Hawaii’s instrument of choice thousands attend the 49th Ukelele Festival

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — The 49th Annual Ukulele Festival took place in Waikiki today.

Thousands of locals and tourists alike came out to enjoy today’s performances at the Kapiolani bandstand. The festival started back in 1971 when the ukulele wasn’t nearly as popular as it is today.

Organizer and ukulele virtuoso Roy Sakuma believes in the power the small instrument brings.

“It is simple, very easy to learn to play,” said Sakuma. “You play it right where you strum by your heart. It just puts you in a good place when you play the ukulele. It can wash away stress. It can wash away anxiety. It is just an instrument that I’ve seen how it has helped –even myself — to grow with it. It’s been a blessing in my life as well as many, many others.”

Sakuma says he believes that the ukulele will one day become the instrument of choice throughout the world.

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