A young slack key guitarist trained by the famous Slack Key guitar master, Dennis Kamakahi, Jon Yamasato, with his band, “Pure Heart”, won 5 Na Hoku Hanohano awards, Hawaii’s most prestigious music award.
Jon Yamasato performed with the group Na ‘Oiwi (with Dennis & David Kamakahi & Mike Kaawa) recording 2 CDs: Crossroads and The Sequel. He also toured the US with bands such as Keahiwai, Round and Round, and Imua. He often tours Japan with young master ukulele instrumentalist, Herb Ohta Jr. He has performed and recorded with some of the biggest names in Hawaiian Music including Keali`i Reichel, ` Ale`a and Justin Young, and performs regularly at George Kahumoku’s Slack Key Show, usually with Herb Ohta Jr.
Jon’s 5 Hoku awards are
- Album of the Year (1999)
- Island Contemporary Album of the Year
- Most Promising Artist (1999)
- Entertainer of the year (1999)
- Contemporary Album of the year (2000)