt
Mix & Mastered: DJ Pratt
Photography: Kumagai Akira, Jam International
Graphics: Yuko Porter, Media Etc.
Recording Studio: Blue Planet Sound

Jon Yamasato – Guitar / Background vocals on “ʻUlupalakua”
Jon Porlas – Percussions
Halehaku Seabury – Hawaiian Language Consultant / Guitar solo on “Noho Paipai”
Randy Aloya – Bass
Garin Poliahu – Drums
Jeff Au Hoy – Steel Guitar
DJ Pratt – Guitar solo on “Shore Break”


2015 marked 25 years for me as a professional musician. I started back in 1990 when my father asked me to be featured on one of his recordings. Since then I’ve done eleven solo albums, twelve duet albums, contributions on more than 40 recordings, a songbook in Korea, and two instructional books with friend and Grammy Award Winner Daniel Ho. Through the 25 years I’ve learned a lot about the music industry, made many friends, and traveled to countries I wouldn't have been able to if it weren’t for this instrument we call the ‘ukulele.

My father Ohta-San, Eddie Kamae, Lyle Ritz, Jesse Kalima, Don Baduria, John Lukela, Peter Moon, Byron Yasui, Benny Chong, Gordon Mark, IZ, and Moe Keale paved the way for all of us ʻukulele players of today. With my 12th solo recording, “My ʻUkulele World”, hopefully I can continue down the same path as the ʻukulele musicians before me and create new paths for the younger generations after me.

Herb, Jr.
01 Hilo Hula (3:27) Joe Kalima
Composed by Joe Kalima about the many beautiful attributes of various areas in the Hilo district and their respective rains and winds associated with each area.

02 Paradise (3:57) Herb T. Ohta, Lele Music Publishing ASCAP
Written in early 2015, Herb wrote this song thinking about how lucky he is being from Hawaiʻi.

03 Pua Lililehua (3:34) Mary Kawena PukuʻI & Kahauanu Lake. Melway ASCAP
Written comparing Kahauanu Lakeʻs wife Maʻiki to the Goddess of Pālolo Valley Lililehua

04 ʻUlupalakua (3:31) John Piʻilani Watkins
An ancient Maui chief would send runners to Kipahulu for breadfruit. When they returned with the fruit, it was ripe. The chief called the district ʻUlupalakua or "breadfruit ripened on the back". The composer visited ʻUlupalakua, in up-country Maui on the southwestern slopes of Haleakala. He was so impressed by the cold mountain air, the scent of ginger, and the cowboy’s, he composed this mele in 1947, to honor the district.

05 Haleakalā Sunset (4:25) Herb T. Ohta & Ukita Family, Lele Music Publishing ASCAP
While visiting Maui with friends from Osaka, Japan, they drove up to Haleakalā summit and watched the sunset. So beautiful, Herb wrote this song after returning to his hotel room.

06 Lēʻahi Morning (4:07) Herb T. Ohta, Lele Music Publishing ASCAP
Herb visits Lēʻahi Hospital time to time to perform for the senior residents. Herb wrote this song and dedicates this song to the residents and staff of Lēʻahi Hospital.

07 Sanoe (4:16) Queen Lydia Liliʻuokalani
This song is about an affair in the royal court.

08 Noho Paipai (4:11) Traditional
Known as the Rocking Chair Hula.

09 Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You (3:29) Gerry Goffin and Michael Masser. Almo Music Corporation & Universal Music Corporation
Originally recorded by American artist George Benson for his 1984 album 20/20. The song achieved worldwide success in a cover version by Hawaiʻi singer Glenn Medeiros released in 1987. It reached Number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent four weeks at number one on the UK singles chart in July 1988.

10 Shore Break (3:08) Herb T. Ohta, Lele Music Publishing ASCAP
This song was written while being at Sandy Beach on the island of Oʻahu.

11 Hanamizuki (4:31) Hitoto You & Mashiko Tatsurou. Nippon Television Music Corporation
Hitoto wrote this song after being inspired to write about her friend she lost from the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. She wrote this song wishing for world peace.

Star Advertiser
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Island Mele
Review By John Berger

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“My ʻUkulele World“ Herb Ohta Jr. (Lele Music Productions)

Herb Ohta Jr. celebrated 25 years as a professional musician in 2015. It’s been a productive quarter-century with 10 solo albums, 12 more recorded as duet projects and guest appearances on many more, and in 2011, a Hoku Award for best instrumental album.

With “My Ukulele World” Ohta builds on that solid foundation with commendable success. Ohta and studio veteran DJ Pratt share the credit as producers. A short list of friends contribute on various selections.

Ohta has always been known for precision, whether picking or strumming. “Haleakala Sunset” is a beautiful demonstration of what a solo instrument can do. Ohta’s solo arrangement of “Sanoe” is also nicely played. Other selections show the breadth of his repertoire. Hawaiian and hapa haole melodies predominate, but there are also four original compositions and one contributed by two Japanese friends.

The most ambitious selection is Ohta’s instrumental arrangement of “Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You,” recorded first by George Benson in 1984 and then by Glenn Medeiros in 1987. It is a fine alternative to the vocal versions.

Ohta has never been known as a singer, but he does a nice job on the mic with “‘Ulupalakua.” Jon Yamasato provides backing vocals on that one, while Halehaku Seabury and producer-guitarist Pratt sit in on others.