Let’s MAKE MUSIC!

MAKE MUSIC DAY WEDNESDAY, JUNE 21st at the SKIRBALL CENTER

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PARTY AT THE SKIRBALL! Make Music Day is 100% good times!

Play your ukulele! (Or learn to play!) Raise your voice! Daniel Ward and I will be leading a teach-and-strum along with Ohana ukuleles to lend at this FREE event at the Skirball.  Join us at noon, stay for Drumming with Rhythm Child, and a full day of musical programs you can interact with and enjoy.

I am hoping ukulele clubs, kids, families and ALL AGES of ukulele enthusiasts or wana-be uke players come to this event! If you are experienced, you will enjoy sharing your knowledge.  If you are new to the uke you can learn in a super-charged, loving and non- judgmental environment.  We are committed to sharing joy and connection through music, and would love to see YOU there, having fun, too.

The magnificent Alissa Hunnicutt will be on hand to make everything that much more fun, and Ohana will have a table set up where you can borrow and instrument for the day of buy one to take home to keep! ( We are so glad to have Ohana’s support on this!)

Here is some information on Make Music Day from their website:

Last year, over 750 cities around the world threw citywide music celebrations on June 21.

It all started 35 years ago in France.

In 1982, Jack Lang and his staff at the Ministry of Culture dreamed up an idea for a new kind of musical holiday. They imagined a day where free, live music would be everywhere: street corners and parks, rooftops and gardens, store fronts and mountaintops.

And, unlike a typical music festival, anyone and everyone would be invited to join and play music, or host performances. The event would take place on the summer solstice, June 21, and would be called Fête De La Musique. (In French, the name means both “festival of music” and “make music!”)

Amazingly enough, this dream has come true. The Fête has turned into a true national holiday: France shuts down on the summer solstice and musicians take over. Almost 8% of the country (5 million people) have played an instrument or sung in public for the Fête de la Musique.

MEDITATIONS FOR (and on) UKULELE

For the last year, Daniel has been writing “studies”.  If you are someone who has dipped their toe into classical music, you know that these can sometimes stand alone as solo performance pieces (think Villalobos) or be exercises to strengthen your playing (like Hanon for piano). Daniel’s split the difference.  They are simple pieces to play in loops, beautiful to listen to, calming and centering to play. Students and festival workshop participants have been enthusiastic about them, so he’s working on putting them together in a book.

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Daniel will be teaching a sampler of studies at U-Space this weekend, and the following weekend he will be joining me teaching ALL AGES- that means kids, adults and in-between.  And then, there’s that Sukey Jump Band show at McCabes the next day.

UKULELE MEDITATIONS WITH DANIEL WARD

This Saturday, March 11 at U-Space: TWO workshops with ukulele master Daniel Ward highlighting pieces from his forthcoming book “Arpeggio Meditations for Ukulele”.

Arpeggio Meditations are soothing, rhythmic and melodic instrumental compositions for repeated playing. They teach both right and left hand techniques, and offer a relaxing discipline for improving tone and musicality. The simplest exercises are great for all levels of player, from the novice to the professional, who is ready to focus intently on technical mastery and expression. The more difficult exercises include challenging patterns and Latin styles.

TWO one-hour workshops, $20 for one, $35 for both.         Sandwiches will be available for purchase between classes for attendee convenience.

11:30 am to 12:30 am   All-Level Arpeggio Meditation,

1:00 to 2:00pm     Montuno Arpeggio Meditation

 

Saturday, March 18th at U-Space: TWO workshops for ALL-AGES Active participation in the arts is one of the best ways to inspire creativity and confidence–and the `ukulele is fun to boot!

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Family style!

`UKULELE FOR All-Ages with HEIDI SWEDBERG and DANIEL WARD : A workshop for adults, kids, and families starting on their musical journey. Sing and strum a dozen songs in just one lesson. This class is open to all, ages 5 and up. (Participating parents MUST accompany children between the ages of 5-8. Children 8 and up may come alone, though parental participation is highly recommended)

10:30 am to 11:30 am   $25 includes “Color-Along Ukulele Method Book” and participating parent admission, (or $35 for both classes! Sandwiches will be available for purchase between classes for attendee convenience.)

CONTINUING UKE FOR ALL AGES- Kids, families, adults learn together, adding picking techniques, new chords and rhythms. Increase your skills so your musical enjoyment can grow.

12 noon to 1:00 PM $20

SUKEY JUMP BAND KID’S CONCERT at MCCABES

Sunday, March 19, 10:30 am  $10, kids under 2 FREE

Mccabes will be providing some percussion and kid-friendly instruments for the wee folk participate with.  Come play, sing and have fun with Heidi and the Sukey Jump Band at our favorite LA venue!

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Here are some other events we have scheduled:

April 8  ISLAND SOUL Daniel and I will be teaching FREE classes during the day (more details TBA)   Chapman University, Orange CA

April 29    BLACKBIRD GUITARS

April 30   DaSILVA UKULELE

May 12-14                 MIGHTY UKE DAY, LANSING MI

May 19-21                 LAS CRUCES UKEFEST 2017 Our friends in the southern NM are putting on their first full-on festival- My Mom and I are working up a piece!

