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Nov 15 2023

In Search of the Quintessential Composition: A Life in Music with Daniel Ho

lectures-symposia, world-music
Lani Hall

Daniel Ho, Composer
UCLA Regents' Lecturer 

Regents’ Lecturer and six-time GRAMMY Award winner Daniel Ho will talk about defining moments in his musical career. He will share inspirations behind his compositions, music business experiences, and how his foundations in music theory and requisite skills in production have contributed to his sound and style. Context is everything—from his professional debut on piano in his top ten charting contemporary jazz band Kilauea, to navigating Hawaiian music identity, to foraying into the classical guitar world with Pepe Romero, to singing Nothing Compares 2U in the feature film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, to wading through the ethics of preserving traditional musics of indigenous cultures, to his latest Afrobeat collaboration with Ugandan superstar Eddy Kenzo—Daniel’s passion for learning and being adaptable has allowed him to stay true to himself and find happiness in music. This presentation will also include live performance to illustrate these elements with recorder accompaniment by Daniel’s good friend and the Department of Ethnomusicology’s own Dr. Helen Rees.

Native to Honolulu and based in Los Angeles, Daniel Ho is a composer, arranger, singer-songwriter, producer, audio engineer, and record company owner. He is a six-time GRAMMY® Award winner, twelve-time GRAMMY® nominee, six-time Taiwanese Golden Melody Award winner, and recipient of multiple Hawaiian music honors. Daniel’s recordings span original compositions, world music with Taiwanese aboriginals and Mongolian nomads, duets with Pepe Romero the maestro of classical guitar, jazz and rock with Tak Matsumoto of the Japanese supergroup, B’z, and Afrobeats with Ugandan superstar Eddy Kenzo. His music has been featured in film and television (The Descendants, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Waterman, Hawaiʻi Five-0, NCIS: Hawaiʻi). As an artist and clinician, Daniel travels the world sharing his music and knowledge on ʻukulele, Hawaiian slack key guitar and piano. Always learning and innovating, he is the co-designer of the Romero Creations Tiny Tenor ‘ukulele, and Ohana Bongolele and Shakerlele percussion instruments. His custom-designed ‘ukulele is currently on display at the GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live. Daniel’s latest passion is in filming and video editing, which gives him the ability to support his compositions with personally-curated visuals.

This event is part of Daniel Ho's residency at UCLA as a University of California Regents’ Lecturer.


Like most of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s programs, this event is FREE! Register in advance for this event via the link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.  Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Early arrival is recommended. Registrants receive priority up until 15 minutes before the event.

While Inside the Venue:

No Food or Drink allowed in the building.


This event is FREE! No RSVP required. Early arrival is recommended.


Self-service parking is available at UCLA’s Parking Structure #2 for events in Schoenberg Music Building and the Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center. Costs range from $4 for 1 hour to $15 for all day. Evening rates (after 4 p.m.) are $3-$5 for 1 to 2 hours and $10 for all night. Learn more about campus parking.


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is eager to provide a variety of accommodations and services for access and communications. If you would like to request accommodations, please do so 10 days in advance of the event by emailing ADA@schoolofmusic.ucla.edu or calling (310) 825-0174.


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music welcomes visitors to take non‐flash, personal‐use photography except where noted. Share your images with us @UCLAalpert / #UCLAalpert on Twitter + Instagram + Facebook


Food and drink may not be carried into the theaters. Thank you!


The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.