Here's your chance to win a storied ukulele built by Dominic Pieranunzio.
The uke has been in the making since 2007, when Dominator promised Aldrine Guerrero that he'd build one to give away on Ukulele Underground. Life intervened, and Dom wasn't able to get around to starting the uke until last year, when he picked up some koa on Kaua'i.
"Before we left the island I went into a T-shirt shop in Kalaheo where this guy was also displaying some koa rocking chairs, boxes etc. he was making. He had some billets of koa staged throughout the shop with price tags on them. I bought a block that would fit in my suitcase and brought it home. I waited for a month or so for it to acclimate to my shop then re-sawed and stickered it and then put it in storage."And then the magic began.
"I finally completed the ukulele in June of this year, the day before we left for Ukulele World Congress in Indiana. I strung it up the night before we left and put a YT video together telling everybody that the uke was finally done and that I would give it away at UU when we returned from UWC. We flew into Michigan to stay a couple of days with my sister before driving to UWC. I knew the uke sounded good when I strung it up but I really didn't get any time to play it before we left.
"When I got up the next morning at my sisters I tuned it up and started playing it and it sounded really good. I think it's my best sounding tenor yet because it has a nice mid-range to it in addition to beautiful bright tones. Now that brings us to UWC.
"I play my two songs and hear it plugged in for the first time. It felt and sounded fantastic. And, of course, I mentioned to everyone after I was done with my second song that this is the uke they can win when I return to California. When I got off stage a few people said that I should not give the uke away because it was magical and I should keep it for myself. They suggested I give away the spruce top that I played during Jake's movie premiere. But I told them that I had already committed to giving it away and that I could not go back on my word."And here's where it gets mystical.
"As my wife and I were discussing this with a few people I also said that even the serial number has UU1 in it because I specifically built the ukulele to give away at UU. I show them the serial number which is D16-T010-UU1. The way I do my numbers is the D16 stands for the total number of ukes I've built of all sizes. The T010 is for the tenth tenor size ukulele I've built and of course the UU1 is for the first ukulele I've given away on UU.
"Well, my wife immediately focuses in on the number and says, "Wait a minute". You see, we've had this anniversary trip to Kauai` planned for over a year. Our Anniversary is on October 16th. So she was blown away that the serial number was our anniversary date. That's when she said that if I want to follow through on my promise to give it away that it would have to wait until after we got back from our anniversary trip.
"She is very spiritual and actually does number readings for people etc. I believe in that stuff also and so we thought it was appropriate to take the finished instrument back to where it was conceived to sort of christen it and gather a little "mojo" by having other local musicians play it etc.
"So after returning from UWC I posted on UU letting everyone know I would be postponing the giveaway until after our trip. I had explained the whole number thing to them in that thread and everyone understood completely.
"And now it's time to give it away to some lucky person."
To enter to win Dom's tenor, you need to register as a member of Ukulele Underground (free and easy). Complete details are here. Contest ends October 27th. Random drawing to be held thereafter.
(Full disclosure: I'm sure as heck putting my name in the hat!)