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By Alfredo Canopin. Sr. MENTOR FOR A PROMISING YOUNG GENTLEMAN
I have the privilege and honor to become the mentor for a promising young gentleman that eventually will become an outstanding ukulele artist. If you close your eyes as he picks and strums the various melodies and rhythms of the beautiful ukulele, you would be sure it is an adult playing…but it is actually a young gentleman of only 12 years of age.
That young gentleman is Rio Saito from Japan. He was only 8 years old when he discovered an interest in playing the ukulele. For 2 years he lived in Hawaii to learn and he picked up some styles from other famous ukulele artists. He tells me that he learned a lot by listening to and watching videos. He has a gift of natural talent in listening and memorizing all music presented to him.
As Rio’s mentor, I can report that in all my years of teaching the ukulele, I have never met a young person who picks up tunes and learns them so quickly. He seems to enjoy and understand the picking, strumming and rhythm of the ukulele as much as I do. Keep and eye out for this exciting upcoming ukulele artist from Japan as I am sure he will achieve great things.
You are welcome to watch Rio Saito on YouTube here with an incredible rendition of ‘Misty’ at the New York Ukulele Festival 2013.
ABOUT Alfredo Canopin. Sr.