It’s been a few months since I watched the ‘Mighty Uke’ film, and although I was thoroughly impressed I’ve still not got around to writing a proper review. So for now I’ll just say it’s an interesting film that covers the history of the little instrument, particularly in relation to its current comeback, and growing popularity. The film is basically a documentary of the ukulele revival; the movement that has literally swept the globe. The film takes us from a group of Israeli and Arab kids playing ukuleles for Peace, to American troops serving in Iraq, to Jake Shimambuku, to James Hill, to the Taunton Ukulele Strummers, to schools in Canada, and of course to Hawaii. So if you get a chance go see it, or, purchase a copy from their website.
I came across this lovely little documentary about the ukulele scene in New York City, and the now on hiatus “midnight Ukulele disco” cabaret. Its very “new york” and lots of fun. Enjoy!
I challenge anyone to watch these two videos and not have a little smile. These are absolutely wonderful, both musically and visually. I am officially U-900′s latest fan!
I came across this lovely ukulele story, an audio radio documentary produced for a masters degree Radio course at Goldsmiths University, and set to images on youtube. Part one is about the history of the ukulelele, and part two about the ukulele new wave and the world record in London.
“If you’re the best, the worst, longest immersed, if you’re the base, the ace, furthest in space, If you can score, more, than a herbivore, then you’re a record breaker, you’re a record maker,You’re a record breaker.” (Record Breakers Theme Song)
On June 21st 2009, at the London Ukulele Festival, a new world record was set for the playing a song on the ukulele together… the song chosen was Sloop John B. Which I think was a good choice as it sounds great when played by a large number of ukuleles, and is easy enough for the beginner to pick up too.
Here is some wonderful footage of the event, the achievement of breaking the record is announced to brilliant applause, I am disappointed that I couldn’t be there, it looked terrific fun!
Gus of gugug fame gives a rundown of his extensive collection of plastic ukuleles… both ‘proper’ ukuleles and toys. I really like plastic ukuleles, and I am sure a few of these will be on my ‘one more uke’ list soon enough! (Yes, it’s highly likely I have contracted Ukulele Acquisition Syndrome). This is a fun little video, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone hold quite so many ukuleles all at once!
“on the Ukulele you can’t hide, it’s just you and the song, and like emo kids, punks they all get it, coz its real.” (quote from trailer for ‘the Mighty Uke’)
I recently blogged about Bosko and Honey and their Ukulele Safari video’s, and it was interestingly through one of their videos (see below) that I found out about a documentary film entitled: “The Mighty Uke”. Interestingly this film is also being made by a couple, Tony Coleman and Margaret Meagher, who also both play the ukulele!
The Trailer can be seen here:
For More info on the film their website is: http://mightyukemovie.com/
And here is the Ukulele Safari video in which I first came across their film:
I’m really looking forward to seeing this when it comes out on DVD. I hope it’s a multi-regional DVD release, so it can go global.
I came across this lovely video on youtube of someone making an electric ukulele… enjoy.
This is how the Kennedy Center Introduces James Hill:
“Since the release of Playing it like it isn’t… in 2002, James Hill has made it his mission to convince skeptics of the beauty, versatility, and appeal of the ukulele with original music that combines folk, old-time, gospel, and blues influences. The ukulele, embraced by mainstream media from Oprah to American Idol, has returned from pop culture exile and become a tonic for modern malaise the world over.
Canadian Folk Music calls Hill “truly amazing… a serious virtuoso upon the instrument.” The Honolulu Star-Bulletin calls Hill a “rare peer” of Hawaii’s premier ukulele players even though his hometown of Langley, British Columbia is nearly three thousand miles east of Honolulu. Ukulele instruction has been mandatory in many schools in Langley since the late 1970s and this is where Hill was introduced to the ukulele at the age of nine. During his teenage years he honed his skills as a key member of the renowned Langley Ukulele Ensemble under the direction of Peter Luongo.
True Love Don’t Weep, his first full-length collaboration with cellist Anne Davison, features cello, banjo, bouzouki, fiddle, voices, winds, brass, bells, and music boxes entwined with ukuleles of all shapes and sizes. True Love Don’t Weep isn’t a campaign for the ukulele, just an offering of beautiful, sweetly sorrowful music.
Hill, also a passionate teacher, recently co-authored the Ukulele in the Classroom method book series with J. Chalmers Doane, the trail-blazing teacher who pioneered the use of ukuleles in Canadian schools. His music is heard frequently on CBC and NPR National radio. Hill has made TV appearances on The Tony Danza Show, MTV, Urban Rush, and Studio 4 with Fanny Keifer, and has shared billing with Jerry Douglas, Robert Cray, Lyle Lovett, and countless others.
Since turning heads with his early recordings, concerts tours throughout North America, Europe, and Asia have broadened Hill’s musical tastes and horizons. And while the sense of budding world-weariness that pervades True Love Don’t Weep might seem contrary to the ukulele’s reputation as a pocket-sized ray of sunshine, the album radiates a deep caring for music and a certain faith in the ukulele as a four-stringed life-raft for uncertain times.”
Right now my obsessive you tube viewing has a focus, and that focus is on the video’s of Bosko and Honey and their “Ukulele Safari 2008″, which involves them traveling the world to meet and play with many people involved with the International Ukulele Movement, as well as visiting many Ukulele Festivals and factories and other such things. They are some great video’s and the whole tour is highly addictive, once you start watching you want to see what they got up to next, who they met, and the fun that was had.
Their most recent announcement: conceiving and organising UKULELE SAFARI AUSTRALIA 2010…
Their latest newsletter had the following announcements about the Ukulele Scene in Australia, that I’ll share here with you:
* The Inaugural MELBOURNE UKULELE FESTIVAL has been announced, and will run from the 26th of February till the 2nd of March next year. The Ukulele Safari crew will be playing on the opening night! Visit the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective website for all the details:http://www.muk.com.au/gpage.html
If you’re not already a fan check out their video’s and you soon will be…