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MP3 John King - Royal Hawaiian Music

Sweet Hawaiian tunes played on the ukulele.

16 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Island, CLASSICAL: Traditional

“John King stretches a small instrument to new lengths.” - National Public Radio

“King has a wonderful touch, which is as true as it is tender. At times it sounds like a music box, a harp, a mandolin, he is such a virtuoso.” - Green Man Review

“A collection of sweet, delicate Hawaiian tunes, played by the master musician.” - All Songs Considered

John King, solo ukulele

A treasure trove of music composed in the late 19th century by Hawaii’s sibling “Royal Four,” played on solo ukulele by one of the modern era’s most elite ukulele players and scholars. Great notes and historic photos, too!

John King’s contributions to the ukulele world both historically and musically can’t be overstated. As a Hawaiian music historian he has published a tremendous amount of new information about the earliest days of the ukulele. At the same time King is an astonishingly gifted player. In his latest recording John pays tribute to the music of the Royal Four (King David Kalakaua, Queen Liliuokalani, Miriam Likelike and Prince Leleiohoku), all brothers and sisters who were well known music lovers and gifted composers. The 16 tracks include pieces that the Royal Four wrote or enjoyed during their lives in the latter half of the 1800s and into the early 1900s. Once again King magnificently reproduces these ornate pieces with just 4 strings and creates both a wonderful introduction to early Hawaiian music and a highly listenable recording.


John King began playing the ukulele in 1960 while living in Hawaii, receiving his first instruction from his mother, an accomplished amateur. His technique has been described as flawless, effortless and sublime. In addition to his recordings of the music of Bach and Hawaii’s royal family, he has compiled and edited two popular songbooks

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