Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Kamaka JS Signature Series Tenor

Bruddah Mark posted his pictures from NAMM, and included a couple of shots of the new Kamaka Jake Shimabukuro Signature model tenor. According to the brochure, this will be a limited edition of 100 instruments, each autographed and numbered. Note the mother of pearl monogram inlay on the fretboard. Link

Monday, January 23, 2006

KoAloha Pineapple Sunday

The KoAloha folks now have pix and information about their new Pineapple Sunday model up on their website. Here's a link to the product page. Link

Friday, January 20, 2006

James Hill: That's "One Small Suite..." For a Uke

Drop everything and surf over to James Hill's website to watch his current video clip. In it, he plays the first movement of his "One Small Suite for 'Ukulele." You've no doubt heard the old story about the Hawaiians attaching the words "jumping flea" to what we now call the ukulele because of the Portuguese players' fingers jumping around on the instrument. I've always had difficulty matching that image up with the laidback style of early Hawaiian music. If the Portuguese sailors played anything like James, I think I now get the picture. Note how simple his right hand strums appear to be in comparison to the complexity of the melody coming from his effortless-looking fingerings. Link

Thursday, January 19, 2006

If All The Stars Were Pretty Babies

I finally located an online recording of the Billy Rose/Fred Fisher song "If All the Stars Were Pretty Babies." It's the source of the name of Ukulele Siren Zooey Deschanel and Samantha Shelton's duo. Link

May Singhi Breen Recording

May Singhi Breen is probably best remembered for her ukulele arrangements of popular songs in the '20s and '30s. But here is a recording of the Ukulele Lady herself accompanying Arthur Fields singing "Wait'll You See My Gal". A very percussive and syncopated performance. I'm guessing she's playing a banjo uke (maybe a resonator?). Link

Ukulele Lloyd

Check out My Pocket Zoo's mp3 "Ukulele Boy Band" featuring Ukulele Lloyd! Link

Custom Aluminum Uke

Wow. Check out this bad boy. Looks like something Howard Hughes might have come up with. This, and other custom electric ukuleles are by Ian Schneller of Specimen Products in Chicago. Link
(via Banana Slug!)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Santa Cruz Workshops

Andy sez:
"Before the [next Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz] meeting [Monday, January 16, 2006] from 4:00 to 5:30 Herb Ohta Jr. and Daniel Ho will teach a Ukulele Workshop. The cost of [the] workshop is $20 and is limited to 25 students. You must pre-register..."
To register, contact Andy by email.

Field Guide to Martin Ukes

Sandor from the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz has posted charts that show all the various Martin models along with information about production years, materials, original prices and current values. A great place to start if you're trying to figure out what Uncle Harold's old Martin is... Link

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Happy Birthday, Tappy!

Completely spaced and missed wishing Bill Tapia a happy birthday on New Year's day. 98 years young, and I do mean young! Link

Aloha, Dagan!

While I was on the Big Island, I stayed in Waikoloa across from the Ukulele House store. Stopped in to say hi one evening, and met player/instructor Dagan Bernstein, who works in the shop. Coincidentally, Dagan had just sent me an email inviting me to visit the store. The folks at Ukulele House--including Dagan--and very gracious. Always willing to talk story (well, if they aren't too busy!) and let you check out their great selection of ukes. Here's a link to their site: Link

Abe Lagrimas, Jr.'s Debut CD

Berklee College of Music grad, Abe Lagrimas, Jr. has released his first CD of ukulele music. More info at his site. Link

Also, check out these videos of Abe from the Ukulele Disco site. Skylark Spain (Thanks, Eric!)

Going to NAMM ? Say Hi to the Beloffs!

Got a nice note from Jumpin' Jim Beloff letting us know that he and the Fleamarket Music crew will be at the 2006 NAMM show in Anaheim this month. If you're going, swing by Booth 1717 in Hall E and say "Aloha!" Jim sez:
"We are also one of the sponsors
of the Acoustic Café show on Friday night. This is put on by Acoustic Guitar
magazine and this year Jake Shimabukuro is one of the performers. Should be great

Taimana Gardner

Article in the Star Bulletin about young ukulele player Taimana Gardner who has been performing on Kalakaua Avenue since she was 10 years old. If you've never been to Waikiki, Kalakaua is the main drag. You'd expect it to be lined with local street musicians, but it's mostly populated with guys that spraypaint themselves silver and stand still (yawn). So it's nice to know that Taimana--and her uke--has gained some official recognition. Link

MP Ukuleles

Check out the beautiful ukes that Mike Pereira makes. The redwood models are particularly lovely! Wonder how they sound... Link

Luthier Exhibit in Berkeley

Paula Wirth has a Flikr page with photos of the "Luthiers" exhibition of traditional guitar and ukulele making at the Addison Street Windows Gallery, in Berkeley, CA. Link

New Ukulele Mecca Museum

According to this article, C.F. Martin & Company has opened a new company museum and visitors' center at its Upper Nazareth Township, PA headquarters. Link

Friday, January 06, 2006

Aloha Kapena

I'm blogging today from the Big Island, here on a business trip. (Heh heh. Seriously.) To what should my wondering eyes appear at the reception last night but Kelly Boy and da krew--Kapena! Stopped by and said aloha to the band after the show. They were in fine form, and Kelly Boy's strumming as sweet as ever. I saw a recent story about Kelly Boy's son, and the band's namesake, Kapena, but it seems to be gone this morning. We should all wish for son's so polite and talented.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ukulele Noir 9

East Coasters will want to head out to Ukulele Noir Number 9, this friday, January 6, 2006, in Framingham, MA. Link
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