4 Dec 2011

Ukulele player Bill Tapia dies aged 103

12:00 pm on 4 December 2011

A Hawaiian-born ukulele player believed to be the oldest performing musician in the world has died at the age of 103.

Bill Tapia died at his home in Los Angeles.

His website says he played with the likes of Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby and died just six months after releasing his latest album.

Tapia started his career entertaining troops from World War I and went on to teach ukulele to Hollywood stars, including Clark Gable and Shirley Temple when a ukulele craze hit the United States.

After World War II, he moved to San Francisco and worked for years as a guitar teacher until making a comeback in 2004, aged 96, with the release of a CD featuring jazz and Hawaiian standards.

Tapia was inducted into the Ukulele Hall of Fame in 2004 and continued to tour until 2010.