Maui Ukulele Festival: Get Down Hawaiian Style

Experience the music of the islands at the annual Maui Ukulele Festival held every fall. Sponsored by the Maui Arts and Cultural Center and Ukulele Festivals Hawaii, the outdoor festival is free and offers a full afternoon of fun in the sun. If planning to visit Maui in the fall, don’t miss this event.

Maui Ukulele Festival Overview for Guests

Start by gathering up some comfortable chairs and blankets, and pick a spot at the Cultural Center. See some of the best ukulele musicians play at the festival, including Herb Ohta-San, Jake Shimabukuro, Holunape, Richard Ho’opi’i, Brittni Paiva and the Kalama Intermediate School Ukulele Band. Local kapuna and keiki players will also perform.

Renowned ukulele advocate and teacher Roy Sakuma, who founded the first Hawaiian ukulele festival in 1971, will emcee the event. Other fun things to see include hula performances by the Hula Honeys, Hawaiian arts and crafts displays, and a delicious selection of island foods. Visitors can even get a chance to win door prizes.

Maui Ukulele Festival opens to the public and offers free admission. All ages are welcome, so feel free to bring children. Don’t forget sun protection, hats, comfortable shoes and smiles.

A Bit of History

The precursor to the modern ukulele, the four-stringed braguinha arrived in the Hawaiian Islands with Portuguese immigrants in the 19th century. After the appearance of a Hawaiian ukulele ensemble at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, the instrument enjoyed wide popularity in the continental U.S. from the 1920s through the 1960s, spurring Tin Pan Alley songwriters to pen a raft of Hawaiian-themed songs.

Since then, the ukulele’s popularity has remained strong in Hawaii. For those who can’t make the ukulele festival, there are plenty more events on the island. Read about the top Maui festivals that celebrate culture. Then find affordable prices on Maui vacation homes.