Steel Trappings

Spotlight ON! Feature

Spotlight ON! Noriko and Shuji Tomita

September 15, 2021 • Addison ChingEntertainment

This month we shine the Spotlight ON! Noriko and Shuji Tomita.

Noriko Tomita is a steel guitarist and a student of Ke Kula Mele Hawai‘i School of Hawaiian Music. She has appeared at numerous steel guitar festival open stages on Maui and in Waikīkī, and most recently on the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Open Stage Showcase. Her husband Shuji complements Noriko's steel guitar playing with his soothing vocals.

Noriko listened to Hawaiian music of Makoto Shiraishi and Na Lei O Hawaiians and developed her familiarity with many Hawaiian songs and Hawaiian bands. She started to learn to play the ‘ukulele at the Society fourteen years ago. While at the Society she gradually became interested in playing the steel guitar.

Noriko and Shuji met Kumu Alan Akaka in Waikīkī in 2013. She was fascinated with Hawaiian steel guitar sounds and began her steel guitar training with Kumu Alan Akaka via Skype. Since then Noriko and Shuji have visited Hawaii every year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently Noriko always enjoys playing steel guitar with Shuji on vocal together. Her favorite steel guitar players are Alan Akaka, Greg Sardinha, Bobby Ingano, and Makoto Shiraishi who plays various music genres from Latin to screen music of old movies, etc.

After learning of Shuji's interests, Alan Akaka invited him to accompany Noriko singing "Blue Lei" at the 2017 Maui Steel Guitar Festival. They have appeared together ever since.

Prior to the pandemic, the duo appeared at various Maui and Waikiki steel guitar festivals throughout the years, and also performed at the HSGA (Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association) Japan convention every year. They also played at the CoCo studio in Akasaka, Japan, Shibuya Buckie in Shibuya, and the Aloha Station in Roppongi. They hope to resume performing after COVID-19.

Shuji says, "We are grateful to Kumu Alan Akaka for providing nice Hawaiian music lessons with MP3 and music sheets."

This video is of a performance by Noriko and Shuji Tomita doing "Ho‘omalilmali" on the Open Stage of the 2019 Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week.

The video can also be seen on YouTube.

This feature is a snapshot of the complete tribute that is posted on the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase website. See the complete tribute here.

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2022

Facebook LiveYouTube
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase

Livestream Steel Guitar Saturday
May 28, 2022 – LIVE STREAMED on Facebook and YouTube 3PM - 5PM HST

Facebook LiveYouTube
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Windward Mall
incorporating the
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase
June 11, 2022 – Windward Mall, Kane‘ohe, Hawai‘i
11:30 AM - 4:00 PM HST

Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week   
July 11-14, 2022 – Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikīkī
Nightly Evening Performances 5:30PM - 6:30PM HST
Facebook LiveYouTube
Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival
incorporating the
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase
July 15, 2022 – Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikīkī
Friday Performances 4PM - 6:30PM HST
Facebook LiveYouTube
Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival
incorporating the
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase
July 16, 2022 – Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikīkī
Saturday Performances 11AM - 2PM and 4:30PM - 6:30PM HST

AISGC
AISGC Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival

July 21-23, 2022 – Winchester, IN
Tickets available online or at the door

2022 HSGA Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival
August 11-13, 2022 – Foster City, CA
Tickets available online or at the door
Facebook LiveYouTube
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival Keiki Kine at Kahala Mall
incorporating the
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase
August 27, 2022 – Kahala Mall, Honolulu, Hawai‘i
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM HST

Facebook LiveYouTube
Maui Steel Guitar Festival
incorporating the
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase (contingent on availability of Internet connection)
October 15, 2022 – The Shops at Wailea, Wailea, Maui, Hawai‘i
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM
October 16, 2022 – Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center, Kahului, Maui, Hawai‘i
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM HST

Hawai‘i Island Steel Guitar Experience at Mauna Lani   
December 8-11, 2022 – Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, Kamuela, Hawai‘i Island.
Facebook LiveYouTube
Hawai‘i Island Steel Guitar Experience at Mauna Lani
incorporating the
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase
December 10-11, 2022 – Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, Kamuela, Hawai‘i Island.
Friday Ho‘olaule‘a 5:30 PM - 9:30 PM HST
Saturday Twilight at Kalāhuipua‘a concert 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM HST

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HIMELE is a Hawai‘i non-profit corporation that supports music enrichment and education for people of all ages. Our purpose is to educate, promote, and perpetuate Hawaiian music, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian musical instruments.