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Home UkuleleNews UkeCon Fest Is Happy To Welcome: Anthony Stanley ft. Keahi Rozet!

UkeCon Fest Is Happy To Welcome: Anthony Stanley ft. Keahi Rozet!

He has had an ukulele in his hands since the age of 2. The rest is history!

by Marialejandra Araujo

Ukulele virtuoso and composer, Anthony Ka’uka Stanley, is the youngest son of renowned Kumu (hula teacher) Kathy Heali’i ‘O Nālani Gore Stanley of “Heali’i’s Polynesian Revue,” a Polynesian dance company that has been in existence since 1967. He has been the Music Director for Heali’i’s since the age of 15, where he has helped them win numerous awards and competitions. As a full-time professional musician, Anthony shares his music locally and internationally, playing acoustic music touring, mainly with partner, Keahi Rozet. Seemingly always on his way to a recording session or a performance, Anthony still finds the time to collaborate on projects with organizations such as the San Diego Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

A devoted leader in his community, he teaches ukulele in the San Diego Unified School District, representing the Center for World Music. As an endorsed ukulele artist for Kala Brand Music Co. since 2018, Anthony has also traveled internationally playing as a guest artist for the Royal Caribbean Cruiseline. Although he has been a professional musician performing and touring since the age of 2, Anthony found time to pursue education, graduating recently from Occidental College as a Music and Economics double major. Anthony seeks to create music that retains its cultural qualities while bridging gaps and creating connections between people from all walks of life.

We’re honored to have Anthony Stanley as one of our artists for this year’s UKECON Festival! And that’s why we decided to borrow him for a bit, so he can tell us more about himself and his music career. Bring it on, Anthony!

Anthony Stanley, How did you get started with music?

I have played the Ukulele for about my whole life. I went on my first tour (as a dancer) when I was 2 years old, where we were the halau (hula dance group) for many of Hawai’i’s top artists when they would come to the mainland. As a full-time professional musician, I have been able to share my music locally and internationally, primarily playing acoustic Hawaiian/Polynesian music and touring with my partner, Keahi Rozet. I am a Kala Brand Music Ukulele Artist, Music Director for Heali’i’s Polynesian Revue, a teaching artist for the non-profit Center For World Music, and co-founder of the band One Island!

One Island is a Hawaiian and mixed genre music band originally from Hawaii, now residing in San Diego, California. Comprised of the dynamic duo, Keahi Rozet and myself have been featured by Royal Caribbean, Funko, COMIC-CON International, LegoLand, Seaworld, and even on the Food Network Channel.

Playing together for only the past two years, people continually describe One Islandʻs synergy as infectious, having too much fun, inspiring, and original. Unlike many other bands who stick to one genre, our music is more 50 shades of play –a fresh sound that seduces the ear.

What led you to the ukulele?

Being the youngest son of Kumu (hula teacher) Kathy Heali’i O Nalani Gore-Stanley of Heali’i’s Polynesian Revue, a professional Polynesian dance company that has been in existence for 55 years, I was born into music and dance. I always had an Ukulele in my hand growing up, but I didn’t start seriously playing until I was about 4 years old!

Who are your role models in the Ukulele world?

All of the Ukulele artists in the world continue to inspire and motivate me. With music being a form of self expression, we all offer unique perspectives, and styles that continue to expand the ukulele culture across the globe!

Read more: Which Are The Best Ukuleles For Beginners?

Where do you get your creative inspiration from?

Being very mixed –Hawaiian, Mexican, Greek, Chinese, Irish, Spanish, German, and Cherokee– has definitely helped shape my musical inspirations. My musical source extends from Hawaiian, Reggae, Motown, R&B, Soul, with influences such as Carlos Santana, Kapena, Ka’au Crater Boys, and my own family.

What 3 tips can you give to people that are starting to learn and improve on the ukulele?

  1. Play to have fun and connect always.

  2. Never be afraid to ask questions!

  3. The best way to learn is by Jamming! Find people to play with and don’t be afraid to mess up! ‘Mess ups” are nothing more than creative spontaneous decisions, haha.

What lessons have you learned from being a performer/influencer/musician?

The most important lesson that I learned from being born into an entertainment family has to be: Regardless if there’s no one in the audience or over 100,000 people, have fun and play for the people on stage with you, and the people “backstage” for you. If you genuinely have fun on stage, regardless of the song, the notes or the production, the energy will always carry across.

Just be yourself! To perform is to connect; my goal is to try to have the person on stage be as good of a person as the one off stage I try to become every day.


What are you excited about for the UKE-CON Summer Ukulele Festival?

I’m so excited to see a lot of my friends and artists I haven’t seen in a LONG time, and to get to share the stage with so many talented artists!

What are you most looking forward to at UKE-CON?

I am looking forward to meeting more of the Ukulele Community that will be attending the festival in person or virtually!


Tickets are almost sold out! Do you have any words to the attendees (both in person and virtual)?

This will definitely be one to NOT miss out on! The line up is PACKED with so much talent, energy, and aloha! I can’t wait to see you all there!

UKE-CON is a great opportunity for people to connect with their ukulele teachers / artists / mentors. What do you like the most about being part of this one-of-a-kind ukulele community?

Terry puts together amazing events and really focuses on the communal aspects. Any person attending the event can talk with any of us performers, and everyone is there to have a good time!


What are you currently working on (professionally and personally) that you are excited about?

Currently working on multiple projects, getting ready to teach for my Non-Profit Center For World Music, and performing multiple times a week! From fall 2021 to June 2022, I was blessed to teach on average about 600 students a week!

What is your favorite quote or words of wisdom can you share with us?

Do something you love and inspire others to pursue theirs, tomorrow is not promised, so we might as well enjoy every moment!

How can people learn more about you and reach out to you? Do you have a website/store/channel where people can find your content?

My main media for content is Instagram: Anthonykauka, but I just finally started a YouTube Channel so I would love some support on there too! My YouTube Channel is under my name, Anthony Kauka Stanley!

Awesome!!! We’re really excited to see you at the UKE-CON Festival 2022 in San Diego, California, on August 27th.

Preparing the engines in 3……… 2……… 1……!

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