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Wayne Creekmore

I began playing ukulele in the late 1990's, getting together with a few friends once a week who also wanted to learn to play ukulele. Everyone was playing GCEA tuning on soprano, concert, or tenor ukuleles, so I statred playing baritone ukulele to provide more bottom end to the sound of the group. Baritones are tuned DGBE like the higher four strings of a guitar. They also had more room on the neck for my big fingers. My ukulele of choice was made by Guild during the early 1960's, a very rare baritone made of all Honduran Mahogany.

A few years go by and my love of fiddling with all things wood led me to create an 8-string baritone ukulele I called the "Frankenuke." It started out life as Requinto I purchased from Amazing Grace in San Rafael. After replacing the 6 tuners in the headstock with 8 mandolyn tuners, replacing the nut, and reboring the bridge, the 8-string was born. I played it for years. It provided a 12-string guitar sound to the group's playing.

A few more years go by and the group, now consisting of tenor ukulele (Na Maka), percussion (Matt), and baritone ukulele (me), needed a bass player. I found and fell in love with the Tacoma Thunderchief bass shown in the photo at the top of this page, a great sounding instrument for Hawaiian music and unplugged can hold its own against the bright tone of the ukulele...well, almost.

I still grab my baritone occasionaly to play certain songs, but since Lorrin (and his Taylor guitar) joined the band, you'll see me playing one of my basses at most performances.

Cultural History

I was born on a farm near Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. After a disasterous attempt at band in school, music didn't enter my life again until the early 1990's. After completing my higher education in Kansas City, Missouri, and New Haven, Connecticut, I spent five years teaching graphic design and photography at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. It was there that my love of Hawaii, its people, culture, and music began, a love oddly predicted in my teenage years by a collection of polynesian LPs and a Hawaiian lap steel guitar, strange possessions for an Okie in the late 50's.

My wife, Stephanie Behasa, is from Ewa Beach, Hawaii. She is an accomplished hula dancer, Kahu for Halau Hula Na Pua O La'akea, and is chairman of the board of HulaOn! Productions.