Steeped in a Hawaiian ‘ukulele background, Brad Bordessa brews a strong mix of traditional and contemporary sounds. He’s equally at home on stage or in a classroom, sharing the craft of the ‘ukulele with students from Hawai’i to Germany. Brad has been a featured performer at the Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival multiple times, opened for John Cruz, and has shared the stage with Sonny Lim, Ledward Kaapana, HAPA, the late Martin Pahinui, and others. In addition to teaching workshops and private lessons, Brad provides ‘ukulele lessons on his website, Live ‘Ukulele.
Abandon the light side of the ‘ukulele and journey into the dark and unknown… From songs of undefined love and new beginnings to murder ballads and the end of a city, Brad Bordessa’s latest album, If Only, explores the constant adjustments needed to maintain balance.
Presenting 12 original songs and exploring the union of vocals and ‘ukulele in a full band setting, If Only showcases Brad’s skills as an instrumentalist, while invoking colorful images with his lyric work.
Brad began playing ‘ukulele in 2005 at the age of 12 in Kona, Hawai’i. After a few introductory classes he set off on his own to begin a mostly-solo journey of musical discovery. The primary exception was the Kahumoku ‘Ohana Music and Lifestyle Workshop where every year he would study with amazing teachers like Herb Ohta Jr. and James Hill.
Fours years later was the beginning of Brad’s own teaching era in the little plantation town of Honokaʻa. The Hāmākua Youth Center, K-Arts after-school program at Waimea Middle School, and North Hawai’i Education and Research Center – University of Hawai’i Hilo’s local satellite school – were all home to ʻukulele classes taught by Brad. He soon found himself alongside his heroes as an instructor for the first time at the 2010 Kahumoku Workshop.
In October 2011, Brad successfully auditioned for first cohort of the Institute of Hawaiian Music at University of Hawai’i Maui College. He spent a year and a half studying Hawaiian music with accomplished artists and playing many, many gigs in an expedited version of the program. He recorded a single – Kaulana Nā Pua – that was included on the IHM compilation album, Pukana. He graduated with honors in May 2013 and returned to Hāmākua.
During the first few months of 2014 Brad recorded Point A, his debut EP. The album was released on April 4th on iTunes, Amazon MP3, and Google Play. It contains five instrumental ‘ukulele tracks featuring ‘ukulele in band and solo settings.
Amidst solo and band gigs in March of 2015, Draw The Line At 13 was tracked at Bigger Brother Studios in Waimea. It is Brad’s first vocal single and protests the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea.