Today we are joined by the Hawaiian trio Waipuna featuring Matt Sproat, Kale Hannahs, and David Kamakahi. The group started as a duo with Sproat and Hannahs in 2007 on a tour in Japan. Kamakahi was the latest addition to the trio, adding in masterful ‘ukulele playing that’s a perfect addition to the group’s sound. As a trio they have done international tours and have been recognized for their fresh take on Hawaiian music.
Today we listen to David Kamakahi ripping on the famous Led Kaapana tune, Jus’ Press. A medley of 12th Street Rag and Sweet Georgia Brown off the album Jus’ Press, it has adopted the album’s name and has become a nickname for the medley. Kamakahi’s right hand can play the fast triplets by alternating between the thumb (with thumb pick) and the index finger mixed with pull-offs and hammer-ons (0:27 – 0:33). I love the fast syncopated substitution chords (1:36) that help build the song up, only to have Sproat and Hannahs playfully drop out (1:49) before launching into the end of the first section. You also got to love the turn around and chords he uses (1:58) before the 2nd section. Kamakahi also does one of Led’s signature tricks by playing upside down from the upper part of the neck (0:55 & 2:30).
This is a great example of a workout/finger shredding ‘ukulele standard. In order to tackle a tune like this one you gotta have the chops to do so!
UkePrints is a curated playlist of some essential ukulele tracks that all ukulele player should listen to. These songs have left a legacy for future players and in essence, sound impressions of the ‘ukulele or what I like to call them: UkePrints.