From Hawai’i

  • Craig Chee & Sarah Maisel

    Even though Craig Chee was born and raised on Oahu, he matured as an ‘ukulele player and musician on the mainland. Throughout attending and graduating from the University of Oregon, Craig focused on teaching a myriad of different styles with the tiny instrument.
    Craig started his learning journey, like many other Hawai’i residents, with friends and the Roy Sakuma ‘Ukulele Studio. He has had the honor of working under Jake Shimabukuro and Troy Fernandez, and has become a world renowned teacher and performer. Craig infuses his energetic and just plain ‘fun’ style into many genres of music and is known for his collaborations at different music events.

    Sarah Maisel was born and raised in Alabama and found herself working in San Diego, CA as the Lead Female Draper for the La Jolla Playhouse and the University of California San Diego. After walking into a local ‘ukulele jam, Sarah was both fascinated by the instrument and the joy that surrounded it. Studying under Frank Leong, Sarah dove into the jazz stylings of golden age Hawai’i songs and arrangements inspired by ‘ukulele legends like Lyle Ritz, Benny Chong and Byron Yasui. Sarah found a passion for teaching and performing with the ‘ukulele and was quickly featured at many ‘ukulele festivals around the world.
    Craig and Sarah discovered a similar passion and work ethic and in 2015, married. They have made an incredible splash in the ‘ukulele scene with their complementing styles and vocal harmonies.
    Their love of teaching has blossomed into a successful Online ‘Ukulele School with Artistworks in 2016. In 2018 they created a monthly series of Live Streams for their ArtistWorks students. Those Livestreams were so popular that they were made available to the public after a few months, and became a new and fun way for them to share their passion for teaching and ‘ukulele with everyone!
    In September of 2020, due to the pandemic and the birth of their son earlier that year, they decided to move home, to Hawai’i. Since moving home they have organized and osted the 51st Ukulele Festival Hawaii, including three mini events leading up to the main day (all virtual 2021). They have also started their own Backyard Concert Series, featuring local musicians. Their monthly livestreams are still on going, as they continue to spread the love of ukulele and teaching to the world.
    In 2023 they set forward on a new venture, founding the nonprofit Four Strings at a Time. Their mission of engaging, educating, and enriching all ages around the world through music and the ‘ukulele has always been at the forefront of everything they do. For their first project, Craig and Sarah produced and directed a Livestream Benefit oncert to help Maui Food Bank. This 6 hour livestream featured over 75 ‘ukulele artists and groups from around the world. Four Strings at a Time were also the fiscal sponsor for the Online Silent Auction created by The Ukulele Site, with both the Concert and Auction bringing in over $135,000 to Maui Food Bank and $40,000 to the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement’s Kāko’o Maui Fund.
    Four Strings at a Time is currently working on their pilot after school ‘ukulele program and look forward to creating more music education opportunities for children and adults.