A day at KoAlohoha Ukulele factory is long hours, hard work, as well as the joy of music, song, and celebration of life and the spirit of Aloha.
Alvin Okami, Roger Tsukamoto, and Gordon Mark play and sing. Also featuring Alvin's sister, Janice Kimura, Alvin's wife Pat, and their two sons.
Alvin Okami started his musical career as a singer. With Frank Sinatra as his idol, he found success at local high school song assemblies. He also ventured into musical composition, writing and recording his own songs. This matured inot a career as a vocalist, accompanying ukulele virtuoso, Herbert "Ohta-san" Ohta, in the Waikiki nightclubs. Alvin garnished praise for his vocal talent from the likes of Matt Monroe (Born Free) to Doc Severenson (The Tonight Show).
As night life did not suit him well, he turned to one of his loves, the oboe. One semester away from his degree in music, he left college to join the Royal Hawaiian Band, as the band's oboe soloist.
Late in 1994, his old friend Herb Ohta Sr. suggested crafting a miniature ukulele for his sister's store. Alvin was not satisfied to complete a simple minature; therefore, he embarked on a mission to make a tuneable, playable miniature. Six months later, he had an ukulele measuring no more than 5 1/2 inches in length! Playable and tuneable! Exact in every detail, painstakingly done by hand.
This reunited him with another old friend, Roy Sakuma. At Roy's invitation, Alvin performed "Hilo March" and "Jingle Bell Rock at the 1995 Ukulele Festival. It was a total hit! KoAloha Ukulele was officially born.