Tales of The City

If you recognize this as the title from Armistead Maupin’s stories, you know The City is San francisco. Daniel and I are thrilled to be heading north for a visit this weekend.  We have a cluster of unique events, and hope you can make it to one or all of them!

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It’s a Mix-off! BYO to share and impress!

Saturday April 29th

Blackbird Ukuleles and Guitars   2180 Folsom st. San Francisco CA, 94110

Tickets for the workshops $20.00, just the concert $15.00, both $30.00

 Blackbird will host an intimate Potluck Cocktail Party at their factory space in the mission district with simultaneous workshops for beginner and advanced students from 3-4pm, followed by cocktail hour and a concert with Heidi and Daniel from 5-6 pm.

Come at 4 for the cocktail party, and show off your favorite recipe! (ice, lemons, limes, cutting boards, knives and lowball glasses will be provided). more info: DanielWorldMusic@gmail.com

Ciny Sanchez Dance

Special Guest Cindy Sanchez!

 

Sunday, April 30th

Michael DaSilva Ukueles   2547 8th street #28Berkeley CA  94710    $20.00

 Daniel will teach Flamenco strums for ukulele at Michael DaSilva’s Berkley HQ from 2-3:30. This workshop will be accessible and challenging for all levels of player, beginner to advanced, followed by a social hour.    ***SPECIAL GUEST*** Dancer Cindy Sanchez will be in attendance and will demonstrate  Flamenco dance styles

Monday, May 1  San Louis Obispo Museum of Art/SLO Strummers Workshop and Concert   $20.00

6:30 – 9 PM in SLOMA’s galleries. General admission tickets for both the workshop, “Right Hand Magic: Pro Fingerstyle Tips” and the concert are available at sloma.org or at the door (pending availability).
Presented by SLO Strummers: http://www.slostrummers.org

Wednesday, May 3   Morro Bay Wine Seller  601 Embarcadero, suite 5 93442  $10.00

Join us for this special event featuring an hour of sing alongs to your favorite Doo Wop Songs, then a concert by Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward.

You can pay at the door or by PayPal (you must have an account).  If you want more than one ticket, just change the amount on the link.https://www.paypal.me/HowardIgnatius/10

5:30 – meet and greet and order a class of wine

6:00 Doo Wops with the Distraction Band (Bring your Ukes!)

7:00 or so  Concert by Heidi and Daniel

 

 

One-Day Ukulele Intro at McCabes

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

Ukelele lesson by Heidi Swedberg at McCabe’s , Photo by Est Nyborer

Don’t put it off any longer! Jump on the band wagon! This one-day intro to ukulele class will get you going.  Bring your instrument or borrow one from the shop.

SATURDAY August 27 at MCCABES Guitar Shop, Santa Monica CA

The EL you say!

Daniel Ward  is EL UKULELE

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Flamenco-ukulele master Daniel Ward (with guest bass player Jeff Hawley) performs songs from his CD “EL UKULELE” and debuts new material written for Ukulele Festival of Great Britain 2016.

Bring your ukulele! Before the concert Daniel is offering a workshop in Latin techniques to spice up your playing. Students will be invited to show off their skills in the concert!

SATURDAY MAY 21

WORKSHOP 4:30pm $15/ Concert 6pm $15

at U-Space    244 S San Pedro St, Los Angeles, CA 90012   (323) 577-5567

Good Times at McCabes

This Saturday I will be starting a new 3 week session of UKULEAR FAMILY at McCabesand we have a SUKEY JUMP show there on Sunday February 21 at 11 am!

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photo by Jill Richards

What is the UKULEAR FAMILY?   It’s an all-ages beginning ukulele class. Sometimes I have a room full of kids (under 8 require a participating adult). Sometimes I have all grown-ups! No matter how the demographics come together, we always have a grand time and learn a lot. Mixed ages might seem impossible, but I treasure the space where we all learn together. The truth is, adults and children all need the same thing to learn: clear instruction, repetitive practice and patience. 

Childhood is a time of magical growth. There is a golden window when a child has achieved the motor skills and brain development necessary to play an instrument, but the self-critical voice that says “you aren’t good enough” does not yet ring in their ears. They are shameless! And that is their greatest strength.

Many adults leave music when the leave their childhood and don’t return until they are old enough to step past that wall of shame. When you no longer care what others think, you can be like a child again- fearless and ready to take things on. It is a glorious time in life! Some adults are escorted into freedom by their children, they come hand in hand. Some adults have longer to wait until they have the time to pursue the things that bring joy.

However you come to make music, (and I sincerely hope that you do), if it should be that this Saturday you are ready to start playing, all the better! Meet me at McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica at 10:30 am.

…perhaps if you are really feeling fearless you can join us on stage for a number when we have our….    SUKEY JUMP!

What is a Sukey Jump? It’s a song and dance party, where people get together to make their own fun.  That’s why we named our band the Sukey Jump Band!

Sunday February 21 we are making up a set list of our favorite dance songs and are playing them in McCabe’s famous concert room for all ages at 11 am.  Funk and folk come together, and we will move and groove for an hour. It’s only $10 (kids under 2 free).

 

Going Postal

Ho Ho Ho!!!!!

Guess who has a big sack of goodies for good little boys and girls?  That’s right, ME!

I have my bag packed and will be flying in the Volvo sleigh to the post office on Monday morning to mail out the first 200 ish copies of COLOR-ALONG Ukulele.

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The first batch going out to our Kickstarter supporters

We are really thrilled with how they came out, and I think you will be, too.

Is your mouth watering for these tasty treats?  You can order from my website.  I’ll gladly sign a copy for you and get it in the mail, in plenty time for stocking stuffing or dreidel spinning.

Looking for unusual Holiday cards?  Check out El Rey’s selection HERE guaranteed to give you a ho-ho-ho.

The Matriarchy of Sauces

If hollandaise is the mother sauce of French cuisine, red chili sauce must be the madre of New Mexican food.  When Old World meets New World magic happens- breakfast fit for El Rey! (recipe follows)

Poached eggs in a polenta nest with red chili bearnaise. Mmmmm.

Poached eggs in a polenta nest with red chili bearnaise. Mmmmm.

I am looking forward to the cooking element of our Santa Fe adventure as much as the music!  First thing we will cook will be both red and green chili sauces.  And I’ll be putting recipes and songs and photos together into a book.  I hope you will reserve a seat at the table!

Even if you are not staying with us at the Inn, you can join in- there is a walk-in  option on the registration form, and soon we will open individual workshops to registration. (if you want to be first in line for the open registration I suggest you subscribe to the Ukulele Adventures blog post.)

And everyone is welcome at the public events, including a full-on Flamenco show at El Meson on Wednesday November 4th, and the Smoking Jackets Giant Show at Tiny’s on Friday November 6th.  Or come enjoy hearing the participants play at the Farmer’s market on Saturday morning or at La Choza Saturday night!

Full disclosure- the title of this post is the chapter heading from The Making Of A Cook by Madeleine Kamman.  That’s the book which made me a cook. Everything I know about eggs, cakes and sauces comes from the 1971 edition of this book.  I give it as a high school graduation present to every kid I know, as I think learning to cook a good omlette can save your life.  My copy is held together by tape, nostalgia and love, and I still consult it every time I make crepes.

These two pages can save your life!

The secret to life, the universe and everything

My hollandaise recipe has become somewhat free-form, but you can accomplish something like the sauce shown in the photo above if you try this:

Wisk 3 egg yolks into a cup of cold, good NM red chili sauce, add a little lemon zest and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Over a medium flame wisk constantly.  Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of COLD butter.  The butter will melt as the chili and eggs come to temperature and you will have a no-fuss emulsified sauce. Pour over poached eggs nestled onto an english muffin or polenta or spinach…to make a NM Benedict.  Or serve with fish or asparagus.

Just be sure to make enough for me, because once I hear you are making it I may show up on your doorstep- Or- join us in Santa Fe and I’ll make it for you!

…that’s “EL Ukulele” to you, pal!

A new card has been added to the deck.

El Uke Card Cut Pics

art by El Rey

My partner, Daniel Ward, is finishing up his first uke-centric CD, “EL UKULELE”.  The crafty title alludes to his particular genius of infusing flamenco technique into pint-sized Hawaiian strings.

Daniel recorded at our favorite studio, Third Eye Studios in Tijeras, NM this summer, and David McRae, engineer extraordinaire, is mixing and mastering now.  Listening to the roughs, hearing this take shape is a treat.  The songs range from classical to pop, covers of the Beatles, jazz standards and original compositions.  Some are instrumental single-take solo tracks, some are richly layered with bass and drums, backing vocals, even horn parts. It is a great journey; one which I know will be rewarding to listen to over and over.

Los ukes with la cornet in the studio

Los ukes with la cornet in the studio

His next step is mastering and art, then replication. He intends to have copies in hand for the holidays. There is an opportunity to pre-order through his website, and you can listen to a sampler of the songs, as well as see a video of him recording the Hawaiian classic “Aloha ‘Oe”.

Self-producing means artistic freedom, but it is costly.  No matter how much you DIY, cost outlays can make production an unshoulderable burden. Song rights, layout and art, pressing actual CDs all require cash on the barrelhead. Pre-sales make it possible.  Supporting the arts by buying music is a gift to yourself.  Giving sponsorship to artists you love- that is a gift to the universe.

Go, look, listen.  here’s the link —>   EL UKULELE   <— You’ll be glad you did.  They don’t call him El Ukulele for nothin’!