Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jon Favreau Plays Ukulele on Jimmy Kimmel Live

You can add Jon Favreau to your Hollywood celebrity uker list!

(Via Uke Hunt)

Please Vote for CJ!

Meet Caroline Joy Alegre. She's been selected by Rolling Stone to compete for a chance to appear at the Rolling Stone Rock Room in Austin, TX. She also happens to be one of my son Garrison's teachers at the amazing Via Center school in Berkeley, CA.

Please vote for Caroline Joy at this link.

CJ is also appearing this weekend in Chico, CA at Bustlino's along with the Fabu Uni and her Ukelele. Link

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A-List Uker Ralph Shaw

Just watched the movie remake of The A-Team tonight. Nice little ukulele cameo by none other than Ralph Shaw. Nice one, sir! (I hope you remembered to get a percentage of the gross rather than the net.) Link

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ukulele Blues

Ukulele Blues, written by May Singhi Breen, Samuel Kors, and Claude Lapham, performed by the International Novelty Orchestra in 1924. Miss Breen on uke. Link

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Utterly Butterly Ukulele Project

The margarine tub uke held unconvincingly by Prince Charles (below) appears to be from the Utterly Butterly Ukulele Project. TUBUP puts on workshops in which kids (and adults) can make their own ukuleles. (Utterly Butterly is a British packaged foods brand. Years ago they had their own wing-walking team.)

A while back I corresponded with Steve Nutter (yes, that's his name) about the project:
"TUBUP is a bonkers project that seems to be taking on a life of it's own since we started it in May last year. It seems that it's not just about kids either...adults seem to have as much fun with the project as well! We're not directly connected with Utterly Butterly, although they provide us with their reject tubs, and let us use the name. Good marketing for them I suppose! They have contributed financially to a few "one off" gigs that we've done, like Children in need Cardiff. The great thing is that the ukes actually work really well and it's fab fun!"
More information, including sounds, video, and instructions for making your own margarine tub uke are at this link.

Speaking of Royalty

Here's Prince Charles playing a margarine tub uke. Link

Her Majesty, Phoebe Davis

Uker, educator, and luthier Geoff Davis's daugher Phoebe was recently crowned Hamilton County (Indiana) 4-H Fair Queen. Proud Papa Geoff sez that Phoebe didn't get to show off her ukulele playing to the judges because they eliminated the talent portion of the contest this year.

Here's a nice profile of Phoebe, which, befittingly, spotlights her uke playing. Link

Congratulations, Your Majesty!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Tonight You Belong to Me"

I'm thrilled that Eddie Vedder covered (with Cat Powers) the old chestnut "Tonight You Belong to Me" on his Ukulele Songs CD. I'm hoping that its inclusion will help the latest generation of uke players discover the goldmine of early 20th Century music, rather than getting stuck on "Hey Soul Sister."

But I'm even more thrilled about this video of Ukulele Sweetheart Zooey Deschanel (and Ben Schwartz). I do believe this is the first video we've posted of Zooey actually playing. Her arrangement sounds much like the one Vedder plays. (Anyone have a copy?).

Also, here's a link to a post on TwentyFourBit with videos of versions by Steve Martin & Bernadette Peters (from The Jerk), and Fiona Apple & Jon Brion. Link

James Hill Makes "The Defamer"

The Defamer today calls James Hill "The World's Greatest Ukulele Player." I'm not sure that we should bother debating who's the best player in the world, but it is refreshing to see someone other than Jake and EV being lauded by the outside world. Link

Sunday, July 10, 2011

National Uke Event Calendar

Play Uke has a great calendar covering US ukulele events. Contributions are encouraged, and they have a submission protocol to vet requests. Worth bookmarking and checking frequently. Link

Left-Handed Uke Chord Chart

Attention Sinistral Strummers: Mel Bay now has a chart of left-handed chords. Link

Tofukulele Lego Uke

I don't know why you'd want one, but if you do, Elderly has two fretless Tofukuleles constructed out of Lego. Link

And while we're on the subject, here's another.
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