Obama, Ukulele and Time-Consciousness Altering- what a trip!

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Two weeks ago the President was in town.  My 15 year old girl and I got stuck in a blockade a few cars deep of an intersection where  police had halted traffic.  We sat in the car, unmoving, for about 40 minutes, giving thanks to the working AC as the car reported the temperature at 95 degrees.  At one point Oona got out, took pictures of the traffic to share on Snap Chat with her friends with the caption “Thanks, Obama!”. She took a photo of a helicopter.  Arbitrarily we decided was the one he was in.  “Look!  I see him!  HI OBAMA!” she shouted to the delicious irony speck of irony in the sky.

But then, finally, we watched the presidential motorcade pass: motorcycles,  police cars, official vehicles, and one thrilling Black Cadillac SUV with fancy flags right in the middle of the procession.  My smart, sassy girl whooped with excitement, and the stagnant pain was redeemed.

IMG_6944January may seem a long way out, but I know it will be here in the blink of an eye.  I am thrilled to invite you to a Ukulele and Cooking retreat in Mexico that I will be participating in, plus two other ukulele festivals.

 Minutes can last forever- especially when you are stranded on the road on a hot summer day, but the months and the years (especially the years) fly by….  I know this  adventure will be one of those that stops time, a week that lasts forever in memory.  That is what I love the most about travel, and ukulele retreats.  They have the same power as a presidential motorcade.  To slow time and create memories that last a lifetime.
WINE COUNTRY UKULELE FESTIVAL  Sept 4-7 Santa Helena, CA
ALBUQUERQUE UKULELE FESTIVAL  Sept 26-27th Albuquerque, NM
MEXICO! La Semana de UKE-CULINARIA Fiesta  January 24-31 2015  Ajijic, Mexico

 

 

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Subversive Fun-Sukey Jump!

The Sukey Jump Band will be celebrating Summer’s end with shows in four and a half states- Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and California: Northern and Southern.  We have a passel of scheduled performances we’d love to see you at.  These are officially classified as “Kids Shows”, but that is a classification we love to buck.

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Kids show…

grown ups show.  You tell me which is sillier!

grown ups show. You tell me which is sillier!

...I rest my case

…I rest my case

The Sukey Jump Band has a simple mission- to share the joy making music brings with all ages.  That’s how we came by the name SUKEY JUMP!  In the “old days” people would gather and sing, dance, holler and laugh at gatherings known as play parties or sukey jumps.  Musicians would play, leading songs everyone could enjoy and participate in, whether they danced to a call, following directions or just stomped and jumped.  Songs often familiar, inviting response and welcoming chorus.

I have a favorite quote from the film  State and Main (2000) by David Mamet: “Everybody makes their own fun. If you don’t make it yourself, it isn’t fun. It’s entertainment.”  There is a lack of opportunity to “make fun” for all ages.  We are fast becoming a society doped on the true opiate of the masses: corporate media entertainment.  To quote another film “we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take this any more!”.   Although I won’t be throwing my Mac out the window I will be throwing caution to the wind and inviting you to join us in our subversive acts.

 

August 3  2-3 PM  South Coast Botanical Gardens 26300 Crenshaw Boulevard  Palos Verdes Peninsula, California 90274

September 4, 5:30- 7 pm    Wine Country Ukulele Festival   SPECIAL KID’S SHOW AND ICR CREAM SOCIAL! Umpqua Bank, 1065 Main Street, St. Helena, CA

September 12 6:30 PM   Plaza Library, Kansas City, MO

September 13, 10 am  Wonderscope Children’s Museum     Kansas City, Kansas

September 14th  1pm   Wiggle Out Loud   Children’s Music Festival Oklahoma City, OK

 

 

Classes at McCabes

 

ukelele lesson by heidi swedberg at McCabe's Guitar Shop, Los Angeles

photo by John Nybor http://estnyboer.com/photos/

I LOVE teaching at this place!  Family classes, private lessons and the Weekend Ukulele Warriors Series are all starting up again on July 12 and I look forward to meeting new students of all ages.  For info on signing up for these classes  and directions check McCabe’s website.

