Saturday, June 28, 2003

Speaking of Kings...

Jim Tranquada writes:

"You really ought to have a link to John King's NALU Music site. John, a classically trained musician who teaches at Eckerd College, is a renaissance man who is not only the most distinguished ukulele historian alive today, but a remarkably gifted performer who is pushing the boundaries of what the ukulele is capable of. His site is a great collection of history, music, photos, an interesting forum, and cool stuff to buy. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to note that John and I are co-authors of an article on the early (pre-1915) history of the ukulele that will appear in the forthcoming issue of the Hawaiian Journal of History."

Well, we've blogged items from the NALU Music site in the past, but I've now added a permanent link in the "Ukulele Information" section in the right hand column. Lots of great stuff there. And we'll look forward to reading that article when it comes out! Link Discuss
(Thanks, Jim!)

Friday, June 27, 2003

Ralph "King of the Ukulele" Shaw in the Press

Nice article profiling Ralph Shaw. Includes a link to a low-fi clip of "Yes Sir, That's My Baby." Link Discuss

Monday, June 23, 2003

BBC Reviews TUOoGB

Nice article from the BBC about The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

"We are always ready to perceive pomposity where it exists, and it's very hard to be pompous when you're playing the ukulele."
The group's Web site has been updated, too. Link Discuss

Friday, June 20, 2003

"Rock That Uke" Rocks Baltimore

Ukumentary "Rock That Uke" receives its Baltimore premiere this Saturday. Live performances follow by Carmaig De Forest and Songs from a Random House. Link Discuss

Monday, June 16, 2003

Mainland Style Workshops

Hey, y'all. Joel Eckhaus, ukulele virtuoso, former student of Roy Smeck, and the master luthier behind Earnest Instruments will be teaching workshops on mainland style playing July 13 though 18 at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, West Virginia. Note: they've misspelled ukulele on this site, so you'll want to search on "ukelele" if you're so inclined. Link Discuss

Friday, June 13, 2003

La Klein in La News

Nice article about ukulele chanteuse Janet Klein. Link Discuss

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Online Hawaiian Mele Lessons

Kamehameha Schools is offering distance learning classes in traditional Hawaiian mele (songs) via a unique combination of online materials and radio broadcasts. "Nahenahe: Sweet Melodies of Hawai'i" is taught by Ekela Kaniaupio-Crozier. Lessons are broadcast on Hawaiian 105 KINE. No registration is required, and it's free! You can listen to archived lesson broadcasts here. There's a complete songbook with ukulele chords in pdf format here. This is an amazing program! Don't miss it! Link Discuss

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz

The Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz's next meeting is June 19th. Oliver Brown in concert, and meal specials for all you hungry ukers. Email Andy Andrews for more information and to sign up for their mailing list. Discuss

If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies at Maxwell's

Actress and ukulele goddess Zooey Deschanel's band will play Monday, June 16th at Maxwell's at the Argyle in West Hollywood. If anyone goes, please send in a report from the field. Bonus points for digital pix we can post here on Ukulelia! Link Discuss

Hawaiian Steel Guitar CD

Dave Stewart, who earlier released the MP3 compilation "Waikiki is Good Enough for Me" has now released a compilation of 234 Hawaiian Steel Guitar 78s on one MP3 CD. "Rhythm of the Waves" is playable on any computer/CD/DVD player that can play MP3s. That's right, folks, over 10 hours of vintage steel guitar recordings by the likes of Sol Hoopii, King Bennie Nawahi, and Roy Smeck for about 3 cents a minute. Information on ordering the CD is on his site, along with a complete discography. Link Discuss

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Cool Story, Dude

Fun article by surfing champ Corky Carroll about the dude who wasn't his sixth grade teacher, but would have been if he hadn't been such a screw-up in fifth grade. The teacher gets a great deal on an ukulele that was used by some haole at a funeral. (Corky's also the voice of Grungy Grouper on Spongebob Squarepants.) Righteous. Link Discuss

Jake's Two-hand Strum

One more Jake blog for you. Check out his two-handed strum. He demonstrated this for the ukulele players in the audience last week at Chai's. You cradle the neck of your ukulele with your left arm, then alternate up and down strums with both hands. Oh, right, and then you just have to play like Jake. Link Discuss

Congratulations, Jake!

At the 2003 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards in Honolulu last week, ukulele wizard Jake Shimabukuro won 2 Hokus for Instrumental Album of the Year (for "Sunday Morning") and Favorite Entertainer of the Year. The Hokus are the local equivalent of the Grammys.

I happened to be on vacation in Hawaii at the time and caught Jake at Chai's Island Bistro the following night. It was a huge fete, with Jake presenting leis to his ohana (everyong from his recording company's executives to his ukulele teacher, Dr. Trey, were in attendance). Champagne flowed and we all toasted Jake with a traditional "banzai!" What an incredible night: he played everything from Okinawan folk music to Beethoven and Lennon/McCartney. My wife and kids--who are generally lukewarm about all things ukulele--were spellbound. We left after two continuous hours of playing and he was still going strong. Wonder how long his wrist held out. Don't miss him if you have the chance! Link Discuss

Kate Bush vs. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Kate Bush has allegedly banned The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain from releasing its arrangement of "Wuthering Heights" on their new CD. Cheeky! Link Discuss

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