About Jeff Peterson

    Born on the Island of Maui, two-time Grammy Award nominee and eleven-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner Jeff Peterson grew up on the slopes of Haleakala where he was introduced to the rich heritage of Hawaiian music by his father, a paniolo, or Hawaiian cowboy, on the Haleakala Ranch.     As a performer, Jeff has had the honor to work with a wide range of artists and groups including Eric Clapton, Jake Shimabukuro, James Galway, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Aaron Neville, Boz Scaggs, jazz ukulele virtuoso Benny Chong, Keola Beamer, the Honolulu Symphony, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Amy Hanaiali’i, The Matt Catingub Orchestra of Hawaii, jazz bassist Rufus Reid, shakuhachi master Riley Lee, the acclaimed string quartet Ethel, and with many other artists in the fields of Hawaiian, classical, and jazz music. He has released 14 albums on his own label Peterson Productions in addition to guitar and ukulele performance on over 50 other recordings. Wayne Harada from the Honolulu Advertiser reacted to hearing the CDs by writing: “Add the Peterson name to the top 10 list of slack key giants”, “His manner is impeccable, his style exquisite: the CD is perfection”, “Brilliant . . . Peterson raises the bar a few notches in both slack key and jazz with this bright and exceptional release”. He recorded two albums featuring ukulele and slack key guitar for Augusta Japan and well as ukulele projects for Disney Japan, the musical Honu by Johnson Enos, Return To The Source by Hindustani Slide Guitar master Debashish Bhattacharya, and the albums Ukulele Café and Umi Café on Della Records. He is also featured as a performer and arranger on the 2008, 2009, and 2020 Grammy Nominated recordings Aumakua, Friends and Family of Hawaii, and Kalawai’anui by Amy Hanaiali’i. His soundtrack and film Wahi Pana, Songs of Place, was recognized as the instrumental album of the year in 2017 at the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards. His collaboration recording Across The Sea featuring ukulele and slack key guitar with Hawaiian steel guitar and Chinese Erhu was awarded the Instrumental Album of The Year in 2018. Jeff received the First People’s Fund and Native Arts and Cultures Foundation fellowship grants in 2018 and received the National Society of Arts and Letters Excellence Award in 2019. He latest recording Ka Nani O Ki Ho’alu was released in 2019 and won the 2020 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards for Slack Key Album and Instrumental Composition of the Year. He recently launched the UkuleleCorner.com instructional website and published two books Graded Repertoire for Classical Ukulele and 20 Practice Routines for Fingerstyle Ukulele. The latest publication is currently the #1 new release in Ukulele Books on Amazon.     He has traveled to Europe, South America, Asia, Australia, Africa, India, and across the United States to perform at a variety of venues from The Harare International Festival of the Arts center stage in Zimbabwe to the Oriental Art Center Symphony Hall in Shanghai, China. He appeared on the NPR programs A Prairie Home Companion and Performance Today and had the honor of performing for the Dalai Lama. He composed the first concerto for Slack Key Guitar and Orchestra Malama ‘Aina which premiered in 2016. In addition to performing, he has been teaching ukulele and guitar for over 20 years at institutions including the University of Hawaii and the University of Southern California, privately, and in workshops internationally. He has composed, transcribed, and arranged hundreds of pieces for both ukulele and guitar in a variety of genres. He achieved a milestone in Hawaiian music at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards on February 13th, 2005, when a recording on Palm Records featuring Jeff and other island artists, Slack Key Guitar Volume 2, won the first ever Grammy Award for best Hawaiian recording. His solo recording Maui On My Mind was nominated for a Grammy in 2011. Five of his songs were featured in the film The Descendants starring George Clooney.

Fingerstyle Ukulele

Fingerstyle UkuleleMost students of ukulele enjoy strumming chords and learning accompaniment to songs. This is one of the great strengths of the instrument—it is easy to get started by learning a few chords and strumming [...]

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