LA Ukulele EXPO 2016

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Join me next Saturday, July 9th in Little Tokyo, the heart of downtown Los Angeles, for a mass-celebration of ukulele! There will be jams, demonstrations, give aways, concerts, talks, and free lessons- Who knows, we might even break a world record!

I will be coming straight from McCabes, where I am starting a 3-week class– there is still room if you want to join- and will jump right in to leading a sing and play along, including Hawaiian songs, Japanese songs and favorites songs you can sing and strum along with- even if you have just learned your first chords!

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

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Why I Uke

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Thank you, Ukulele Magazine, for asking me to write this article.  I love reading people’s comments about the friends they have made through ukulele, about playing for Alzheimer’s patients, about songs of childhood which still sing in their soul.

May 2016 bring us all more opportunities to share, to love and to connect.  Here’s to raising our voices together this sweet 16!

 

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.

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

Big Bunny!

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We had a hoppin’good time at the LA Zoo over the weekend, playing 10 shows in 3 days and hanging with the Big Bunny.  We packed breakfast burritos with green chili and lunch burritos with red chili to share with another New Mexican, Luis Guerra who played the sassy new Ohana bass.  (Can’t wait to take this little powerhouse to the Reno Uke Fest this weekend!)

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Who can resist a  carousel?  Sure wish we had the chance to ride in the Dung Beetle Chariot!

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Shows, workshops and MORE in PHX

Here’s our schedule for Phoenix later this month- with a big shout out to all the great people who helped us put these gigs together, especially Jim D’Ville!  If you don’t already know about Jim and his adventures, check out his website- Jim and his lovely wife live in an Airstream trailer and spread the love of ukulele around the country and the WORLD!  (we are thrilled that Jim will be leading the Weekend Ukulele Warriors to victory on March 1.  More on that soon!)

SATURDAY, February 22 10 am and 11 am

The Children’s Museum of Phoenix   All-ages good time music with the band.  Here’s a review of the last time we were there. (thank you Zooglobble, aka Stefan Shepherd) This time we’ll have Craig McClelland on Bass (and tuba if we can scrounge one! anybody got one to lend?) and Daniel on uke and more.

Our man Craig holds down the low end

Our man Craig holds down the low end

SATURDAY, February 22 6:00 PM to 11:30 PM

Global Family Philanthropy Imagine 2014    While we are in Phoenix we will be attending a gala fundraiser for GLOBAL FAMILY PHILANTHROPHY, the wonderful people we went  to Haiti with a few years back.  Please consider attending this event or donating to the charity- we will be adding a UKULELE BASKET to the items to be auctioned.  Tickets HERE.

The kids in Haiti enjoying a meal with the ukuleles hanging on the wall behind them.  We painted the mural and chords for 3 Little Birds on the wall for them to play!

The kids in Haiti enjoying a meal with the ukuleles hanging on the wall behind them. We taught them 3 Little Birds and they taught us Wi Wa!

SUNDAY, February 23 1-4 pm

The Refuge Café   4727 N. 7th Ave. Phoenix, 85013

Clinic and Concert with Heidi and the Sukey Jump Band at a FANTASTIC new coffee/wine bar- this place has endless great reviews and donates it’s profits to charity.  Did I mention beer and wine?! Lets jam!

$35. Concert and clinic

THURSDAY, February 27 3-6 pm

Sun City Ukulele Club   Concert and Workshop. Come and meet a great ukulele community.  You might find yourself joining!*** We will be raffling a beautiful OHANA Zebrawood CK 15Z

Ukulele with gig bag!***

$20 RCSC members/guests add $2

Come and get me!

Come and get me!

BUT WAIT- THERE’S MORE!!!

Daniel Ward and Craig McClelland (aka the Sukey Jump Band of the moment) will be doing a big, wild and crazy ROCK SHOW and there’s rumors that CHER might be making a guest appearance!

Daniel gets up close and personal with Cher at last year's 1973 fundraiser for PVCC

Daniel gets up close and personal with Cher at last year’s 1973 fundraiser for PVCC

7:30pm, Saturday March 1st,  2:00 pm Sunday, March 2nd

Spirit of ’76 – 2014 Fine & Performing Arts Scholarship Fundraiser

PVCC Center for the Performing Arts
   The 2014 Fine Arts Fundraiser, titled SPIRIT OF ’76, features some of the biggest hits from 1976 including songs from The Eagles, Bob Seger, Queen, KISS, Tom Petty, Boston, Fleetwood Mac, David Bowie, Billy Joel, Hall and Oates, The Doobie Brothers, Steve Miller Band,  Peter Frampton, Blue Oyster Cult and much more!

NEW SERIES: Weekly Workshops at McCabes

Exciting news! Starting January 11th Daniel and I will be hosting a new series of ukulele workshop-style classes at McCabes Guitar Shop called

WEEKEND UKULELE WARRIOR

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

Great photos by John Nyboer – see more here! estnyboer.com/photos

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

Every Saturday at noon you can hone your skills in a festival-style workshop.  We will feature great guest instructors from the ukulele circuit when they are in town, such as Jim D’Ville, Sarah Maisel and Craig Chee.  Each workshop is $40.  You can sign up inadvance on the website or come a bit early on the day.  Classes are open to all ages, but children under 8 must have a participating adult alongside.

Workshops  become increasingly challenging over the course of the month but any level can attend and learn something in any class.   The first Saturday of the month is appropriate absoloute beginners, the second week geared towards those who know a few chords and are ready for more, the third week will be new skills and the fourth week will focus on a fun challenge, such as latin strums, blues box exploration or classical flamenco Sevillanas.

Fantastic guest instructors from around the ukulele World Circuit share their love and expertise.  Catch some of the hottest uke superstars as they pass through town in these exciting workshops! More special guests to be added- I will update the schedule as great teachers jump on board.

Here’s what we have scheduled so far:

1/ 11  Learn to play the Ukulele in a Day with Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward

1/ 18 Ukulele Building Blocks with Daniel Ward- simple exercises and techniques for all levels

1/25  Latin Strums With Daniel Ward- Even the most simple songs, like “Happy Birthday to You” come to life with a dash of salsa!

2/1 JASON ARIMOTO 

2/ 8   picking and Grinning with Heidi Swedberg- simple picking patterns give variety to your playing for beginning and intermediate players

2/ 15   Bossa Nova Training Wheels with Daniel Ward- like champaigne, bossa goes with everything.  Broken down to simple steps so everyone can get their Jobim on.

2/ 22   Guest teacher FRED SOKOLOW takes students on aUkulele Fretboard Roadtrip!

3/ 1  The effervescent  JIM D’VILLE shares his secrets of how to  Play Ukulele  by Ear

3/8   Special guest teachers SARAH MAISEL and CRAIG CHEE bring  their sparkling chemistry and great chops!

3/15  Modulating with the Bb family with Heidi Swedberg.  Learn a simple progression that can carry you up the fretboard.

3/29  The Butcher of Seville with Daniel Ward (Spanish guitar classics for the 4 strings)

4/5  Learn to play the Ukulele in a Day with Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward