Thursday, March 24, 2011

Gary's Uke Jams Make the News

I've been leading informal ukulele classes at Lamorinda Music for several months now. Local reporter Janice De Jesus has written a nice piece in the Contra Costa Times today. (This is the first time that I've turned up in my own news feed. Woot!)

And in case you're curious, my old Ringling roommate with the uke is Michael Goudeau, and Tuba Heatherton taught me my first song ("I Like Bananas").



HumbleUker said...


Are you going with vintage tunes? Hapa Haole? or eclectic?


Gary said...

Hapa Pan Alley

John said...

Very cool! I have just started a series of free group lessons for kids here in Philly.


Ron Hale said...

Wake up, Gary. If you don't teach Mraz, Train, Gaga, etal, your walking the thin line of irrelevance and not preparing your students for the real future of the ukulele. Which future according to the younger generators on the rise is pop, pop, and still more pop.

The first inkling of this sea-change about to change the ukulele seas was the popularity of such as NeverShoutNever, charlieissocoollike,
and similar others. These people fly under the radars of the ukulele blogs where they are virtually ignored, but explore YouTube sometime and compare their views to those that the artists and styles favored by us Older Folks achieve and you'll see that something is happening and we don't know what it is, do we, Mr. Jones.

Just this past week or so I found some new videos of the uke used as one instrument in a pop context that had accrued amazing view numbers in amazingly short viewing spans. There are younger pop ukers who consider the Nevers and the charlies as older folks, so what do they think about the rest of us?

I suspect that a big part of the ukulele's future is as an instrument in a pop music context. One instrument in the band, perhaps, or an instrument used on a few songs by an artist, ala the likes of Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars.

In fact, if the older generators were paying attention, this is where we'd see that the action really is right now. These young people don't care a fig about the things that obsess some of us elders. Things such as which group of Old People sitting around in evening attire and playing cover songs is really the really real deal.

Which brings us back to preparing your students for the Brave New Ukulele World, Gary. The songs that millions of amateur ukers are increasingly playing and will increasing increase playing are ones that haven't been around for five hundred generations and haven't even been written yet.

It's happening and it cannot be stopped. Only aged throwbacks such as us will care any longer whether yellow fruit have bones.

Cathy said...

Will you be doing any lessons in the Dublin area? I'm looking for a place to learn to play but would rather not trek to Lafayette if possible.

Gary said...


I also do individual lessons, and work in San Ramon.

Why not make the trek for one workshop in Lafayette and let's meet in person and we can chat more.

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