The Sublime Beauty of the Ukelele

My Dad taught me about the Ukelele. One of my earliest memories is hearing him play “Four Leaf Clover” on a Ukelele he acquired as a young man.

Later, I came to love the Ukelele-rich music of the Makaha Sons of Niʻihau, whose founder — Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole — went on to an extraordinary solo career  (widely known as Iz) until his untimely death in 1997 at the age of 38.  His version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is still played extensively. My favorite is  Henehene Kou Aka:

And today, I saw the future of  Ukelele. His name is Jake Shimabukuro. Remarkable. Just remarkable.

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole May 20, 1959 – June 26, 1997

There will never be another IZ. Listen to the sublime guitar riff in the middle. 

Henehene Kou ‘Aka


Kalalau Valley, Kauai, Hawaii

Kalalau Valley, Kauai, Hawaii



I repeat, there will never be another IZ.