Monday, May 27, 2013

Ho'omaika'i 'Ana, Brittni!

Congratulations to Brittni Paiva, winner of two Na Hoku Hanohano awards for 2013. Brittni received top honors for Instrumental Composition (Tell U What, from the album of the same name) and Ukulele Album (also for Tell U What). Link

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stars and Stripes Forever

Thinking about Memorial Day, John Phillip Sousa's march Stars and Stripes Forever has been running through my brain.

The march's trio is a ukulele classic, and has been a signature piece for many players throughout ukulele history (composed in 1897, the ukulele's 18th year). The first reference I've found to its ukulele performance is in 1910, by Antonio Abreu Santos (aka "Batata" or "Potato") who played it to great effect at a performance at the Honolulu YMCA. (This, from Jim Tranquada and John King's seminal The 'Ukulele, a History, and, if you don't own a copy, go to your local bookstore and buy/order a copy now.)

Other notable versions have been played and arranged by Bill Tapia (who at 10, played it for WWI troups in Hawaii), Jesse Kalima, Roy Smeck, and Bobby Henshaw, and others.

Here are links to reference recordings, videos and tabs. If you know of any others, please leave a comment and I'll add them here. In particular, if know of a tab for Bill Tapia's Stars and Stripes/Sweethearts on Parade medley, let me know with all speed and I will be forever in your debt. It's my personal favorite among the bunch. (Bonus points if you've worked out Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.)

Bill Tapia

Roy Smeck 
(Smeck student Vincent Cortese plays Roy's version)

Jesse Kalima

Bobby "Uke" Henshaw

Jake Shimabukuro

Balsa Bill Yerkes


Sunday, May 12, 2013

2013 Ka Palapala Poʻokela WINNERS! | Hawaii Book Blog

Jim Tranquada and John King's definitive history of the ukulele has been awarded the 2013 Ka Palapala Po'okela Award for Excellence in Special Interest Books.

If the ukulele is your Special Interest, you must own a copy of this book.

Congratulations, Jim. Wish that John were still here to congratulate him as well.  Link

Friday, May 10, 2013

MAKE | How-To: The Panjolele Cake Pan Ukulele

Ukulelia Founding Publisher Mark Frauenfelder and Editor of MAKE Magazine points us to a how-to article on making your own banjo uke using cake pans. Aesthetically better than a bed-pan uke. Enjoy! Link

1st Annual Sebastopol Ukulele Festival

Hey, NoCal Ukers. Here's a brand new festival to check out. It's the first evah Annual Sebastapol Ukulele Festival.

Saturday, May 25th, 2013.

Link to Facebook

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Ocean Magazine Ukulele Feature

About half of the current (April/May 2013) issue of Ocean Magazine is devoted to the ukulele. Read it online here.

Oakland’s Ukulele Love-In

Mana Maddy. Photo by Sara Bernard
I live just thru the Caldecott Tunnel from Oaktown. How is it that I just heard about this?

Nice article and podcast post about Madeline Tasquin Streicek (aka Mana Maddy) and the East Bay Ukulele Love-In, a monthly jam she hosts at Actual Café in Oakland.

Next gathering is Saturday evening, May 11, 2013. Then the group will be on hiatus until September, resuming on the second Sunday of the month. So if you'd like to overdose on Ukulele Love next Saturday, come to my Ukulele Jam in the Big Room at Lamorinda Music in Lafayette (jam at 3:15, preceded by a free intro class at 2:00). Then let your uke cool down and head back through the tunnel to meet up with with Maddy.


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