Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Uke Heads, Unite!

 


See that? That's my Uke Head. 

I'm proud and honored to be a volunteer mentor for the James Hill Ukulele Initiative (JHUI). James is about to launch a new project called Uke Heads, and he gave us a sneak peek over the last few weeks. 

Uke Heads is an innovative project–the first of its kind so far as I know–where an artist (James) is recording an album with the active participation of a community of player/contributors. There have been a lot of crowd-based recordings during the pandemic, but this project is different in that participating as a Uke Head is essentially part of crowd-funding the album and supporting the artist. And participating comes with a number of benefits like online workshops with James, exclusive merch, and the opportunity to record on future singles.

There are 1879 unique Uke Head avatars which are themselves NFTs. (Welcome to blockchain, ukers!) Ukulele geeks will immediately grok why there are 1879. (Which, by the way, is a swell line of clothing you can check out here.

Learn more about the Uke Heads project at the official site, here.

James also discusses the project on his Uketropolis Podcast in this episode.

And here are link to three Q&A sessions James had live on YouTube.

Finally, while becoming a Uke Head isn't free ($189.70 – notice the theme?), James has made 100 available free to deserving players. Info here.

So, which Uke Head are you?


Thursday, March 17, 2022

"When St Paddy's Falls on Purim"


"You Purim for me, and I'll Purim for you..."

This ditty is by Brigid Kaelin and Gregory Maupin. Here's a little background on the song. Link

But sure and there's more! Brigid has posted the sheet music for free! (That makes here Saint Brigid in my book). Link to Music.

Happy Both Days to everyone who celebrates. And a big Tip O' the Hamantash to my good friend Adam Hanin for pointing us to this pot of gold.

O'Chaim!


Tuesday, February 01, 2022

W. E. B. Du Bois, Ukulele Patron



In honor of Black History Month, here is a 1921 letter we recently discovered from Yolande Du Bois to her father, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist and author W. E. B. Du Bois, thanking him for sending her money to buy a ukulele. 
“Thanks ever so much for the money for the Ukelele (sic). I went straight down-town the next Saturday and bought it. It is a ‘banjo Ukelele,’ and it’s very pretty. It is made of light-colored maple highly polished and trimmed in black. I can play two pieces on it.”

She goes on on to tell her father that she made the dean’s list at Fisk. 

Yolande Du Bois was involved in the Harlem Renaissance, and later had a career as an educator in Baltimore. 

And to her father Dr. Du Bois' many accolades, we humbly add "ukulele patron."


Du Bois, Yolande. Letter from Yolande Du Bois to W. E. B. Du Bois, March 16, 1921. W. E. B. Du Bois Papers (MS 312). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. 

All rights for this document are held by the David Graham Du Bois Trust.
 
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