Sunday, May 29, 2016

Na Hoku for Tolentino and Ohta

Bryan Tolentino and Herb Ohta, Jr. won Ukulele Album of the Year for "Ukulele Friends" last night at the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts' 39th annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

Congratulations, Bryan and Herb!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Grand Northern Ukulele Festival

Should be grand!

May 27 to 29, across The Pond. 

Lil' Rev's Scatter the Ashes Tour

Lil' Rev will be heading to the West Coast for several weeks in what he's dubbed the Scatter the Ashes Tour. Try and make one of his many dates in Washington, Oregon, and California as he brings his joyful love of the ukulele and celebrates the life of his beloved wife, Carol. Info on workshops and concerts is at the link.

UUOGB in 1988

h/t to Hester Goodman for this one from the vault. Here's the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain on the BBC from 1988.

Monday, May 23, 2016

CNC Milled Ukuleles

At Maker Faire this weekend, the CNC Router Parts team was demonstrating their equipment and technology by crafting ukuleles. The bodies were milled out of solid blocks of maple. The faces were plate steel. Fingerboards milled aluminum. Kind of a National meets the Dixie Banjolele Akulele. 

I've put out feelers to see if anyone played one. Or scored one. Let me know if you did. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jerk Organist Trolls Uke-Playing Bishop

In Uke-umenical news (Crisis in the Church Edition), Roman Catholic Bishop Donald Hanchon found himself shut down by an organist who didn't appreciate his performance of This Little Light of Mine from the pulpit during a Confirmation Mass in Detroit on Tuesday.

Video at the link. Link

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

William H. Macy Self-Soothes With the Uke

If you read Ukulelia, you probably know that William H. Macy plays the uke. Here's an interview in which he talks about the importance of music and the ukulele in his life. His wife, Felicity Huffman, says he uses it to "self-soothe".

A little bittersweet anecdote about Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson, too.


BBC Arts - How the Ukulele Conquered the World

We somehow forgot to blog this terrific feature on the history of the ukulele from the BBC from 2015. What's nice is that the timelines feature the 80s and early 90s when ukulele was decidedly We owe a lot to the geniuses and oddballs who kept the garden watered and ready for the current spring.

BBC - BBC Arts - How the Ukulele Conquered the World

Perry Botkin Plays Lover

Some time ago, we wrote about Perry Botkin, legendary orchestral guitarist--and uker.

Check out this post for some great background and videos.

One commenter on the post asked if anyone could find a copy of Botkin playing Richard Rogers's Lover.

Courtesy of the mysterious "Lightnin'", here is the recording from the original Decca 78. Botkin absolutely kills it.

Little Dancing Girl - Gerald Ross

Here's a terrific rendition of the Hal Roach soundtrack classic Little Dancing Girl played by Gerald Ross. If you've ever watched Laurel & Hardy or The Little Rascals, you'll recognize it instantly!


Most Influential Ukulele Players

This list should really include Jim Beloff. 

Kala Profile

Nice profile of Kala yesterday in the North Bay Business Times. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Songs From a Random House on NPR

A little reminiscing about when the 3rd Wave hadn't quite hit the mainstream. 

Here's Songs From a Random House on Weekend Edition from 2005. 

Top 50 Ukulele Sites