RIO is a highly accomplished and versatile ukulele player, known for his unique and expressive playing style that transcends genres.
RIO has a remarkable track record of awards and accolades, including first place wins at the prestigious “Dukes Ukulele Contest” and the “International Ukulele Contest” in Hawaii, as well as the Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in New York City. At just 13 years old, RIO also won the grand prize at the Diners Club Social Jazz Session 2013-2014, hosted by renowned jazz musician Lee Ritenour and Blue Note Tokyo.
In addition to his musical talents, RIO is also a bilingual speaker and has been invited to speak at numerous TEDx events, solidifying his reputation as a familiar and respected figure in the industry. He is currently an endorsed artist for Kamaka Ukulele in Hawaii and has participated in the NAMM Show.
RIO has also released several albums in Hawaii, receiving widespread recognition for his work. His compilation album “Island Style Ukulele Vol.2” and the Kamaka Ukulele 100th Anniversary album “Kamaka Ukulele Presents Keep Strumming!” both won the coveted “Na Hoku Hanohano Award,” known as “Hawaii’s Grammy Award”. His album “I~around~” was also nominated as “International Album Of The Year”.
In 2020 and 2021, RIO had the opportunity to perform alongside world-renowned jazz pianist Makoto Ozone, and in 2022 he released his first album “RIO” with jazz guitarist May Inoue as producer. In April 2022, he and his band held a sold-out CD release concert at the prestigious Marunouchi Cotton Club.