Marching Forth (as April May)

 

Hope springs eternal. As does music.  Are they not, fundamentally the same thing?  Neither could I live without.  “So, in a world of snow, of things that come and go, where what you think you know you can’t be certain of you must believe in spring and love“.

Here’s some of what is on our calendar this spring:

3/26 KALA Ukulele Day in LA at USPACE with Jim D’Ville.  I will be using my new book “Color-Along Ukulele” for my all ages class, and you get a copy to keep with class admission!  Win a Kala Waterman uke– Giving away one per class!¡! 

4/2 WAKE UP with the Waves at the Santa Monica Pier   all ages- FREE!  10:30 am-noon  We will have a crazy fun band, including Paul the Trombonist

4/16 UKULELE DAY at WILMINGTON Los Angeles Public Library Branch  all ages- FREE!!!!  (Check out their free 6-week class for kids and teens starting 3/9!)

4/24 RACHEL MANKE  lets us sit in with her at the Coffee Gallery

5/5-8 WEST COAST UKULELE RETREAT in Asilomar. If you have never been… GO! (if there are still rooms available) This is a FANTASTIC retreat with great instructors in the most beautiful, peaceful place you can imagine.  And the food’s great, too!

 

We are heading across the pond to England in June, where Daniel will be playing the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain.  To prepare, he is scheduling private house concerts and a public show at U-Space on May 21.  More details to follow as they solidify.  This will be a great show with a guest bass player and El Uke will be debuting some very snazzy new material as well as playing selections from his CD EL UKULELE.  Give it a preview!

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SPIGA! UPGRADED shipping this week!

If you wanted to get a COLOR-ALONG Ukulele book, Cup of Tea CD or PLAY! CD from SukeyJumpMusic as a holiday gift, or to order EL UKULELE from Daniel Ward as a holiday gift…

we want to be sure they get to you ON TIME!  So we are offering UPGRADED shipping until December 19th.  Everything will go out PRIORITY MAIL.

(and as a thank-you for those of you who read this, if you mention the word “SPIGA!” in your order, we will give you a free CD with your order! Just tell us which one you would like added!)

Merry happy merry!

Love, Daniel and Heidi

Book Signing and Sing-Along

Tuesday December 15th, 10 am at Chevalier’s Books on Larchmont Blvd (Los Angeles)

Every Tuesday morning we do a sing-along at Chevalier’s Books on Larchmont Boulevard in Los Angeles. This Tuesday will be something special- we will be signing our new BOOK! As well as singing some songs featured in it, and some holiday classics.

In case you haven’t heard, COLOR-ALONG Ukulele is a method book, designed to make learning the ukulele fun for all ages.  There is a download link to a fun recording of each song, making it the perfect tool for classroom or home. Plus a page of suggestions for how to use the book as a student or teacher.

Ukuleles are a great way to engage in music. They are perfect for children, older adults or anyone wishing to claim song for their own.  They are affordable, making  them a perfect holiday gift, and this book was written to support learning the basics and having fun.

Come pick up a copy, sing some songs with us and celebrate music and the holidays!

You can also order on our website!

 

 

McCabes Kid’s show and COLOR-ALONG Party!!!

The ink is drying and it looks like I will be picking up our newly-minted copies of COLOR-ALONG UKULELE this Saturday.  How prescient that we have a show booked for the NEXT DAY at McCabes.  Although I hadn’t really planned it that way, it looks like we will be having an impromptu release party!

The hills are alive! Cover image by El Rey

The hills are alive! Cover image by El Rey

We will be singing songs featured in the book, as well as playing on the world’s largest twister mat and dancing up a storm in California’s coolest under-age mosh pit.

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Books will be available and I’d love to sign a copy for you or someone on your holiday shopping list after the show.

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’!

Santa Fe U’ke ‘Ole-le

It’s that time of year! CHILE is roasting everywhere in New Mexico, and ex-pat New Mexicans are roasting chile anywhere they can find it. Even grocery stores in Los Angeles are selling Hatch green. We blistered up a few pounds and ate them on the spot.

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Before

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Durring

Here’s what it looks like now:

Santa Fe brewing co. is among several local craft brewers who make KILLER beer!

AFTER!     NB: Santa Fe Brewing Co. is among several local craft brewers making KILLER beer!

Southern New Mexico is known for it’s green chile, but Northern New Mexico is where the best red comes from.

Red and green chile are essentially the same plant, but red is left to ripen, and is then picked and strung into picturesque ristras to dry in the sun.  Fresh green is roasted and peeled, dried red is either powdered or pulverized into a sauce. (There just may be an article in the coming Ukulele Magazine were I go on about this, and it just may have a recipe included.)

I can’t wait for the first weekend in November, because that’s when Daniel and I go back to Santa Fe for the The New Uke Culinary Fiesta.  First order of business will be to teach everyone how to make red and green chile sauce.

There are still a few spots left for anyone who wants to sign on, and soon we will be announcing opportunities for “locals” to join the fun, including the full-on flamenco show by Miel Amarga (with Daniel on guitar) at El Meson, and a show by The Smoking Jackets at Tiny’s.

Full Smokin' Jackets! Craig McClelland, Heidi, Daniel Ward and John Bartlit.

Full Smokin’ Jackets! Craig McClelland, Heidi, Daniel Ward and John Bartlit. fab shot by http://www.allisonphoto.com/

U’KULELI!      CHILI!

If music be the food of love… I think we are in no danger of pining away!