Friday, February 26, 2010

"The Mighty Uke"

This last Tuesday evening, in the rain and traffic, we went up to San Rafael to see the screening of "The Mighty Uke." It is a documentary done by two Canadians from Montreal. It runs about 80 minutes and is full of interviews, history and 'ukulele playing by all kinds of people. After the movie there was a short talk, and a short concert with James Hill. If you get a chance to see the movie, do so. Check out the web page too (click on the title of this entry). There will be a DVD coming out in a few months so get on their list. The movie goes a long way to explain the phenomena that is the 'ukulele. One of the players (Uni I think) refers to it as "the peoples instrument."

Another fun thing that I have found on James Hill's site Ukuleles in the Classroom are some arrangements in four and five parts for 'ukulele Big Band. "Way Beyond the Blues" is a beginning piece that I may try with my Beginning 'Ukulele class this quarter. This group is wanting to learn more picking so I might be able to get them to do it. We will see. I will keep you posted.

We will be heading to the Tahoe area in March for the Tahoe Uke Fest. Am saddened to find out that the Northern California 'Ukulele Festival is not happening this year. What I have been able to find out so far is they do not have access to the Hayward Adult School any longer. (Can you say Budget Cuts) :-( I hope they find a place for next year. I would hate for the East Bay to lose this event.

Oh, and my Mom has joined the ranks of the happy ukers. She now has a Kala Spruce Top Concert and is busy practicing and learning new chords.

Check out the movie and James Hill's Ukuleles in the Classroom.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February already!

It is February already. Starting a new quarter with 24 new students to introduce to the 'ukulele. I am also putting together a booklet of songs for the students to play. I hope this month to start a lunch time jam session during school on the last Thursday or Friday of the month. The idea is to have 'ukuleles available during the lunch period for kids to come and play. That is why I am putting together a booklet of songs for the kids. We'll see if I can get this going this year.

This Friday we are going to see Herb Ohta Jr. with Jennifer Perry and Jon Yamasota. I am also taking Karsten to a private lesson with Herb tomorrow. It should fun for all.