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UKUlear Family is a 4-week class for ALL AGES (Kids under 8 require a participating adult)  I particularly like working with mixed age groups.  There is so much to learn from one another and there are few opportunities for engagement with people outside of one’s age group.  I love the opportunity to be with people learning and growing together.  This class runs 4 consecutive saturdays at 1:30 pm.  We start at the very beginning, learning songs from the start.  This is a great class to get you started on a musical adventure for your entire life, whatever stage of life you are in!

Weekend Ukulele Warriors  So many students from either the One-Day workshop or the UKUlear family wanted to know “What’s next?”.  Daniel and I have been enjoying teaching at ukulele festivals across the country and loved the one-off format of festival classes.  We thought making a weekly series of festival style classes would be the perfect idea!  These Saturday noon workshops include beginner classes and more advanced lessons and are meant as stand-alone workshops.

Next week (July 12) and August 2 I will be teaching the one day beginner class PLAY THE UKULELE IN A DAY for beginners of all ages.

Here’s a rough schedule for the Warriors-

July 12  PLAY THE UKULELE IN A DAY

July 19   THE HAMMER (and how to pull it)  Hammering on and Pulling off for beginners

July 26   NO CLASS!

August 2  PLAY THE UKULELE IN A DAY

August 9  Get your STRUM on  Right hand technique to make your songs sing with DANIEL WARD

August 16 MAJOR TO MINOR Blues both ways with DANIEL WARD

August 23  FREIGHT TRAIN  your express ride to second position chords and travis picking

August 30  FUNK IT UP  Hammers, slides and a white man’s overbite with DANIEL WARD teaches you how to Play That Funky Music

 

 

Downtown Ukulele Events

Fun Ukulele happenings in the next two weeks!

Next weekend- bring your ukulele downtown and Break a World Record at the LA UKULELE EXPO.  All day events including the mass playing down at the Japanese American Cultural Center.  You gots to go if you are in town!

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a very jazzy A7. With butter creme icing, if you please!

Wish we were, but we have some special duties to attend to- We are flying to Santa Fe, NM for the weekend for Daniel’s nephew’s wedding.  My baking protege and I are making the cake.  My pantry is fresh out of chile, so I gotta stock up while I’m there.  Fortunately the rehearsal dinner will be at La Choza-  Red AND Green- Christmas in June!

The following weekend we will be back for  the UKE-along at the Music Center, also downtown Los Angeles.  Daniel and I are joining a cadre of great teachers at this event.  Open to beginner and intermediate players (check the guidelines on the website) you will have a great time in a social atmosphere and be given some high quality materials and first rate instruction!  This is an event like no other.  You have to sign up in advance- hope you do and I look forward to seeing you there!

Weekend Ukulele Warriors schedule thru June 21

Every Saturday at NOON it’s a fresh festival-style ukulele workshop on an intimate scale.  After teaching really big classes in Reno it’s great to switch gears and get one-on-one (or two on three) with people.

Todays fresh crop of Warriors

Todays fresh crop of Warriors

Here is the schedule thru the end of June…

5/10 WHAT THE PLUCK?! With Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward All levels are invited to learn plucking patterns. Simple and beautiful ways to give dimension to accompaniments, great tool for songwriting.

RAFFLE FOR KALA TRAVEL TENOR AT THE END OF CLASS!!!!

 5/17 NO CLASS (We’re gigg’in!)

5/24 Tiptoe Thru the TULIPS It’s the Song that broke the ukulele! We are going crazy and resurrecting the song made tabu in the uke world by Tiny Tim. Not only do we have a heartfelt appreciation for his artistic courage, but we also agree that it’s a GREAT song with really cool changes and takes well to jazzy chord voicings.

5/31 WEST COAST UKULELE RETREAT Come find us in Asilomar! NO CLASS

6/7 UKULELE BUILDING BLOCKS Daniel Ward reprises his ever popular techniques class. If you have taken this before, don’t worry- he will teach you the next level of tricks and exercises to get you playing better, faster and more comfortably.

6/14 Here’s your chance to learn a great jazz number- why not take ALL OF ME ? It’s a great song, for your repertoire. Simple structure and chords that can get as complicated as you are ready for.

