Friday, August 29, 2003

Aloha Music Camp

Slack-key artist Keola Beamer and other members of the Beamer 'ohana operate an annual camp on Moloka'i with workshops on 'ukulele as well as slack-key guitar, hula, and the Hawaiian language. Sign me up! Here's a recent article about the camp, too. Link Discuss

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Bruddah Iz Memorial

In the SF Chronicle this morning, Annie Nakao writes about sculptor Jan-Michelle Sawyer's work on a bronze memorial to the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole.

"Iz, having been larger than life in Hawaii and around the world, might have approved, I somehow think. Bare chested, except for two fishhook necklaces around the neck, this image in bronze is quietly majestic, massive in its presence, just as Iz was. The eyes are focused slightly downward at the middle distance, as if they are trying to see the horizon.

"I wanted him to face the ocean," said sculptor Jan-Michelle Sawyer, who calls both Hawaii and the Sierra town of Nevada City home. "I also wanted him to be looking to the future. Keep looking forward. That was always his message to young people."

But first, Sawyer will have to get him home. Fund raising has so far collected $10,000, but that's just half of the total cost of the casting, the pedestal construction and the preparation of the site in front of the Wai'anae Neighborhood Community Center, where the sculpture will be dedicated. Sawyer donated her work on the bust."
Donations to help complete the memorial are being accepted by The Friends of Bruddah Iz (P.O. Box 2217, Ewa Beach, HI, 96706). Link Discuss

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Jake's Latest CD

Jake Shimabukuro's latest CD, "Crosscurrent" was released in the US this week. It's been available in Japan for almost two months. Here is a link to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin's review, including audio clips of three cuts from the CD. Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" is particularly hot. The CD features Jake's arrangement of Chick Corea's "Spain," which I've heard Jake play live and which is outstanding. Here's a link to a related article. Link Discuss

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Wit and Wisdom from Ian Whitcomb

Check out the last paragraph from this column by Bruce Bellingham. What the heck--read the whole thing.

I can't say it better than Joseph Wambaugh: "The smartest thing this country ever did was to give Ian Whitcomb a green card." ...
Link Discuss

Monday, August 18, 2003

New Axes From Tony Graziano

Ukulelia pal John Pivarnick was up at the Guitar Festival in Healdsburg, CA this weekend. He reports that ace uke luthier Tony Graziano was on hand with several interesting projects, including an in-progress Rickenbacker-style ukulele. Rock on! Here are links to some photos: Picture 1 and Picture 2 Discuss (Thanks, John!)

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Nihon Ukulele Association

Here is the official site of the Nihon Ukulele Association, an organization for amateur players in Japan. There is a message board for Japanese players and information on jam sessions. Be sure to check out the History of NUA and the biography of Yukihiko "Harry" Haida, Japan's "Father of Hawaiian Music." (Harry's given name was "Haruhiko," which he later changed to Yukihiko. Do you suppose that he changed his name during WWII because of the association with Hirohito? I know that Harpo Marx changed his given name from Adolph to Arthur about the same time. Or is "Yukihiko" a reference to "ukulele?" If anyone knows the answers to these questions, please post a message in the discussion area.) Link Discuss

Tiki King Rules!

In his ineffable benevolence, His Royal Majesty, Tiki King, has established an online ukulele school for his loyal subjects on his swank site. Don't miss the handy downloadable transposing disk in the "Tools Corner."

All for free! Golly. Why is he not on the ballot for governor of California? Link Discuss

Ukes on Public Radio

Nice story on ukuleles that aired on WRNI's "Focus Rhode Island" program. Click on the archive link for August 8, 2003. Then click on the icon indicated to play the show. Fast forward 44 minutes and you'll be at the segment on ukuleles. Link Discuss

Bruce Shimabukuro

Article in Sunday's Honolulu Star Bulletin about Bruce Shimabukuro, Jake's younger and apparently just as talented, charming, and big-hearted brother. Link Discuss

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