The Lovely Lilly!

You never know who you are going to meet when you take (or teach) a class at McCabes.  Lilly came to Daniel’s Bossa Nova workshop last month, and may have passed out of our lives had she not WON THE KALA UKULELE!  I asked her a little about herself- and what a great musical story she had to share.  I wanted to pass it on to you.  We have serious designs on drafting her for the band now.

Ladies and gentlemen, LILLY (in her own words) AYCUD!

with her sleek new Kala Travel Tenor!

with her sleek new Kala Travel Tenor!

“I’ve been playing trumpet since the age of 12.  I moved to LA in 2003 from Virginia and have had the great opportunity to play trumpet with various artists and groups, most notably Ben E. King, Julian Casablancas (from the Strokes), and Matt Nathanson.  Currently, I sing and play trumpet, percussion, and ukulele with Mexican Alternative singer, Ceci Bastida. 

I got a degree in music education so I also teach general music and orchestra at a private elementary school here in Los Angeles. I enjoy learning how to play instruments.  At home, I have a piano, electric piano, trombone, flugelhorn, several trumpets, flute, theremin, guitars, bass, and drums, and a marching glockenspiel.  I’m obsessed with instruments! My students get my passion, so I have students, who, by the time they graduate in sixth grade, will know how to play 3 or 4 instruments.  I just had a 10th grader come back to play some double bass for my music classes today.  She sings and plays piano, clarinet, double bass, and bassoon.  I love that!

As far as the ukulele, I bought one two years ago because I wanted to make a recording of “Tonight You Belong to Me” for my future step-mother-in-law.  She loves that movie, The Jerk. I love how Bernadette Peters plays the trumpet at the end and Steve Martin, of course, plays the ukulele.  So, I went to McCabe’s and bought my first ukulele.  I taught myself how to play ukulele from watching Ukulele Underground videos and printing out songs from
I’ve started teaching ukulele at my school, too.  I have an after school ukulele club.  We just bought 6 Ohana sopranos so I can also teach some ukulele during school.  Everyone here thinks I’m the nutty uke lady, but the kids love it!
Last year, I went to Menucha Ukulele Camp in Oregon for a week-long workshop.  I was so impressed by the teachers there.  James Hill and Paul Hemmings really showed me the possibilities of using the ukulele as a solo instrument.  Last summer, I began taking private lessons with Abe Lagrimas.  He’s been showing me how to create chord melodies for jazz standards, improvise, and other cool things.  He’s so great!
Now, I am devoting way more time to the ukulele.  It is so different than the trumpet.  I really enjoy being able to sing and accompany myself.  I can entertain myself for hours and I can do it almost anywhere.  And now that I have a new travel ukulele, I really can take it anywhere and play!”
Thanks, Lilly!  And thanks Kala, for providing the instrument that helped bring us all together.  Learn more about Lilly at her website,
And please, come join the fun.  This Saturday I am teaching a tidy closed chord family which travels up the neck and gives players superpowers.  Lots of fun and singing, and you never know who you might sit next to!

2 thoughts on “The Lovely Lilly!

  1. I played in the band with Lilly back in middle school and she was a superstar even way back then! So happy to see her living what she loves!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s