6/21 FLAMENC-A-LELE with Daniel Ward Classical Spanish guitar songs and strums for the ukulele

6/28 NO CLASS (We are in Santa Fe for a very special wedding!)

Weekend UKULELE Warriors  Saturdays, 12:00 at Mc Cabes Guitar Shop, $40        Sponsored by KALA Brand

Another fine photo by James Barnett http://wetakenicepictures.com

Another fine photo by James Barnett http://wetakenicepictures.com

WE’LL GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO CRY ABOUT!

Reno Uke Fest and the Ohana Bass

The last song... with everyone on stage!

The last song… with everyone on stage! Photo by Ivan Olarte

“How many instruments do you need?” the flight attendant asked as we boarded the plane with a guitar, the Ohana bass and two ukuleles.  The honest answer was more then we can cary on, as we had an additional re-enterant uke checked as baggage.  And of course my shakers.  If I had hands free I might have snapped a shot of us filling the overhead bin.  But honestly, beats schlepping a cello or two!

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Cell Phone star Daniel Ward teaches Sevillanas. 70 cell phones and one still camera- thank you Ivan Olarte

The festival was fabulous.  Smooth organization, happy workshops, collaborations with friends, and a great venue with great sound and a great crew.  Makes life mighty easy and sweet.

DaSilva Flamenca

Michael Da Silva has a little flamenca in him. Literally. Photo by Craig Chee

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Flamenquitas Olé! Photo by Deborah Haight

 

carrot girl

Catskills always kill with Gerald Ross. Photo by Craig Chee

and that theatre…

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Daniel and the Ohana bass were on stage most of the night, doing songs in our set, including “Play That Funky Music, White Boy” ( he would be the boy) and Gerald Ross played it for a few of our songs.  Daniel brought it back out for a bunch of songs in the second set with Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel.   The next night Jason Arimoto played the fretless version for Daniel Ho. Ohanabass Daniel

It’s a sweet axe, and Daniel’s made a video to tell you all about it- click HERE for his review.

Jim D'Ville proves there's no wrong way to play it!  Photo by Craig Chee

Jim D’Ville proves there’s no wrong way to play it! Photo by Craig Chee

This weekend: McCabes for ALL AGES (with DYLAN DUPRE!)

Just back from the PHENOMENAL Reno Ukulele Festival! What a fantastic time we had!  (More on that in the next post)   Now we are all fired up to jump right back in to teaching ukulele to all ages here in Los Angeles at McCabes. (OK, Santa Monica… but close enough!)

Dylan:Reno

We loved working with our friends Craig and Sarah, and we hope to welcome them back to Weekend Ukulele Warriors as soon as they can fit it into their very busy schedules.  I’m still working through the chord substitutions from the handouts in the last workshop they led.  Our new friend and colleague,  Dylan, pictured here in photos from Reno,  is a killer player and has the best Bb you have ever seen. He will teach you how to play it HERE, and you can listen to his first song HERE.   These are AWSOME videos-  Go Dylan GO!  Maybe we can schedule a date for you to teach at McCabes soon!  It is your birthday on Thursday, after all.  Don’t put it off another year!

Because we are bopping around  we will have some rather irregular dates for the new UKULEAR FAMILY class, and a new time to boot!  If you are interested but know you will be unable to attend a class in the series don’t let that deter you- we would be happy to prorate for you.

UKULEAR FAMILY is an all-ages class, 4 Saturdays, May 3, 10, 24th and June 6, 1:30 PM.  Kids under 8 are $50, and require a participating adult.  Adults are $110.  You don’t have to have a kid to attend, but it helps if you can act like one!

The Weekend Ukulele Warriors series continues on Saturdays at noon.  This week Daniel and I teach an intro Nashville System and the following week we teach plucking patterns to juice up your playing.  We are just about to draw the lucky winner of a Kala Travel tenor uke from the names of workshop attendees, so come to class and get your name in- maybe you will be a winner, like Dylan!

Speaking of McCabes and ukulele… in a few weeks the lovely Louise Goffin will be singing and playing her 4 strings at McCabes!  Come catch her show at 8 pm May 17th. Get your tickets HERE