Teenage Aidan James Made Us Want to Put Our Ukuleles Away

By Greg Olwell

You may have heard Pachelbel’s Canon in D before, but you’ve probably never heard it the way that 14-year-old phenom Aidan James plays it.

In this beautiful and fun clip, James uses his custom Kamaka and a Boss RC-300 Loop Station to stack layers of Pachelbel’s chord progression and melody with James’ percussion into a bouncy, modern version of music that you usually hear in a doctor’s office.


Aidan is up for a Na Hoku Hanohano award in the “Best Performance in a Contemporary Style” category for his album Echoes. The awards will be announced May 28 at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.

(h/t to the Hi*Sessions YouTube channel, which shot this clip, and has many more great Hawaiian performers worth checking out.)