Byron Yasui

Hawai‘i Council for the Humanities Pavilion
Sunday May 6, 2:00 p.m.
Presenting in the Jazz event with Gabe Baltazar, Jr. and Benny Chong. This event will explore the influence of mainland Jazz on Hawaiian musicians and the contributions of performers like Albert “Sonny” Cunha (accredited with inventing the “hapa haole” sound by mixing elements of American Ragtime with Hawaiian songs) and his protégé Johnny Noble. The panel will also discuss the newer sound, “fusion” Jazz, which combines sounds from rock and even Latin music.

Byron Yasui has taught music theory and composition at the University of Hawai‘i since 1972 and retired as Professor Emeritus in 2010. He has been a jazz bassist since 1960 and has performed with a host of jazz legends. He has also served part-time with the Honolulu Symphony from 1963 to 2009 as a double bassist and utility string player (ʻukulele, guitar, banjo, mandolin, samisen, and 2nd harp). Since 1998, Yasui has been performing as a concert ʻukulele soloist and has been featured twice with the Honolulu Symphony. He also serves on the board of directors of the ʻUkulele Hall of Fame Museum (since 2005). Yasui has performed as a classical guitar duet partner with the Brazilian virtuoso Carlos Barbosa-Lima since 1987 in recitals at the Honolulu Art Academy, Carnegie Hallʼs Weill Recital Hall, and the Royal Festival Hallʼs Purcell Room in London.


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