Friday, July 29, 2005

Annual Ukulele Festival of Hawaii

It's the 35th Annual Ukulele Festival at the Kapiolani Park Bandstand this Sunday, July 31. If you're going, just know that I'm very, very jealous. Link

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The first International Ukulele Ceilidh

The first International Ukulele Ceilidh will be held in Liverpool Nova Scotia, Oct. 7-9 Featuring the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Info at or call 902-356-3378

Friday, July 22, 2005

Global Ukulele Odyssey Benefit Concert

Mike DaSilva is also hosting a benefit concert for Randall Wright's upcoming Global Ukulele Odyssey tomorrow, July 23, 2005:

"One man, one ukulele. Randall will be traveling to Taiwan, China and India to learn and translate regional indigenous musics through the ukulele and explore the contemporarization of such musics into pop, blues and rock formats. Come support the kickoff to his monumental journey. For more information please visit Global Ukulele.
Information on the DaSilva concert venue is here.

Bay Area Workshops with Byron Yasui

Ukulelia pal and luthier Mike DaSilva wrote to let us know that Dr. Byron Yasui (left) will be in the San Francisco Bay Area and conducting a series of worshops--from beginner to advanced--between July 29 and 31.

Complete details on Mike's site. Don't miss it! Link

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Country songbook

 Images P 1423401220.01. Sclzzzzzzz I just got the latest ukulele songbook from Jim Beloff, called Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Country and I've been having a great time with it. Ukuleles aren't usually associated with country music, and in my opinion, that's a crying shame. Ukuleles should have been required equipment for the open range. The 36 old-time country songs (by masters of the genre such as Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, and Gene Autry) in this book sound great on the ukulele, even with me playing it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

1970 "art" movie "Multiple SIDosis" features ukulele

Picture 5-6
Steve says: "Here is a ukulele movie you might like... It's the only home
movie to be inducted into the National Registry..."

Dopyera Collection - National Steel Body Ukulele

Check out this pear-shaped 1929 National Tricone ukulele. It's for sale at Elderly Instruments. But there's a catch. To get the uke, you have to buy the entire resonator collection of John and Rudy Dopyera, brothers and creators of Dobro instruments. Link

Weird News of the Uke

Uke playing three-year-old's national anthem-singing career abruptly ended by father's second place finish in tractor pull. Link

Gabby La La

Petty Booka meets Primus? You be the judge. According to today's review in the San Francisco Weekly,
"La La plays sprightly ukulele, sitar, accordion, toy piano, theremin, and Afropop guitar; [Primus's Les] Claypool provides a thumping bottom end on bass, drums, and percussion. Granted, the tunes may sound a bit peculiar at first, but closer attention reveals gems of pop merriment, variously catchy or groovy, with spare, elegant arrangements and an overall feeling akin to a children's game, like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, which despite its veneer of strange discombobulation is basically wholesome fun."

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

'The Jerk: 26th Anniversary Special Edition' DVD

This new anniversary DVD of Steve Martin's "The Jerk" includes a bonus feature in which none other than the enticing Miss Janet Klein will teach you how to play "Tonight You Belong to Me". Yowzah! Link

Behold the iUke

Andy Ihnatko presented a ukuele with a USB port at this week's Macworld. iGuitar built it for him. Andy promises to upload some sound samples soon.

Picture 12
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the iUke: a tenor-scale ukulele with an integrated USB port. Plug this uke into a Mac and GarageBand will see it as a standard digital audio device, without any additional boxes, adapters or special cables needed.


UPDATE: Not to be confused with the iPod Flea!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Article about Kamaka ukulele factory

 2005 07 17 Travel Art1A
The Honolulu-Star Bulleten has a short article about Kamaka ukuleles, the oldest surviving uke-factory in the world. They've been in business since 1916.

Made of resonant curly koa and crafted mostly by hearing-impaired employees whose sense of touch is attuned to the natural vibrations of the expensive wood, Kamaka ukuleles are not cheap and there's a long waiting list to buy one. With proper care, they last forever.

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Red Uke

Heading to the Oregon Country Fair in Eugene this weekend? Check out this vaudeville review on Stage Left, starring Dusty Rhodes, Darcy DuRuz, Phina Pipia, Noodlini, Nanda, Stage Left Dancers and more." Link

Exotica in Chicago this Weekend

Uke music will be in abundance at Exotica 2005, July 7 - 10 in the Windy City. (Chicago Dogs Have Fleas?) Link

Friday, July 01, 2005

Journalist Saves Uke Class

Cincinnati Enquirer staff writer Maggie Downs writes about how she single-handedly saved the uke class offered by the University of Cincinnati's Communiversity. Link
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