DAY-AFTER THE DAY OF THE DEAD
DAY-AFTER THE DAY OF THE DEAD
I want to FILL THE HOUSE! This show is a benefit for Survivor Girl Ukulele Band, and once you read a little about what it is and what it’s all about I know you will want to support this incredible project, too! I’ll be at the Coffee Gallery in Alta Dena at 3pm with my new band The Smoking Jackets and I really hope I’ll see you there. If you can’t make it but would like to contribute to this project, follow this link! The text and images below are lifted from an article which appears in Hometown Pasedena. The WHOLE ARTICLE is worth a good read! Check it out!
For most of us, human trafficking is a grim statistic in the news. For Laurie Kallevig, it’s up-close-and-personal. She works with survivors of human trafficking in India.
Laurie’s work is unique; she brings ukuleles to India and teaches girls (and more recently, boys) to play the instruments. She hopes, eventually, these young survivors will “write the soundtrack to the movie of their own lives.”
Kim Ohanneson: Describe your typical day with the children. What is the age range?
Laurie Kallevig: My typical process is to start with a small size class, just six girls, and teach them for a few days, building in a lot of individualized attention and a lot of fun and success. We start with songs that they know, songs in their own language.
Soon I add another small class to the schedule and maybe even have one of the students from the first class join the second class and help to translate and teach. Next, I combine the two classes and have twelve students at about the same level. Then I add another class of beginners, and so on, building to up to two or three classes per day, each about an hour and a half in length.
Last year in Pune, I was in a rescue home that had mostly major girls, 18 years and older. Most were in the 19 to 22 year old range, but a few students were in their early 30s.
This year in Mysore (working at Odanadi Seva Trust), my students ranged from 9 years old to 19 years old. And while I didn’t have formal classes for the little ones, I tried to make time to let the little ones (5-8 years old) come in and play and strum and make believe they are rock stars.
Often the students can’t stop playing, even to pay attention to learn the next thing, and I like to think they are lost in ukuleleland—that magical place of sound and vibration and strum, strum, strumming; a place where the bad memories fade and the music and hope and dreams of a better future come to life.
KO: Where in India have you shared music and the ukulele? Where would you like to go next? Do you hope to expand beyond India?
Laurie: Last year in 2013, I taught for about four months in a rescue home in Pune. Most of my longer-term students were repatriated to their homes in India and Bangladesh, and then unfortunately, that rescue home discontinued the survivor girl ukulele band project. (That’s a whole other story.) So then for six weeks I experimented with teaming up with an organization in Mumbai and taught at one of their drop-in centers in a small red-light area. The women I taught there were working prostitutes and pimps.
This year, 2014, I was teaching at the renowned Odanadi Seva Trust in Mysore. They have a girls home and a boys home, and I taught at both homes.
Survivor Girl Ukulele Band Project 2015 will be in Kolkata, one of the largest human trafficking hubs in the world. I’ll be working at the shelter homes of Sanlaap (sanlaapindia.org). They have over 250 girls in their four shelter homes, and I am really looking forward to it!!!
Many thousands of girls are trafficked from Nepal and Bangladesh into India, and I hope to expand SGUB Project to both of those countries some day.
If you have read every blog post I have ever written you might recognize Craig McClelland as part of the Sukey Jump Band, Vespus and Skumbaag, however I am excited to introduce him in a new light- as a uke teacher and member of the Smoking Jackets. Craig is, you see, a man of many talents!
We are getting the jackets tailored for some shows at the beginning of November, and Craig will be flying out from his beautiful home in Sturgeon Bay, WI for music making and teaching in California.
First stop- McCabes Weekend Ukulele Warriors, November 1st, noon.
The next day we will be joined by John Bartlit, the forth (and yet unphotographed member) of the Smoking Jackets. We have two shows on Sunday- the first is and 11 am Sukey Jump show at McCabes, the second is the 3 pm benefit at the Coffee Gallery in Altadena.
Here is a little about Craig and what he will be teaching at McCabes:
Those Problem Chords – D Major and E Major (and more).
As a beginning ukulele player you find yourself facing many challenges. You find yourself asking how do I tune my uke, do I really look good in a bowtie, and just how do I pronounce ukulele anyway. Playing chords is just another of these challenges and just as you are getting a pretty good handle on how to play such common chords as G Major, C Major, F Major and A Major and are getting pretty good at switching between them, along come two chords that strike fear in the heart of every beginning ukester– D Major and of course, the dreaded E Major. In this workshop Craig McClelland will help you find ways to approach these most feared of chords – fingering variations, different voicings, and even out and out “cheats” that you can use at your next uke jam until you do master the preferred voicings – all while learning a couple of easy songs and having a fun time. If all goes well, we may even examine a few more common problem chords (although the decision to wear a bowtie is left completely to you).
Craig McClelland is a professional musician (bass, guitar, ukulele, and tuba) and instructor with over 30 years’ experience, presently working with the American Folklore Theatre and the Peninsula Players Theatre in Door County, Wisconsin. Craig has taught music publicly and privately over the last 20 years after having studied bass at Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles, as well as earning a BA in Music at University of New Mexico and an MA in Humanities from California State University – Dominguez Hills. He has been pleased to share his music with students of all levels, having taught in elementary schools, universities and all levels in between.
In addition to his teaching and theatre work, Craig can be seen around the country in such diverse ensembles as the Vespus Marimba Band, the Sukey Jump Band, Crossing 32nd Street, the Links Ensemble, The Gazebo Guys, and America’s only heavy-metal vaudeville troupe, Skumbaag. In 2012, Craig was honored when Skumbaag was chosen as Ensemble in Residence for the University of New Mexico International Composers Symposium, featuring a wide range of his music, including selections from his original musical, The Lubbock Lights.
When not performing, Craig likes to be with his family in Door County and uses the time for songwriting, playwriting as well as substitute teaching band, choir, and theatre in the public schools. He can frequently be found doing workshops such as this one.
Craig would also like to thank the fine folks at McCabe’s for this opportunity to share his love of ukulele with your community.
Both of the fine photos of Craig were taken in PHX by James Barnett WeTakeNicePictures.com
This last lousy one was taken by me
Daniel Ward and I will be assembling at McCabes for a Sukey Jump kid’s show with John Bartlit, Craig McClelland at 11 am.
Then we will jump in the car and squeel the tires across town to the Coffee Gallery in Pasedena for a 3 pm show as The Smoking Jackets! Come out to one-or both- of these great shows!
MCCABES GUITAR SHOP– The magical land known as McCabes has been well known for more than 50 years as the music venue for music lovers. Every other Sunday they pull the chairs and open the doors to families with the littlest listeners and dancers. It is about the grooviest place to groove with your toddler or preschooler.
The Coffee Gallery is like a McCabes EAST. Quality music, intimate setting, great vibes. We are excited to be playing there for the first time. This show is a benefit for Laurie Kallevig’s SURVIVOR GIRL UKULELE Band. Laurie teaches ukulele to girls (and boys!) in India who are survivors of human trafficking.