"'Ukulele Nahenahe" By Herb Ohta, Jr.

Herb Ohta, Jr.
“‘Ukulele Nahenahe”

Lele Music Productions (LMPCD 1005)

Hawai'i Music Award Winner
"Best 'Ukulele Recording"

Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards Winner
"Instrumental of the Year"

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Executive Producer - Lele Music Productions & ‘Ukulele Source
Producer - Herb Ohta, Jr.
Engineering & Mixing - Michael Grande
Mastering - David Ho, Audio Post & Picture
Photography - Ken Munakata
Graphics - Yuko Porter, Media etc.
Recorded at: Studio Ala Moana

Jon Yamasato - Guitar
Nathan Aweau - Bass
Jeff Au Hoy - Steel Guitar


I few years ago, I had the pleasure of doing a West Coast tour with Herb Ohta Jr (HOJ). I’ve heard of him, but never really got to hear what he could do on the ukulele. The first thing that hit me was his technique on the ukulele…”very clean”. I kept waiting for buzzes and missed notes, but to my surprise, every single song was so clean it almost sounded like I was listening to a compact disc…”it made me sick” (joke). The second thing was how he was able to express himself emotionally on the ukulele…I really believe that this cannot be taught. I looked out into the crowd and saw a bunch of people teary-eyed. I’ve never witnessed an emotional performance like this by any instrumentalist. It was not about how many notes he could play, the kind of scales or chords he used, but simply being able to emotionally tell a story with just his ukulele.
Since then, I’ve been a big fan of his as well as a good friend…and if you want to experience the emotion that I felt as well as many others, take a listen to my good friend…Herb Ohta Jr.

Nathan Aweau

Star Advertiser
Saturday, July 30, 2010

Island Mele
Review By John Berger

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Quietly but effectively great again

Although Hawaii residents of a certain vintage might always associate the phrase "quietly but effectively" with former Gov. George Ariyoshi, it works equally well in describing the career trajectory of ukulele virtuoso Herb Ohta Jr. In the two decades since he first recorded professionally, "Herb Junior" has quietly but effectively established himself as one of the leading players of his generation. This appropriately titled album -- nahenahe translates as "sweet, melodious" -- displays his command of the instrument on an assortment of Hawaiian and hapa-haole standards. Each is beautifully executed.
Ohta sets the mood with an exquisite solo rendition of "Ku'u Pua i Paoakalani" and continues with "Na Pua Lei 'Ilima" and "Ka Pilina." Jeff Au Hoy (steel guitar), Nathan Aweau (bass) and Jon Yamasato (acoustic guitar) join him on various selections. Au Hoy provides subtle embellishments on "Pane Mai" and is featured more prominently on "Henehene Koa 'Aka."
"Over the Rainbow" is neither Hawaiian nor hapa haole in origin, but so many people elsewhere associate it with the islands that Ohta's solo rendition of the song fits the theme and closes the album on a soothing, tranquil note.