Celebrating the small four-stringed wonder – the Ukulele – which has been captivating hearts and bringing musical joy into people’s lives for over 100 years, the Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival presented by Kala Koa Entertainment returns this September for an exciting weekend dedicated to exploring the musical versatility of the ukulele for the experienced ukulele player, the occasional strummer, or simply the curious spectator. This unique, family-friendly festival includes workshops for all levels of playing ability to work on technique or simply learn to play, and live all-star performances by some of today’s most popular ukulele players (included in admission).
The Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival takes place over the weekend of September 23-25, kicking off with a concert on Friday night, September 23 at 6:00 p.m.; the all-day Ukulele Festival on Saturday, September 24 from 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. featuring unlimited access to workshops, live performances, classes and presentations for beginners of all ages, a marketplace, and Hawaiian food; and on Sunday afternoon, September 25 at 2:00 p.m., a day of family fun with Ohana Sunday for a concert and play-along for the whole family.
The 2022 Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival also hosts a Ukulele Marketplace, located in the entry plaza of the Torrance Cultural Arts Center. Free and open the public, attendees can browse boutique Ukulele builders, entry level and budget friendly instruments, fun accessories and ukuleles handcrafted in Hawaii, as well as open mic performances. In addition, authentic island style shave ice and food available for purchase round out the festival activities.
Ukulele Artists and Workshop Instructors include Bakithi Kumalo, Bernadette Plazola, Abe Lagrimas, Jr., Brittni Paiva, Andrew Molina, Victoria Vox, Alissa Hunicutt, Neal Chin, John Atkins, Marlowe, Lise Lee, and Mitch Chang.
- Saturday day-long Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival, September 24 from 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (doors open at 8:30 a.m.); Torrance Cultural Arts Center; 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance, CA 90503
All Access Entry (includes unlimited access to Workshops & Performances): $47, $20 students with ID at the door; free for kids 12 & under;
Ohana Family Theatre (Nakano Theatre): $20, free for kids 12 & under; Beginner classes all day, including kids’ activities, a children’s ukulele puppet show and demonstrations (access to performances not included). A limited number of loaner ukuleles will be available courtesy of Ohana Ukuleles.
For the first time, this year’s festival features additional Ukulele events to round out the weekend:
- Friday Evening Festival Kick-Off Concert, September 23 at 6:00 p.m. features Ukulele virtuosos Andrew Molina & Brittni Paiva, two of the hottest ukulele talents; George Nakano Theater, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance, CA 90503; $35
Brittni Paiva, a multi award-winning instrumentalist, known for her stunning articulation of what she can do on the ukulele. She has performed on stage with Carlos Santana when he appeared in Hawaii and has also joined famed guitarist Tommy Emmanuel on stage at the California Worldfest; she is a three-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner with numerous other awards and nominations throughout the years, including Most Promising Artist of the Year in 2005 for her debut release, Brittni x 3.
Andrew Molina's electrifying performances have captivated audiences across the country and around the world, appearing in China, Europe, Tahiti and, of course, the Los Angeles International Ukulele Festival. Audiences will enjoy Molina's unique solo ukulele arrangements of hits like Aerosmith’s Dream On and Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns N’ Roses alongside his own original instrumental compositions. Having earned each of his albums a Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award nomination for “Ukulele Album of the Year” (Hawaii’s version of the Grammy Awards).
- Ohana Sunday afternoon of family Ukulele fun, September 25 at 2:00 p.m. features performances from Lise Lee, Bernadette Plazola, and Alissa Hunicutt, plus time to jam on the stage with friends, family, and other ukulele enthusiasts; The Grand Annex; 434 W. 6th Street, San Pedro, CA 90731; $5 youth, $23 adult, $140 VIP table.