Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gary Zimnicki's Sweet Ukes…from Abandoned Homes




Here's luthier Gary Zimnicki talking about building the instruments he's making out of the wood from abandoned housed in Detroit. Proud to say that I helped him with this idea (in the video he credits his son and "a friend"--I suspect I'm "the friend"). And thrilled to hear Gary's reclaimed wood ukulele played by Rob Bourassa.

More at the article on Detroit Performs.

Gary Zimnicki's Sweet Ukes…from Abandoned Homes





Here's luthier Gary Zimnicki talking about building the instruments he's making out of the wood from abandoned housed in Detroit. Proud to say that I helped him with this idea (in the video he credits his son and "a friend"--I suspect I'm "the friend"). And thrilled to hear Gary's reclaimed wood ukulele played by Rob Bourassa.



More at the article on Detroit Performs.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Still Time to Catch Rev in California

Catching up on a few things. Missed a few dates (apologies, Rev) but there's still time to catch Lil' Rev on his 2014 California tour. Make the trip: you won't regret it.



Modesto on the 11th (Workshop and concert w/ The Fun Strummers)

Grass Valley on the 12th  (House Concert @ Dan Scanlan’s)

Sacramento on the 13 of March  (Workshop and Concert at The Strum Shop)


Home

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Outdoor Ukulele BOGO





This is cool: be among the first 200 to pre-order an Outdoor Ukulele tenor model and they'll include a matching soprano with your order. $150 for two ukes!



Link

Sunday, February 16, 2014

'Til the Plows Come Home





Rachel Manke chills out with her spin on Jack Little and Joe Young's "I 'Wanna' Count Sheep - Till the Cows Come Home".

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Wheels on the (Tech) Bus

Here in Ukuleliastan, there are storm clouds brewing over the big Silicon Valley tech companies providing free bus service to employees. I caught this animated political cartoon by Mark Fiore and immediately recognized the singer and uker as the inimitable Ukulady, Thessaly LernerLink

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Ukulele Restoration Barn

Simon has restored more banjo ukuleles than you probably thought existed on the planet. Many lovely resurrections within. Link

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Ukulele Joe Thomas


Meet Omaha's second most famous–and until now, mostly mysterious–ukulele player, Ukulele Joe Thomas.

Ukulele documentarian (rockumentarian? ukumentarian?Bill Robertson has been searching for information on Mr. Thomas for 11 years. He finally heard back from the Douglas County [Nebraska] Historical Society yesterday. From the Society's facebook page:
"Let me introduce you to Ukulele Joe Thomas, a native of New Orleans and longtime Omahan, where he worked as private chef for the Union Pacific, often for the organization's top management when they traveled. 
Joe was also a musician, singer, and songwriter, and on his travels with UP frequently appeared at radio stations along his route. He and his ukulele appeared constantly on Omaha radio from the 1930 to the 1950s. 
Locally, Ukulele Joe was known as the "singing chef," and he had turned his entire home kitchen into an impromptu concert hall."
Link

(h/t Wm Preston Robertson)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Aaron Kuehn - Ukulele Typogram

Artist Aaron Kuehn has created a clever typogram: an illustration of a ukulele almost entirely out of type. Sez Aaron:
"A tiny mas­ter­piece of typo­lutherie, the UKULELE TYPOGRAM tunes and con­di­tions your ‘uke-abulary, and upgrades the orthog­ra­phy of chord shapes for aspir­ing vir­tu­osi. A muse for the re-entranted."
.pdf files of the art are available for $5. Check it out.

Link

Licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Stien Bovijn


Meet the mysterious Stien Bovijn, Belgian beatboxer and ukulele chanteuse. We haven't found much about her, but she has a lovely voice. Her tracks "17" and "Slow Down" are real standouts. Listen here.

Photo credit: Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

Magic Fluke Ukuleles and Violins


Finally! The Magic Fluke Company, makers of the terrific Fluke, Flea, and Firefly ukes now has a website. They're making violins now, too. Say Hi to Phyllis and Dale Webb.

Link

Thursday, January 23, 2014

S'Wonderful, Mr. Godfrey



Having a stressful week. This helped. Hope it does for you, too.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rhymes With "Darling" Ukers

Check out this charming shot by Spidra Webster from the recent Cheap Suit Serenaders show at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley. Link

Do these kids remind you of Jeremy and Jemima from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? They do me.

This impressive duet must have certainly been a tough act to follow. That's Ukulelia Perfesser Emirates Robert Armstrong on the musical bedpan behind them.

I checked with the kids' mom, who tells me that video of their performance was shot, but didn't make the grade. As a consolation, imagine they're every bit as good as Joel Eckhaus and (pastor) Rachel Manke. (I'm certain they were.)





The Jamie Oliver of Music Education?


Richmond, VA based music educator Samson Trinh hopes to become the Jamie Oliver of music education. And the uke's his stock pot.

Check out this nice profile of Samson and his Uke'N'Roll program in today's USA Today.

And learn more about Samson's programs on his website.

Happy cooking, Samson!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Booming Business of Ukuleles

The (ahem) idiot-proof ukulele is being credited with boosting small, independent music stores across the country. Read all about it in this CNN Money report, which also features a nice video interview of uke maker Mike DaSilvaLink
 
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