BUMS member Vic Kena was invited by Kanile’a ‘Ukulele to become an endorsed artist in late 2017. Vic was greatly honoured by this invitation and is justifiably proud that he now features alongside some the world’s best ‘Ukulele artists in the Kanile’a Ohana playing the beautiful Kanile’a ‘Ukulele. https://www.kanileaukulele.com/featured-artists/. BUMS congratulate Vic on this exciting achievement.

Vic wished to acknowledge the trust shown to him by Kanile’a and conceived the Ukulele Extravaganza as his debut public performance as a member of the Ohana. Vic is an Aussie “true blue” but also has a deep Maori cultural connection and this featured strongly throughout the event.

The Ukulele Extravaganza was jam packed with features: a personal message from Joe Souza, founder and master luthier of Kanile’a ‘Ukulele; the Maori welcome (Powhiri); blessing of Vic’s new path; acknowledgement of the traditional owners featuring Sam Conway ‘didgeridoo & vocalist Phil Mairu; The Ukulele Haka; an original song from the Kanile’a “Ola Ka ‘Aina” CD (from their 20th birthday concert a few weeks earlier); Haere Mai performed by Te Mana Wairua; a ukulele workshop; a jam session; three open mic performers; excellent food; and then, the concert to a packed house!

It was Vic’s first outing with his Kanile’a 5-String 19” Super Tenor ‘ukulele and this new partnership delivered outstanding entertainment. He opened with his version of Bohemian Rhapsody from his first release CD as a solo ukulele artist.

He was backed by his wife Kerrie and other members of the Australian Ukulele Show. Vic showed that Kanile’a ‘ukulele is up for serious ukulele shredding with Ukulele Boogie and Devil Came Down to Bulimba and then he was joined by Ukulele Russ with a green room rehearsed version of Eye of the Tiger and a live jam. You can taste the event and some of the performances at https://youtu.be/OIVGGsZXikU.

It was a new and challenging concept to deliver every component of a ukulele festival in only 4 hours! It was brilliantly executed by Vic, his family, friends and colleagues with everyone loving the event. (Apparently, it also rained, but no-one seemed to notice.)

You can check up on what Vic is doing at https://www.facebook.com/vkukulele/ .

He is performing at Binary Music on 15 December with Angela Toohey supporting artist. Check it out here https://www.facebook.com/vkukulele/videos/202244950654586/