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Ka Ua Loku

Eddie Kamae

4.8.1927–7.1.2017

Eddie Kamae grew up on Hawaii. At age 14, he got his first ukulele. In 1948 Shoi Ikemi founded a professional ukulele band (Ukulele Rascals). After initial successes as a musician, he temporarily became involved in the crime scene in the 1950s and was sentenced to prison. After his release, he finally took up a music career. Kamae included Jazz, classical and contemporary hits in his repertoire, refuting the cliché that ukulele was only for Hawaiian music.1) He did not join the Rock'n' roll fashion of the 1960s. Kamae invented a new way to play all four strings of the ukulele at the same time (fingerpicking). Thus, he could use the ukulele as a melody instrument.2) Since the 1970s he joined the group Sons of Hawaii and dealt intensively with ancient Hawaiian music.

He was the teacher of Herb Ohta and David Kamakahi.

He also worked as a film producer (documentary films to preserve the Hawaiian culture).

References

  • James D. Houston, Eddie Kamae: “from Hawaiian Son: The Life and Music of Eddie Kamae.” In: Manoa 16:2 (2004). S. 152–162

1) Droszd, The Hawaiian 'Ukulele , p. 9
2) Droszd, The Hawaiian 'ukulele, p. 16