Heading to CHINA!

Not in a slow boat, or a beautiful pea green one, but economy class.  The Ohanamobile goes transpacific!

Mug Shots!

Daniel and I are joining Louis Wu (owner) and Stephanie Turkal (office manager) of the Ohana Ukulele Co. at Music China Shanghai, the big trade show in China.  We will be playing in their booth and teaching workshops.  And, no doubt, EATING.  Man, I can’t wait to share the feasts in store!

Our teaching will focus on teaching teachers in China, where ukulele is a very new phenomenom.  We hope that the joy and ease of the little hatchet is not lost in translation!

Last week we stopped in to the Ohana HQ (warehouse) down in Long Beach to drop off our passports and fill out paperwork.  While we were there we made a little music video of  THE OWL & THE PUSSYCAT.  With a little help from our friends… Steph operated my IPhone while everyone else (Louis, Daniel Serna, head tech and Shannan Brown, asst. tech) kept on with their work and were unwitting extras.  Can I tell you one of the things I love about Ohana?  Watch the first few moments of the video and see the Owner, Louis, setting up instruments alongside his techs.  The simplest entry level ukes get a going over.  Everyone there works side by side.  Every time I go there we all sit down and eat lunch together.  It’s like the healthy family.  I guess that’s why Louis named the company “Ohana”, which means “family” in Hawaiian.

In preparation for the show we took some promo pics for a poster.

This time, with a paddle

We met up with John Nyboer  pre-dawn on foggy Sunday morning at a friend’s boat launch on the Venice canals.  John looked at me, incredulous.  “Is that a DIRNDL?” he asked.  To which I countered: “are those WATER SHOES and BOARD SHORTS?”.  Next thing you know I am punting the skiff down the drink and he’s in up to his knees.  If you’ve been to Venice (CA) and seen the canals first hand you are already impressed.  I only wish I had turned the camera around on him! (John also did great pics of our last big McCabes uke workshop in May!)

Speaking of McCabes- Daniel’s got a workshop there scheduled for when we return.  He will be sharing some of his crazy flamenco technique  in a 90 minute clinic called “Rock Your Right Hand” on October 20th at 2 pm.  Ukueles and guitars welcome!  These techniques can be used for all styles of playing, not just flamenco.  Check it out: here is a link to Daniel playing a folk song on ukulele.

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On The Waterfront 2012

Jason and Daniel Come Round the Mountain

The final gig of the summer!  Daniel and I flew out to Chicago and met up with two GREAT musicians, Nick Macri on the Bass and Jason Toth, percussionist.  The shows were great, and being Labor Day, included songs by Woody Guthrie and some serious Americana as well as songs to encourage everyone to vote.  (Now that school is back in session I can’t help but get all teacher-y)

There were some Funny Little People there!

We drove the scenic route to visit friends and stopped along the way to pick a peck of peppers at a Pick-Your-Own place.

Doesn’t get much fresher then that!

Now to buckle down and get back to real life for a month, which means teaching classes and lessons, playing local gigs and parties. (see schedule on the website)  And getting ready for the next BIG ADVENTURE: CHINA with Ohana!

Before we drop off the blog for a bit, we want to be sure we thank all the wonderful folks who hosted us, welcomed us into their towns and venues, came out to our shows and mae this summer what it was: a beautiful experience: Thank you all.  And special thanks to Louis Wu at Ohana Ukulele.  For making darn fine instruments that are affordable and accessible, and his committment to get them into the hands of kids!