Friday, June 29, 2012

Warren Buffett & Jon Bon Jovi: A Ukulele Duet For Charity

Here's a video of Warren Buffett and Jon Bon Jovi performing The Glory of Love at  Tuesday's Forbes 400 Summit on Charity. I knew that Warren was a generous man (what uke player isn't?), but JBJ? He topped Forbes' list this year of celebrities who generated publicity value for charity. (An interesting metric that demonstrates the star's commitment to their cause rather than sheer dollar value of contributions.

While we're (only slightly) disappointed that Warren did not bring out the Dairy Queen uke for the event, we're delighted to see that he's sporting a new Kala ukulele. A nice choice from what is also a very generous organization.

The song choice for the WBJBJ performance? Sez Mr. B:

“The first line of ‘The Glory of Love,’ incidentally, is ‘You’ve got to give a little.’  So I think it’s quite appropriate for the occasion.”

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ukulele Dream Party

Here's an opportunity for Bay Area ukers to get involved with a participatory art project.

Frankenart Mart has planned a Ukulele Dream Party for July 21st, and is looking for folks to help out.

Sez Leslie Henslee,
"The ukulele lesson/party is part of a show we are hosting here at Frankenart Mart in San Francisco.  Our current theme at the mart is the Stock Market for which we started Dream Trade.  We chose 4 people's dreams to invest in and enact - one of these is a Ukulele Lesson/ Party that we plan to host on July 21 (time TBD).  Part of the dream is to have ukes on hand for people to play, a lesson, a play-in, as well as the possibility of a build your own uke workshop. We need all the help we can muster, so all are welcome to help make this dream come true.
Frankenart Mart is a small, participatory, always in progress, crudely-hewn conceptual art-in-practice store that hosts changing themes, hot dog days, and two cats in San Francisco.  Basically, we host a theme for 3 months that is open to everyone’s participation, exploration, and response. Art, writing, music, dance, performance, lectures, ongoing projects, food, you name it - we welcome it, as long as it responds to the theme. We encourage folks to make their works here on site as well as experimental, interactive, and ongoing projects. Our themed shows grow as more people participate, collaborate, create and exchange over the course of the theme."
Investments needed: ukuleles, ukulele builders, ukulele teachers, ukulele players.

Sound like an intriguing project to you? Contact them at frankenart (at) gmail (dot) com.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Teaser Video for Jake Shimabukuro's New Ukulele Album

Ukulelia Founding Editor Mark Frauenfelder posted a video promoting Jake's upcoming album (produced by Alan Parsons) on Boing Boing. Link

Opihi Man - Ka`au Crater Boys (Cover) Dominator & RussBuss

Dominator channeling Troy Fernandez. Dig it! Tab of solos here.

Alex Glasser and the Aqua Teen Hunger Uke

The Fretboard Journal has a nice write-up on Alex Glasser and the custom Martin-style uke he built for voice actor Dana Snyder. It features inlays of of Master Shake and Granny from Aqua Teen and Squidbillies, respectively. Photos and more info on FJLink

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Wyandotte Ukulele Workshops

A message from Rob Bourassa about the ukulele workshops and sing-along this Saturday, June 23 in Wyandotte, Michigan. Sorry, muskrat is out of season.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kamakas to be Inducted in the Ukulele Hall of Fame

Sam Kamaka, Jr. and Fred Kamaka, Sr. will be inducted into the Ukulele Hall of Fame on July 20th. Details on the gala event at the link. Link

Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Schoenhut Ukulele Update

We've been in contact with Dale Webb regarding the Schoenhut Flea copies (see previous post, below). Here's an update from Dale:

"We appreciate everyone’s concern regarding the Schoenhut Flea copies found on the internet. We have been in communication with them for some time with the understanding that the new ukes would not be sold until we resolved our relationship. Unfortunately a small number of ukes got shipped to sellers by mistake. We are in the middle of discussions intending to reach an agreement that benefits both companies and allows Schoenhut to produce and sell a toy version of the Flea ukulele. We have had a sample here for evaluation for a number of weeks. Despite major differences between it and the Flea we make here in the U.S., it is a playable instrument and well suited to the toy market for which it was intended."
Hope this results in a win for everyone concerned.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Schoenhut Flea Copies

Schoenhut, makers of toy pianos, is marketing knock-off copies of Dale Webb's wonderful Flea Ukulele. Made in China (real Fleas are made by the Magic Fluke Company in the USA), Schoenhut's copies sell for around $30 at various online retailers. Compare that to the starting price for real Fleas at $180 (and most are much more), and it begins to spell real trouble for Dale.

Ukisociety Jones has a comparison posted on Ukulele Underground, along with a sound comparison here. The sound of the real Flea is superior, but it'll be hard to convince the average consumer that it's worth an additional $140.

The availability of high quality Chinese-made ukes has undoubtedly fanned the flames of the ukulele's current popularity. But this move is pretty shameless, IMHO. Link

Monday, June 04, 2012

Hey East Bay: Play Ukulele By Ear!

Attention SF Bay Area ukers. Head over to Lamorinda Music (my hometown store) on Saturday, June 9th for Jim D'Ville's Play Ukulele by Ear workshop. Start time is 4pm. You'll want to call the store ahead of time to let us know you're coming. (There's lots of room; we just need to know where to set up.) Link
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