FIRST AND FOREMOST: Please everyone, take a moment and send your thoughts and/or prayers out to Keoki Kahumoku and his family who are going through some very difficult times right now.   Just take a moment, close your eyes, and wish him and his ‘ohana well.

hiro2aWEDNESDAY, JULY 15Tiki Dinner at Hiro Sone’s Ame Restaurant in San Francisco, located at the corner of Third Street and Mission, (within the St. Regis Hotel).  Yum!  Take a look at the Menu.  All for $55 with beverage pairings!  That’s well worth a road trip on down to the city. Let me know if you want to carpool. In case you don’t already know, fellow Flea Jumper Hiro Sone, along with his wife Lissa Doumani, also owns the very highly-regarded Terra Restaurant on Railroad Avenue in St. Helena, open for dinner only, Wednesday through Monday.  And I’ve heard, via the TransPacific grapevine, Hiro plays a mean slack key guitar…perhaps we’ll get him to play “Free Bird” for us one of these days.

Kathy QuainSATURDAY, JULY 18 – ‘Ukulele Lounge at Kathy Quain’s place in Oakland.  Not really a public event, but she did give the OK to forward the information.  If anyone wants to ride down with me, let me know…. Or let me know if you want to go on your own and need the address. Kathy is a good friend of mine from Aloha Music Camp and came up for our Flea Jumper gathering at Miner Family Vineyards last December. (Remember “Baby, It’s Cold Outside?”) She also introduced us to Elaine Herrick, our favorite bassist. I’ve not been to one of Kathy’s  ‘Ukulele Lounges before so I don’t know what to expect, but I do know Kathy and it should be fun……We can arrive any time after 4pm and need to bring a potluck item and a song to share, a music stand if you have one, and, of course, your ‘ukulele.

SUNDAY, JULY 19James Hill at DaSilva ‘Ukulele. Sunday, July 19, 2009, from 3 to 5pm. If you’ve never played swing and jazz before, this is your chance! James will be teaching his intermediate-level workshop “Swing, Ukulele Swing!”  at Mike DaSilva’s Studio Regardless of prior experience, you’ll be swinging your first tune in five minutes. Your ‘ukulele will thank you and your strumming will never be the same again. $25 (cash or check only) for 2 hours with James Hill? What a deal! Plus, it’s always fun to see what Mike has cooking in his shop. DaSilva ‘Ukulele is at 2547 Eighth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710.  Here’s a little teaser, one of my favorite songs by James Hill (though I’ve never seen him do it “live.”  Watching him turn his ‘ukulele into a percussion instrument is worth every second:

And yes, you can try this at home.  Dominator has transcribed the tab for James’ version of One Note Samba.  For more of Dominator’s wonderful transcriptions, be sure to visit his weblog.  And while you are there, don’t forget to show your support for all the wonderful work Dominator does on our behalf by buying one of his “Got Tabs?” T-shirts.

MONDAY, JULY 20 – Tickets go on sale for Jake Shimabukuro at the San Francisco Jazz Festival, October 21, 2009.  If you haven’t seen Jake perform live, you really must. And don’t forget to “drag” a non-believer along with you! If Jake can’t dispell the ‘ukulele legacy of Tiny Tim, nobody can.

THURSDAY, JULY 23 – Bob Brozman at the Santa Cruz Ukulele Club. Bring your ukes for the play-a-longs then play-a-long with Bob. What fun!  Food, friends, drinks, and music start at 6pm. And the “meeting” (ha!) starts at 7pm. Bocci’s Cellar Restaurant, 140 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA. These meetings are totally fun! In fact, you can make a very long weekend of it:

Bob BrozmanSATURDAY, JULY 25  – Bob Brozman’s Ukulele Workshop is back!  This will be the  first in a series of four ‘ukulele workshops given by the very talented Bob Brozman at his spacious studio  in the Santa Cruz Mountains this summer. There are four sessions to choose from: July 25, July26, August 1, or August 2; from 2 – 5pm with an optional advanced lesson from 6 – 7pm.  Taylor and I went to one of these last spring and it was wonderful! Bob is an extremely knowledgeable and generous instructor and host.  And there will be a private showing of ‘ukuleles by Mike DaSilva and National Resontaor Guitars! Check out Bob’s website for more information on this and his upcoming guitar workshops, as well.

SUNDAY, JULY 26 – FLEA FEST!  Diana Perez at NapAloha has invited us back for our monthly Flea Fest at 1428 Main Street (next to Lyman Park) in St. Helena. Diana and hubby, Steve, are digging into their wine cellar for the occasion, but it’s up to us to bring non-alcoholic beverages and pupus to share. Also be sure to bring a small folding chair, if you have one, and a music stand. Festivities begin at 6pm. If you’ve got a new song, please bring it and about 12 copies. (Remember, it’s not too soon to start practicing for the Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival.) It’s so great for Diana to give us something approximating a “home” for our sorted activities.  Let’s be sure to thank her by sending lots of business her way.

1aFRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9,10,11 – Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival. Save the date and be sure to subscribe to the festival weblog so you can keep up with the all the latest developments. More enteratiners, instructors, and sponsors are jumping on board weekly.  It’s going to be a great party!

This one’s for Paula!

A few meetings back we were all struggling with the introduction to ”Ukulele Lady.”  Well here’s Kermit doing a pretty darn good job.  Hey, if a frog can do it, we can do it. So watch carefully, play along, and be ready to knock ’em dead at the next Flea Fest.

And, if you haven’t done so already, now would be a perfect time.  Close your eyes and send Keoki Kahumoku your love and best wishes.