Sunday, May 31, 2015

Jim Tranquada Interview: Why You Should Take the Ukulele Seriously | Learn To Uke

In case you missed Jim Tranquada's lecture at the LA Public Library, here's a Q&A, courtesy of the folks at Learn to Uke. Link

Sunday, May 24, 2015

2015 Silver Creek International Ukulele Carnival

Ukester Brown sez you can also catch Rachel Manke at this year's Silver Creek International Ukulele Carnival, August 21-23 in Two Harbors, MN. Bring your uke, music, and hot dish to share.

Prince Paul

I had the distinct honor of working on the Ringling show with this gentleman, Prince Paul Alpert. I'm guessing that this is from a spec production, some Roaring 20s theme. I'll update if I learn more.

If you like the photo, it's up for sale on Etsy.

(Thanks, and happy birthday, Michael Simmons!)

Big News from Lake Wobegon

Big news coming from Malden, MA: Rachel Manke, splendiferous strummer in the Smeckian and sundry styles, will be making her national radio debut on Prairie Home Companion. Mark your calendars and set your dials for Saturday, June 27th, when the show will be broadcast from Tanglewood. We expect Garrison to aim a little sacerdotal sarcasm at her, but the word is still out as to whether Guy Noir will help a lady uker in need.

Here's Rachel's site.
And her YouTube Channel.

And in case you've ever wondered what the lead-in music for PHC is ("Oh, hear that old piano, from down the avenooo..."), it's Tishomingo Blues. Here's a link to a .pdf of the chords, courtesy of Ukester Brown. Or, if you prefer, the original Spencer Williams sheet music (1917).

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Jim Tranquada at the LA Public Library this Saturday

Attention LA ukulele enthusiasts. Ukulele historian Jim Tranquada will be at the LA Public Library this Saturday, May 9 at 2pm:
"Author Jim Tranquada (The Ukulele: a History) discusses the fascinating musical and social history of the “tiny four-stringed thingamajig” and argues for a rehabilitation of the instrument’s image."
In the Mark Taper Forum, Central Library. If you go, say hi to Jim and tell him Ukulelia sent you. Link

Friday, May 01, 2015

Warren Buffett's Second-Favorite Uke

Legendary beverage maker Coca-Cola and legendary ad agency Wieden+Kennedy recently had a custom ukulele built for legendary uker Warren Buffett.

Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the iconic Coke bottle, the tenor ukulele was built by Portland luthier Mark Roberts and features a sound hole cut in the silhouette of the bottle. More info on the Coke site.

You can't really see the uke too well in the above video of Mr. Buffett playing "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing." Here's a slightly better photo of Mark Roberts and his work.

We haven't located any more images, but will reach out to Mark and see if he has any he can post. We're not familiar with his work, but a few clicks around his site reveal him to be an innovative and impressive builder (check out his Wise-N-Uke, a baritone version of a Weissenborn hollowneck steel guitar).

Now where in the world do you suppose W+K got this grand idea? Considering that they turned me down for a job years ago, it's nice to know that they liked at least one of my ideas.

Link to article on Adweek.
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