The Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival has long celebrated a variety of musical talents at the festival. This year, Ukulele performer Arden Fujiwara will be performing for the first time.
Fujiwara, described as a local ukulele player with “a mix of jazz, rock, and lounge with a hint of Hawaiian and reggae,” was born and raised in Hawaii. Placing his ukulele roots with notable Jake Shimabukuro and Troy Fernandez, Fujiwara plays his own unique style in Seattle. His discography includes his 2013 debut album entitled “Heart Over Head,” which introduces different genres combined with the traditional ukelele flavor, and his 2016 EP “Tangential Dreams.”
Fujiwara has challenged the ukulele scene with such genres uncommonly fused with the small Hawaiian instrument as hip hop and rock. According to his website, he “intends to be a keystone in [the resurgence of the ukelele’s popularity] by continuing to spread the love and respect of the ukelele.”
Other featured musicians include Singing Sparrows, a four-woman gospel group from Kobe, Japan. The group will perform all three days during the festival in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Seattle-Kobe sister city relationship.
Another ukulele performance will be presented by Hana Hou Band, organized by local community members. The local band Ichi Bichi band will perform on Saturday while the festival presents its variety show, joined by community members sharing their talents.