"ʻUkulele Friends: The Sequel" By Bryan Tolentino & Herb Ohta, Jr.


  1. 01 Lei Nani
  2. 02 Maile Swing
  3. 03 E Ku'u Morning Dew
  4. 04 Sanshin No Hana
  5. 05 Kaulana O Hilo Hanakahi
  6. 06 Loa'a Ko Puni Kauoha
  7. 07 Honolulu City Lights
  8. 08 He Pua Wehiwa
  9. 09 I'll Weave A Lei Of Stars For You
  10. 10 Nani Ko'olau
  11. 11 Lovely Hula Hands

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Executive Producer(s): Neos Productions, Inc.
Producer(s): Bob & Patti St. John
Recording Engineer: Bob St. John
Mix & Mastered: Bob St. John
Photography: Brad Kanaiʻa Nakamura
Graphics: Bob St. John
Recording Studio: Neos Productions, Inc.

Special Guest:
Jake Shimabukuro
Chris Kamaka


Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winners, Bryan Tolentino and Herb Ohta, Jr. are joined by super-star Jake Shimabukuro and the legendary Chris Kamaka for ‘Ukulele Friends: The Sequel. This follow-up to their award winning ‘Ukulele Friends has more of the superlative Hawaiian and Hapa Haole melodies these celebrated artists are known for, with the added twist of two delightful vocal performances in this collection. Herb’s prowess with technique and brilliant melodies, combined with Bryan’s masterful ability to apply just the right amount of harmony, along with his specialty, “fairy-dusting,” creates the ‘ukulele magic that resonates with their fans.

“The Sequel” features Hawaiian treasures “Lei Nani,” “Kaulani O Hilo Hanakahi,” “He Pua Wehiwa,” “Nani Ko'olau,” and for an added treat, “Loa'a Ko Puni Kauoha” with Bryan on vocals. Jake Shimabukuro jumped on board to perform the beautiful, “E Ku’u Morning Dew,” in honor of the late Eddie Kamae, singer, musician, composer and key figure in the Hawaiian renaissance. Chris Kamaka, bassist and vocalist with the multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winning group Hoʻokena, and member of the world-reknown Kamaka ʻUkulele family of luthiers, lends his handsome voice to a song his father always sang to his mother, R. Alex Andersonʻs, “Iʻll Weave a Lei of Stars for You.” Hapa Haole favorites “Maile Swing,” and “Lovely Hula Hands,” the contemporary Hawaiian hit by Keola Beamer, “Honolulu City Lights, and a hat-tip to Okinawa, with “Sanshin No Hana” round out this collection of music that, like the sweet fragrance of a flower lei, will deliver a refreshing dose of pure listening pleasure.

Star Advertiser
February 25, 2018

Island Mele
Review By John Berger

Stacks Image 116444
Ohta Jr. and Tolentino tap stars for new album.

Bryan Tolentino & Herb Ohta Jr.
(Neos Productions)

The Hawaiian word “kaona” refers to hidden meanings in song lyrics or poetry. Those who know the kaona get the deeper meanings; those who don’t, miss out.

The same principle is in play here, and malihini (newcomers) will likely miss many of the things that make this new album by Bryan Tolentino and Herb Ohta Jr. significant. For instance, Ohta is the son of famed ukulele virtuoso Herb “Ohta-san” Ohta and a virtuoso in his own right. Tolentino is a master at playing around Ohta’s work and enhancing it. Jake Shimabukuro and Chris Kamaka join them for one song each.

The parallel histories of Shimabukuro and Ohta make their collaborative arrangement of “E Ku‘u Morning Dew” a musical milestone. Kamaka is the guest vocalist on “I’ll Weave a Lei of Stars for You,” a song that has significance within the Kamaka family. (Tolentino isn’t credited in the liner notes but he’s the vocalist on “Loa‘a Ko Puni Kauoha.”)

There’s also significance in the guys’ attire. They’re wearing limited-edition Reyn Spooner aloha shirts that commemorate the centennial of the founding of the Kamaka ukulele company — manufacturer of the instruments Ohta and Tolentino are seen holding on the cover — in 1916.

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