Tuesday, February 28, 2006
UKULELE CASTING CALL Saturday March 4
NY Uke Fest presents 4 concert readings of the new musical comedy “Ukulele 2079” at NY Uke Fest April 27-30. Set in 2079, it follows three young musicians on their way to the top. Rehearsals April 24, 25, 26 in Manhattan. All must must play ukulele and sing.
If you know any uke-swinging actors or actresses in the NYC area, please tell them about this opportunity.
JULIE -- young woman who plays ukulele and sings, any ethnicity, the type of gal who’s fine toeing the corporate line, as long as she can twist her kinks on the side.
TAIS -- young woman who plays ukulele and sings, any ethnicity; a combo of insouciance and drive
MAX -- young man who sings and plays ukulele, any ethnicity; he’s in love with love and music.
PETE -- middle-aged, edgy character who plays ukulele and sings. He has a secret to share. any ethnicity
Auditions at Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue (corner of 10th St), NY NY.
Saturday March 4, 2006 2pm - 5 pm. Be prepared to accompany yourself on uke or another stringed instruments, as you sing a song of 2 - 3 minutes length. Have other songs ready. Have a non-musical monologue of your choice of 1 - 3 minutes length
If you're looking to (heaven forbid!) give up the guilty pleasures of the ukulele for Lent, you might consider temporarily switching to the ocarina. Like the uke, the ocarina has a range of just over an octave, making it perfect to noodle your favorite uke tunes to.
All of this is said (with all due respect to our brother and sister ocarina players) with tongue firmly in cheek. I just needed an excuse to blog off topic to point you toward this amazing combo: the Chuckerbutty Ocarina Quartet. The Chuckerbutties are named after Anglo-Indian composer and organist Oliphant Chuckerbutty (1884-1960). One of the ringleaders is Michael Copley, who you might remember from the classic duo, the "Cambridge Buskers."
I'm thinking that their rendition of Offenbach's 'Can-Can' would make a perfect ringtone! Enjoy! Link
Friday, February 24, 2006
Linda Grist D'Ville dropped us a line today:
"A new ukulele association has formed east of Portland, Oregon. The Columbia River Gorge Ukulele Association had its initial meeting on Sunday, February 12 at the Troutdale General Store in downtown Troutdale,Oregon. Meetings are hosted by Francis Doo, of Hawaiian Charm fame and Jim D'Ville, manager of the ukulele department at Artichoke Music in Portland. No experience needed. Come to play or just to listen. Great coffee and food available at the store. For more information contact Jim at 503-661-5099 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Next meeting is Sunday, March 12, 3 to 4:30 pm. The group is already planning its first ukulele festival, The Columbia River Gorge Ukulele Festival will be held on Sunday, June 25, 2006 in Hood River, Oregon in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Acts for the evening concert will include James Hill, Ralph Shaw, Caravan Gogh, Hapa-Hillbillies, Hawaiian Charm and the Westside 5th Grade Ukulele Band. More information to follow."Gorgeous logo, natch. (Thanks, Linda!)
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Monday, February 20, 2006
My benchmate at Gryphon on Saturday (see post, below) was the charming and talented Jayme Kelly Curtis. Jayme is a singer/songwriter of the "metaphysical blues and folkloric jazz" variety, and is otherwise known as Miss Mona Lott in the Santa Cruz duo "Uke Be A Lady."
I had the distinct pleasure of attending a workshop with Lil' Rev on Saturday at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto. If you're looking for lessons that will take you from simply strumming the chords to reading tablature and more advanced strumming techniques, I highly recommend Lil' Rev's class.
He's also just written a beginner's instruction book that would make the perfect complement to a gift uke for a new player. What I like best about Lil' Rev's book is that it comes with a CD so you can hear what the various techniques are supposed to sound like. I spent years trying to figure out exactly what a "roll stroke" should really sound like. Now future generations of ukers will be spared! Link
I'd also like to send a big Aloha to everyone who attended the workshop with me. Welcome to Ukulelia. Poke around and enjoy!
Friday, February 17, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
The Fretboard journal has pix of Al Dodge's custom copy of a Jose do Espirito Santo concert. What a beauty. And if I'm putting 2 and 2 together correctly today, this would have been built by Mike DaSilva. I had the rare pleasure of actually holding an original Santo at Mike's several months ago, and he was in the process of studying its construction for Al. Stay tuned, because I believe this is only one of three different Santo replicas that Al and Mike will be building. Link
UPDATE: Michael Simmons over at the Fretboard Journal wrote to set us straight on Al's uke:
"Actually, Al Dodge made that Santo-style uke on his own, based on his own ideas. He's a pal of Mike DaSilva's, and used some of the tools in Mike's shop, but all of the design and execution is Al's own work. Mike has been experimenting with making a couple of Santo-style ukes, but his are sopranos while the one in the photos is a concert. Al is a skilled builder who has been making ukes for years under the Kaleponi label. (I own a Dodge-made Kaleponi concert, sort of a Martin-style, which is my main uke and one of the finest instruments I've ever played.) If anything, Al is the guy who suggested to Mike that he look to the older pre-1915 designs for inspiration and I suspect he arranged for Mike to get his hands on the Santo that you got to see at the workshop. The uke in my photos is an Al Dodge-made instrument, but it's quite likely that Al and Mike will collaborate on instruments in the future. I hope you can update your post to reflect all of this."(Thanks, Michael!)
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
"I didn't exactly expect a response, but I thought I might get one," she says. "The ukulele is all we share. I certainly don't have his billions."The article includes a link to a video of Ebby strumming and singing her own version of "Happy Days Are Here Again."Link (free subscription required)
Thursday, February 09, 2006
If you tend to be the jealous type, I highly recommend that you never, ever click on this link. Link