Masafumi Sakai

Born in 1966 in Shizuoka, Japan, near the majestic Mt. Fuji, Sakai's childhood was immersed in nature and creativity. His early love for drawing and art was nurtured through winning municipal and prefectural sketch competitions as an elementary student. The educational system in junior high further broadened his artistic horizon through poetry, wildflower painting, and nature observation.

In 1988, Sakai embarked on his musical journey as a professional guitarist in Tokyo, playing at various venues until 1995. He performed at the renowned "Blue Bird" cabaret in Kawasaki city, marking the start of a vibrant musical career.

Moving to New York City in 1995, Sakai joined his music teacher's staff and delved into the world of modern and contemporary art. Influenced by pop artist MR GOTO and other New York artists, he participated in group exhibitions and began to make a name for himself in the art scene. However, his passion for music took center stage, leading him to explore blues, jazz, and Bossa Nova, eventually becoming a sought-after musician and ukulele player.

After years of musical focus, Sakai returned to painting in 2021, quickly gaining acclaim with his SAKAI ART Show. His paintings, vibrant with color and emotion, reflect a life rich in experiences and cultural influences.

As the Music Director at Ukehut, New York City's only ukulele specialty store, Sakai has dedicated himself to nurturing talent and sharing his love for music and art. He organizes concerts, teaches ukulele, and continues to inspire with his artistic exhibitions and performances.

Sakai's journey has seen performances in esteemed venues from Tokyo to New York, including Carnegie Hall, Washington Square Park, and Madison Square Garden. Collaborating with artists across genres, he has left an indelible mark on both the music and art worlds.

With a career spanning over three decades, Sakai has evolved from a young artist inspired by Mt. Fuji's natural beauty to a multifaceted musician and painter celebrated in both Japan and the United States. His ongoing contributions to music, art, and education continue to enrich the cultural tapestry of every community he touches.