Nov 19, 2013
Ukulele Jazz used to be a radical notion. Lyle Ritz was a pioneer, decades ahead of the curve. Ditto for Ohta-san. In 2009 I started teaching swing ukulele at the California Coast Music Camp. Since then swing/jazz ukulele has become one of my most popular classes and jazz uke workshops have become mainstays on the ukulele festival scene.
After every workshop I hear: "Do you have this stuff in print?" "Where can I get more Jazz ukulele sheet music and tutorials?" For years my answer was, "I'm working on a ukulele jazz book but it's not finished yet." Well, now it's finished! Click here to preview the book and listen to some of the arrangements.
Anne's new album is out! So Long at the Fair picks up where her first album, Beauty Remains, left off. Gorgeous songs that put her lovely voice front-and-centre + interesting arrangements + a bunch of guest musicians (including yours truly) = a feast for the ears. Check out my favourite: the a capella opener "Black is the Colour" here.
It's been a long time coming but it's well worth the wait: The Martin Ukulele: The Little Instrument That Helped Create a Guitar Giant is here! My friends Tom Walsh and the late John King have published the definitive history of the Martin ukulele. It's got the looks and it walks the walk: a glossy, full-colour tour-de-force full of insights. I've got my copy.
Aug 17, 2013
Jun 14, 2013
I just arrived home from a wonderful week in Taipei where my Teacher Certification Program has just put down roots! Thanks to generous sponsorship from aNueNue Ukuleles and others, I had the pleasure of working with 20 teachers from eight regions (Taiwan, China, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Phillipines and Korea). We met for three days of intensive workshops, did a public concert and finished off with a day of sight-seeing!
I was amazed at the high level of playing ability among the students and their passion for ukulele. I came away with a number of new techniques and insights myself. Next year the program will be held in Thailand; the future looks bright for ukulele education in Asia!