Friday, July 23, 2004
Grammy award R&B vocalist James Ingram
Troy Fernandez (of the Ka’au Crater Boys)
James Hill (Canada)
Yuji Igarashi (Japan)
Da Hawaii Seniors Club of Cerritos (California)
Kaoru Kohonoike & KK Hawaiian Groove (Japan)
Roy Sakuma 800-piece Ukulele Band
Nice profile of festival founder/sponsor Roy Sakuma yesterday in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, too. Link
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
"thanks for the email. and it is true i am making ukes again. hope you like the pic. this instrument really sounds incredible, much more than expected, and is very easy to play. unlike the double neck guitar i made for Roland Cazimero, because its so small. am considering making the soundhole smaller however not much smaller as this uke has a hugh, rich sound that i don't want to restrict. my good friend larry ramos, of the new christies and the association, is having me make the next, with a spruce top. larry, or "little larry" as he is known here, won the aurther godfry ukulele contest when he was 6 yrs old and after that the family moved to calif. and the rest is history. i'll be getting more pics on the website shortly. mahalo for the inquirery and come visit if your ever on the island..."Who could say no? Link (Thanks, Ukulele Earle!)
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
I asked Jim for an update on the event, and he sent me this link to the event site. Did he know who the lady was that I met? "I don't know who the person at the Cape was, but heh, I'm the only uker in town."
His CD Facing Future is also the number one selling album among Microsoft employees, according to Amazon. Link
"Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's medley of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" has consistently been on iTunes' list of the top 100 songs sold since it debuted in the store in December. Recently, the song held spot No. 73, ahead of Jessica Simpson's "Take My Breath Away" (81) and Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" (82). "
Monday, July 19, 2004
"Billy was in my band in '52,'53,'54 when we did a weekly live remote show from The Ali Baba Ballroom in Oakland over San Francisco Channel 7. He played guitar and steel mostly, but I used to feature him playing his Ukulele and singing on the front edge of the bandstand with a coconut hat. He got most of the fan mail ! He uses a picture of that scene with my band for his promo material still today...
"I'll contact the documentary film people about Bill Tapia and some of the zany musical acts we did with him. If he keeps playing I'm sure he'll make it past 100. I'm supposed to go down for his birthday party on New Years Day.
Ken still plays today in The Certificates, a Bay-Area-based swing band that recently released their first CD (available on their site).
"I'm doing more playing of Uke than I do my Sax and Clarinet nowadays. I'm teaching it to my 7 year old grandson and I took him to Santa Cruz Uke Festival last month to be with Billy and he won the Martin Ukulele being raffled !!"(Lucky kid!)
"I imagine you follow all the good stuff Jim Beloff is doing for Uke playing just like I do. Nice reading your comments."Well, thank you, Ken!
Alan Edelstein showed his half-hour Oscar nominated documentary (Best Documentary, Short Subjects, 1986) titled "Wizard of the Strings." The tiny room at the back of Barbes was filled to capacity with about 35 people, a few packing ukes.Thanks, Joe!
The film was delightful, with clips of Smeck performing on film in the 1920s and interviewed in 1983. It was a treat to see Smeck paying in his early 80s, accompanied on guitar by Mel Bay (!). Gene Autry appeared to explain what a big influence Smeck was on cowboy stars of the era.
Edelstein explained to the Barbes audience that he'd been a fan of blues and other niche music in college and was surprised to discover a recording by Smeck, whom he'd never heard of. He found Smeck in the phone book, living in Manhattan, and was delighted to discover that Smeck had preserved a trove of old films -- at that point Edelstein knew he had a documentary. At the same time, Edelstein and his partner found Smeck frustrating as a documentary subject -- like many old-time and vaudeville performers, Smeck repeated favorite anectdotes and was not very reflective for the camera. Smeck died in 1994, but Edelstein stayed in touch with his widow, Kay until her death.
After the film, guitarist Elliott Sharp performed some of his compositions -- there was little connection to Smeck, but Sharp was as amazing as always.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
A special tribute to ROY SMECK: Vaudevillian, master of the soprano Ukulele and all around entertainer with a special screening of Alan Edelstein's documentary: Wizard of the Strings presented by the director - with Elliott Sharp and more performers tba.Link (Thanks, Joe!)
Here is their page of uke-related items. Actually, only one at the time of this posting, but it does include a link to an mp3 of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain's "Wonderful Land."
"Rummage Through The Crevices is a weekly community radio segment (Friday mornings, 2SER-FM, Sydney, Australia) devoted to offbeat and outsider music, less travelled paths of global pop, music-sharing activists, notable and unusual online mp3 repositories, etc. This webloggy thing is its online companion.
Thursday, July 08, 2004
"'Coffee Pot' is the first song we wrote incorporating the uke, butMr Mediocrity's uke player extrordinaire, Peter Remiger, has graciously posted tabs, lyrics, and chords on the band's site. Brew yourself a pot of Peet's and Uke Baby Uke!...Link (Thanks, Joe and Peter!)
I'm sure the future will bring more works featuring the ukulele. Very soon
we'll have a fresh recording of "Coffee Pot, along with a couple new pieces
which we're very excited about recording. "
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
"For the first 3 weeks of every month I'll accept your nominations of someone you think would benefit from a DaSilva ukulele. And I want to know why. Maybe they deserve a simple token of appreciation from the ukulele community. Or a new instrument will inspire their musical talents. Or a quality ukulele would just light up their day. Then, at the end of the month, I will choose someone and send them a DaSilva ukulele. Free. No strings attached.It's kind of a MacArthur Genius Grant for uke players! Link
This is not a popularity contest. Nor a hard-luck reward. Great stories, fun reasons, inspirational situations and out-of-the-box thinking is what I am looking for. Once the ukulele is delivered, it will be theirs to own, or pass on as they see fit. Just like many of the ukuleles I own are enjoying multiple lives, I hope DaSilva ukuleles have a long useful lifetime.
Please visit the website for more information. I will post updates on the process during the month, including great ukulele stories and construction photos of the giveaway uke."
Thursday, July 01, 2004