It featured performers from the Cook Islands, New Zealand, and Tahiti who gave a glimpse of what to expect in the weeklong event.
This festival which will run until this Saturday is the first of its kind in the Cook Islands and it will be underpinned by three themes: Celebration, Commemoration and Recognition.
The festival will also allow the music community to recognise the extraordinary contribution of an individual or entity, to the ukulele instrument and music, by awarding them with the Golden Ukulele Award.
The ukulele with its region-to-region and country-to-country adaptations of design and emphasis of tones uniquely developed in each special locale, make this one of the easiest and most fun instruments to play.
All unique styles and sounds of the ukulele are welcomed at the Golden Ukulele Festival of the Cook Islands.
The week’s activities will include attending church services around Rarotonga, partaking in a special sermon that will focus on ukulele music.
A special concert on the beach, under the stars, is also one of the events to look forward to, letting participants perform or just enjoy each other’s company in a tropical paradise setting.
The festival will also have expo days, allowing for participants to learn to play local songs, visit local ukulele makers and browse and purchase their creations. The week will then culminate with the Golden Ukulele Award night, which is the festival’s finale and will be the highlight of the festival.
The five nominees for the Golden Ukulele Award are: Aberahama Tauta, Ricky Adamu, Jake Numanga, Nia Heather and the late Albert Taaviri “Buffalo” Nicholas.
Every ukulele player is expected to be part of the night’s ukulele orchestra, playing in the country’s national auditorium, strumming along with the songs taught during the expo.
Monday March 18 – Ukulele Under the Stars at Vaianas Bistro & Bar from 5pm to 9.30pm, Tuesday 19 – Golden Ukulele Expo at the Domes at the National Auditorium from 9am – 2pm, the last day will feature the Golden Ukulele concert at the National Auditorium from 7pm – 9.30pm.