June 19-July 31        MARLBOROUGH SUMMER SCHOOL I will be teaching early childhood music and ukulele on a beautiful campus in the heart of Los Angeles. If you have little ones needing some summer day care, or older kids wanting enrichment, this is a chance to breathe some rare air at a (somewhat above) ground level price.

June 21    MAKE MUSIC DAY at the SKIRBALL CENTER  we will be teaching a ukulele class at noon.  Come play!

July 30      SUKEY JUMP BAND at the   SKIRBALL CENTER  We loved our Bill Grahm show at the Skirball two years ago, and we are thrilled to return for a show during the Paul Simon exhibit.  Expect songs related to this great artist, from folk, to pop, to world beat. An amazing opportunity to really stretch and shine, teach and jam!

August 11-13           AUBURN GOLD PAN UKULELE FESTIVAL We are thrilled to join Dani Joy at this vibrant new festival in a town we have never experienced! Can’t wait to meet the lovely folks of Auburn!

September 27          PORT TOWNSEND UKULELE FESTIVAL Now that there is an OYSTER BAR on the premices, this event may be unchallengably the tastiest ever! This event sells out shortly after it is announced every year. If you are already signed up- see you there! If not, look into it, and cue up for next year.

October 14                ANTELOPE VALLEY UKULELE FESTIVAL   Honored to be returning to Lancaster to celebrate the love of ukulele and community with our desert ukulele ohana.

 

…that’s “EL Ukulele” to you, pal!

A new card has been added to the deck.

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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’!

The Los Angeles Ukulele Festival (of Torrance)

First but hopefully not the last-

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Daniel and I will be there teaching kids classes, and Daniel will be doing some flamencasizing as well.  Really excited to be doing what we love in our own back yard.  Check out the schedule HERE.

Hope our SoCal friends can make it! See you there!

Our NEW BOOK!

Pre-orders are being taken now through KICKSTARTER for our NEW BOOK:

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The site is hot and business has been brisk! In less than 24 hours, more than 160 copies have been ordered. We are excited to have been promoted to “staff Pick” on the Kickstarter!

Color-Along Ukulele is a method book with illustrations designed to entice beginning players of all ages, and includes companion recordings– great for use in the classroom or at home.

Fun lessons and illustrations by El Rey with recordings to boot!  Woot!

Fun lessons and illustrations by El Rey with recordings to boot! Woot!

BIG THANKS to all the backers who jumped in on the first day: for believing in this project, for pledging the funds we need to finish.  Your orders will allow us to get to work on the art, recordings and deliver it to the printers.  In plenty time for the holidays. (What? Christmas already?)

And big thanks for your generosity towards others.  At least 100 of the books just bought are being directed to the hands of  kids ready to learn the ukulele in places like Haiti, India, and Mexico where we are partnered with smart organizations.  And we know a bunch of kids stateside, from California to New York who would love books in their schools and libraries.

These girls are in the ukulele program we started in Ajijic last month with the CUL Kids!

These girls are in the ukulele program we started in Ajijic last month with the CUL Kids!

Lalo, el maestro in Mexico, teaching his new class.  He was our second order!

Lalo, el maestro in Mexico, teaching his new class. He was our second order!

Please click on the site, watch the great movie edited with love and skill by Daniel’s niece Kirsten, shot by Lisa Udelson and staring her beautiful son and his friends.  Check out the rewards, which include art by El Rey, our artist.

Who wouldn't want an original by this handsome monkey-squid?

Who wouldn’t want an original by this handsome monkey-squid?

We’ll even make you dinner!

....actual platings may vary...

….actual platings may vary…

We are pleased as punch with this book and we think you will be too!  Hear the whole story on Kickstarter.  Check it out! click here:   COLOR-ALONG UKULELE

And a reminder- if you are in LA we start classes at U-Space TOMORROW! (2/28) at 10:30 am for families!  Hope to see you there!

THREE (count ’em) Classes starting THIS WEEKEND

 

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Girls just want to have fun

A One-Day workshop for so-called “grown-ups” on Sunday, April 14

and TWO series for families, on opposite sides of LA, both beginning on Saturday the 13th!

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“C” you there!

First, I return to McCabes to teach another fun-filled-four-week session of the UKUlear Family, four consecutive Saturdays, starting on April 13th at 10:30 am. (There will be a kid’s concert at McCabes on April 28th, and I would love if my students would bring their ukes and join the band ON STAGE AT MCCABES for a number or two!)

Then…  the same day, April 13th, all the way out in EAGLE ROCK we’ll commence a three-week series at the Green Bean. After the third and final class on April 27th there will be a CONCERT, and students will be asked to join me playing and singing on a few numbers, the delight and amazement of their friends and relatives and a roaring crowd.

BUT WAIT, there’s more:

Sunday, April 14… THIS SUNDAY from 3 to 5 pm – a one day workshop at The Audition Studio in Brentwood.   This class is skewed towards actors and other life-of-the-party sorts.  We will learn uke basics and then play with musical improvisation formats.  These are great party games to play with friends and are easier then you might think.

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If you aren’t laughing, I ain’t doing my job!

Grab your hatchet and hit one of these classes.  Is yours missing strings? kinda messed up? I’ll fix it for you if I can!  Send me a message letting me know what’s up and come early.  Don’t have your own ukulele yet?   I will lend you one. (concert, not tenor) First come-first served.

COME ON OUT AND PLAY!