Wednesday, March 31, 2004

11th 'Ukulele Festival of Northern California

Lest we forget, what could be a better afterglow to UkeFestWest than the annual 'ukulele festival in Hayward, CA? It's a wonderful event, and if you're in the area, you really must go! Great for kids because the indoor music sets are short and you can wander outside to jam or peruse the vendors' wares. Local food, shave ono! See you there! Link Discuss

Jake on DVD!

Jake Shimabukaro has released his first DVD. "Play Loud Ukulele" includes concert footage plus...
"A "how to guide" section where Jake takes the viewer on a tour of his many mind-boggling techniques with plenty of detailed instructions. In Part I, Jake gives away his secrets, from the basics of playing the ukulele to the incredible 10 finger strum Jake Special. In Part 2, Jake gives a thorough lesson on how to play the Beatles' classic, "Yesterday"."
Not sure if the DVD is formatted for US players, nor whether it's in English or Japanese. If anyone knows, or has viewed the DVD, please email us! Link Discuss

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

On the Cover of the Rolling, Elderly Catalog

Could that be the Fabulous Heftones on the cover of the Elderly catalog? Sure looks like Brian Hefferan strumming that Flea! Nice shoes, Mr. H. Link Discuss

Put Up Yer Ukes

Ukulelia reader Jackie Manni has started a ukulele thread on LiveJournal:
"It's in its baby stages right now - only 8 members! It's for "all things ukulele" - so pretty much anything goes. We help each other out when we have a problem, talk about neat uke news (your blog has already been cited several times!!!) and I hope to see it grow."
Free registration here. Link

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Understanding Ukulele Chords - Mel Bay

Here's a promising-sounding new ukulele book:
"This book is intended for ukulele players who had some experience with their instruments, but would like to increase their musical ability, as well as for guitarists who like to improve their accompaniment skills on the treble strings of the guitar. There exist many excellent introductory ukulele methods, as well as extensive chord dictionaries. Instead, this book is intended for those players who wish to be able to sight read from a fake book, figure out the chords to a song without a chart, create accompaniments to their own songs, create chord solos, extend their chord vocabulary, or further their understanding of harmony."
The book's author, Robbert van Renesse, sounds like a swell guy and kindred spirit:
"Robbert van Renesse does not play ukulele for a living. He is a research faculty member of the Cornell University Computer Science Department in Ithaca, NY. Born and raised in Amsterdam, he moved to the United States in 1989 where, among many other activities, he began to play swing guitar. Soon thereafter, he joined the Ageless Jazz Band, a 20-piece big band.

Because Robbert frequently travels for his academic work, he wanted a smaller instrument to bring along and amuse himself on trips, and he discovered the joy of the ukulele. Now Robbert can be seen playing the ukulele almost everywhere, even while riding a unicycle at the Ithaca Festival. (Sorry, no tips on playing the uke on a unicycle are offered in this book.)"

Link Discuss

Cigar Box Ukes

Shane Speal, the self-proclaimed "King of the Cigar Box Guitar" and curator of the National Cigar Box Guitar Museum sez:
"I wanted to inform everyone that the national Cigar Box Guitar Collection will be on display at the Cigar Box Guitar Festival this May in Kentucky. The Collection contains several antique cigar box ukes along with an original set of plans from 1931. I'm the curator and will be allowing some hands-on inspection for many of these pieces while I give my seminar.

To download the 1931 set of Cigar Box Uke Plans for yourself (free) [follow this link]. The plans are in the FILES section."

Discuss (via Fleamarket Music)

Flukes Go to War

At least one Hawaiian soldier is taking his Fluke ukulele to the Middle East. Wonder if Dale Webb is considering a "Desert Cami" Fluke design? Link Discuss

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Del Rey in the Press

Brief but interesting article about frequent uke player, Del Rey. Del will be at UkeFestWest with the Yes Yes Boys in April. Link

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Petty Booka at StudioZ

Petty Booka is appearing this Friday, March 26 at StudioZ in San Francisco. They're on the bill with several of Japan’s best all-girl rock, punk and exotica groups as part of the Japanese Girls Nite Invasion US tour. Coincidentally, one of the partners behind StudioZ is my former cow-orker and geek bon vivant Jon Scott Stevens. Link

Uke Fest West Updates

Andy Andrews of the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz sez:

The Ukulele Workshop Schedule for both Friday and Saturday is now posted on the UkeFest West website - check it out !

We now have Single Day Tickets for either
Friday night - which includes the dinner buffet - and the finest of Ukulele stage performances from 6 'til at least midnight!


Saturday which includes another day of incredible Ukulele stage performances from Noon til 6:30, free ukulele workshops from 10am til 4pm and the vendor show and Ukulele raffle (Many incredible ukes will be raffled away Saturday afternoon.) These single day passes are $45 each, or you can still buy the full event UkeFest West Pass. which also includes many Ukulele workshops Friday during the day.

More Saturday night rooms have been made available at the Coast Santa Cruz Hotel - so if you were unable to get a room for Saturday night contact the hotel again as they right now do have a few more Saturday night rooms - there are still about 12 rooms available for Thursday and Friday nights at the incredible $109 rate - call the Coast Santa Cruz Hotel directly at (831) 426-4330 and see photos of the hotel and rooms here. If you are too late to get a room or would like a lower priced hotel suggestion, please contact me for more info.

If you are a fanatical Ukulele music lover like me, you will be pleased to hear that the musical performance on Saturday April 24th has been extended by a couple of hours (until 6:30 PM or so).

The Coast Santa Cruz Hotel will have one of their meeting rooms open to UkeFest West attendees as a "early in the morning 'til late at night" jamming and get-together location for the entire event! It will be available for Ukulele jam sessions and Ukulele yak sessions from Thursday afternoon until late Saturday night! - and the hotel can provide food & drinks room service to this room for all the hours this service is available - Uke until you drop!!

Hoping to see you all here in Santa Cruz April 22-24.

I checked out the workshop schedule and it’s going to be really tough deciding which session to attend. So spread the word! And buy your tickets now so they can finalize planning for the event.

You can contact Andy via email or via phone: Home (831) 688-3540, Cell (408) 828-2131.

Ukulele Realtor

Could she be the only ukulele-playing realtor in Ohio? The world? No way of telling, but she'd have to be a great person to buy a home from, given her instrument of choice... Link

Clay Allen Tonight at C.J. Arthur's

Attention Chicagoland uke fans. Clay Allen will be playing tonight (March 23, 2004) in Wilmette. Aloha, and Go Cubbies! Link

Monday, March 22, 2004

BIG Pineapple

BIG Pineapple plays smooth renditions of contemporary and traditional island favorites that evoke the romantic moods and exotic settings of old Hawaii. Looks like a fun bunch. Link Discuss

I Belli di Waikiki

From the big island of Italy comes Rock 'n' Roll Hula Style with I Belli di Waikiki. The English version of the site seems to be down, but it's still worth a visit. Link Discuss

Hukilau 2004!

Mark your calendars for Hukilau 2004 this September 23-25 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. A Tiki-Licious Time is likely to be had by all. The performer line-up is impressive, so I'll blog the uke-related groups individually. Link Discuss (via BoingBoing)

Katie Cook , A Desert Island, and Her Bari Uke

Katie Cook, host of CMT's "Most Wanted Live" show lists her uke as one of five things she can't live without:
5. My baritone ukulele. My dad gave it to me, and it's what I write with. It's a little smaller than a Baby Taylor and sounds lovely. Hey, if it's good enough for George Harrison!
Link Discuss (Thanks, Jim!)

Friday, March 19, 2004

Formby Centennial Bash

If your're going to be in Frodsham, Cheshire this May, you can attend the George Formby Centennial celebration. And, news to me, George and I share birthdays (May 26), albeit a half-century or so apart. How cool is that? Link Discuss

All Ukes Considered

Nalu Music's Maggie Conry sez:
"...Our CD "Royal Hawaiian
Music," which you have blogged recently, is being
featured on NPR's All Songs Considered this week."
ASC is a service by which you can find out what that great piece of music you heard on ATC the other day was, with links to buy associated CDs. Buying a CD through ATC supports NPR, and, of course, artists like John King. Link Discuss (Thanks, Maggie!)

Thursday, March 18, 2004

The Ukulele Pilots of Constant Strumming!

Behold the web home of the Marin Detachment of the Ukulele Friends Ohana (aka UFO of Marin). Their mission? "Coming together in the Spirit of Aloha to make music and joy through the Ukulele and good Kau Kau." Check out the UFOMusic page, which contains links to dozens of great song tabs. Link Discuss (Thanks, Joe!)

Monday, March 15, 2004

Cubist Uke

Check out Duane Heilman's amazing (and seemingly functional!) Cubist ukulele, here in the Ukulele Freakshow section of Catfish Carl's site. (Scene: Picasso and Braque jamming late into the Parisian night over absinthe. Tristan Tzara overhears them and mistakenly hears them singing "Da-da, Da-da, Da-da da-da, ding ding ding...) Link Discuss

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Bruddah Iz's Rainbow/World

"Numbah tree" on the Ukulelia most-searched-for chords and lyrics chart is Bruddah Iz's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" medley. Here's a page with a link to a pdf. Link Discuss (Thanks, Joe!)

Monday, March 08, 2004

Tonight You Belong to Me

The other song that inquiring Ukulelia readers always seem to want to find the chords and lyrics for is "Tonight You Belong to Me." Personally, my favorite arrangement is in Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Masters: Lyle Ritz. (That's Lyle, btw, playing the uke for Steve Martin in "The Jerk.") Here's another arrangement. Link Discuss

Spongebob Squarepants "F.U.N." Song

Inquiring Ukulelia readers want to know..."where can I find the words and chords to the FUN song sung by Spongebob Squarepants?" Answer: right here! Discuss

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Tribal Ukes

Fluke ukulele fan John Gonzales is creating custom airbrushed Flukes and Fleas. His first design is called "Tribal Sun." Very cool! Link Discuss

Monday, March 01, 2004

Grandpa's Ukulele

Singer/Songwriter Michael Jerling penned this song about a stolen ukulele that captures not only the angst of losing a family heirloom, but the perfect comeuppance for all ukulele thieves. Link Discuss
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