West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat


Just a reminder that Flea Jumpers will be gathering this Sunday at the Gordon Huether Studio, though there are a few scheduling changes you should be aware of.

Beginning Workshop This Sunday

From 5:00 – 6:15, I will be teaching a beginning workshop: Movable Chords for Dummies.  This is the first of a 3-part workshop I will be teaching at the West Coast Ukulele Retreat in May.   Here’s the description from the retreat website:

There’s nothing quite like a two-chord song to get your fingers moving in the morning.  And this workshop will do just that….with an eentsy weentsy difference as we take a few baby steps up the ukulele fretboard and learn to play some easy movable chords (and learn what that means) at the same time.  This workshop is definitely geared towards beginners and advanced beginners, but if you’re a more advanced player who wants to hone their skills you are welcome to join us. And, since practice make perfect, we’ll do plenty of practicing with a variety of fun, two-chord songs chosen just for the occasion.  We may even venture into the land of three- and four- chord songs, as well, all the while learning to move our fingers and hone our skills with movable chords.

The cost of the workshop is just $5.00. 

If you don’t want to take the workshop, you don’t need to arrive until 6:15, at which point we will do our usual pupu and happy hour before our regular flea fest.  

Ideally, splitting the meeting up this way will give the beginnners a chance to warm up a bit and learn some new skills before the more advanced players come.  By then we should all be ready to hit the ground running strumming.

I’ll also be bringing a few ukulele wall hangers for you to look at.  I’m guessing that many of your ukuleles don’t see the light of day, unless they come out for Flea Jumpers.  But, I think you’ll find that if you keep your ‘ukulele on the wall, out of harm’s way and within reach, you’ll be much more prone to grab it and play it

between meetings. Anyway, I’ll bring some of the standard wall hangers  plus some that are one-of-kind: hand-painted or carved.  And since some of you expressed interest, I’ll bring a few of the hand-made neck-tie ukulele straps, as well.  If there’s anything else you want me to bring (books, tuners, strings, music stands, etc.), let me know.  You can visit www.kani-ka-pila.com to see what else I have available.  If you want to keep abreast of new things I get in, please subscribe  to that website.

Butter & Eggs

I’m hoping we’ll also get a report from those of you participating in the KALA ukulele parade at Petaluma’s Butter and Egg Days parade on Saturday,  April 28. Don’t forget, they’re having a rehearsal today (Thursday) at 5:30 p.m. at Kala’s new offices at 1105 Industrial Ave., Suite 101, in Petaluma. Please RSVP (707) 775 4073 x 2818  so they no how many to expect. Here are the pieces you’ll be playing at the parade so you can practice ahead of time:

Kala Parade Medley

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad

Coming to the Napa Valley Opera House

And, I’ve just learned that Keola Beamer and Raiatea Helm will be performing together at the Napa Valley Opera House on May 3.  Keola Beamer is a slack key guitar player extraordinaire and personifies aloha. Raiatea Helm is an ‘ukulele player and simply amazing vocalist.  I haven’t heard them together, yet, but I can just imagine what beautiful music they must make. This really is a performance you don’t want to miss.

Keola also puts on the Aloha Music Camp that you have heard me speak so fondly of.  Their next camp is from July 1 – 7.  Lot’s of fun.  Lot’s of music. Lots of aloha. If you want to see Hawai’i beyond the shops of Waikiki,  stops on the standard tours, and massive tourist luaus,  and participate in some real, Hawaiian immersion, this is the place for you.

Stolen ‘Ukulele

And finally,  I went to the Reno Uke Fest a couple of weekends ago and had a very nice (retail $520) all-koa, KoAloha soprano Pikake  (just like the one I play and the one pictured here) stolen while I was there. Neither the festival organizers or security at the Nuggett (the casino where the festival was being held) did anything to try to retrieve it, so I’m just asking everyone to be on the look-out for it–there aren’t a lot of them around.  It has a date, 2011, stamped on the inside. It might’ve shown up on eBay or Craig’s list.

That’s it, except for a reminder, to those of you who haven’t signed up yet for our Yahoo group, here’s the link: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/NapaValleyFleaJumpers/  It’s a little more “private” than the website and often has more immediate information.

See you Sunday.

Elaine

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Just came across this little Swing Ukulele tutorial by Gerald Ross.  It is excellent…especially the tip on how to make a barre chord!  Gerald has taught at the Wine Country Ukulele Festival the last two years and will be back with us again this year (September 7, 8, 9).  He is also one of the featured instructors at the West Coast Ukulele Retreat at Asilomar May 16 – 20.  If you can learn this much in just an 8-minute tutorial, imagine what you might pick-up after spending 3 full days with Gerald and the other instructors we have lined up.  In any case….enjoy.

We have a date for the 2011 Wine Country ‘Ukulele Festival: September 10 & 11 at the Upper Valley Campus of the Napa Valley College, in St. Helena. We’ll be posting updates on the festival webpage as they become available. Be sure you’re subscribed to that to stay in the loop!

We’re also in the process of planning the festival’s opening night (Friday, Sept. 9) celebration at the Napa Valley Opera House.  This year it will include a VIP reception at the Opera House before the concert.  We are currently looking for wineries, caterers, and/or restaurants who might be interested in joining us that evening as special event sponsors.  If you fall within that category, please let me know. Basically it would involve pouring your wine at the event or offering some nibbles.  Besides the exposure (including a link on the festival website) we will have other relevant perks available for our sponsors.  So please, let me know……

I’m also looking for volunteers to help out with the festival both before and during the festival. So, if you have a hankering to help, let me know.

If you missed the first, ever West Coast Ukulele Retreat at Asilomar on the Monterey Peninsula, I am sorry.  It was, by all accounts, a total blast.  We will be doing it again next year, so mark your calendars: May 16 – 20, 2012 and be sure to subscribe to that weblog to stay in that loop. 

Here’s a little teaser from this year’s retreat:

 

And don’t forget, Napa Valley Flea Jumpers meet at 5:00 pm, the last Sunday of the month (that would be today), at the Gordon Huether Studio in Napa. To stay in that loop, be sure to sign up in Yahoo Groups.

That’s it for now.  See you soon.