No. 35, Winter 2021
That smiling man on our cover is, of course, the great Hawaiian ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro who, in an exclusive interview, opens up about his new all-star album, Jake & Friends (featuring the likes of Willie Nelson, Bette Midler, Jack Johnson, Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, and many others); the players and teachers who influenced him; using electronics with the uke; and his love of classical music.
Other featured artists in this issue include swing and jazz ukulele master Gerald Ross; the exciting duo Victor & Penny, who capture the magic of music from the 1920 and ’30s, as well as writing their own sharp original tunes; and Jumpin’ Jim Beloff, who offers us a tasty morsel from his excellent new memoir, UKETOPIA! Adventures in the Ukulele World.
Lessons include a primer on old-time music two-finger picking from Fred Sokolow; and tips from Jim D’Ville on the important skill of hearing intervals. Songs to play are Dennis Kamakahi’s slack-key guitar classic “Koke’e” and special arrangement of “Tea for Two” by Byron Yasui. We review a pair of tenor ukes from a relatively new operation based in the Chicago area, Makaio Ukulele, and also a fine tenor by the Canadian company Twisted Wood. Our Uke Makers column looks at Maui-based luthier Steve Grimes.
Also in this issue: A photo gallery of ukulele-themed aloha shirts; singer-songwriter Tom Freund’s “Happy Uke”; album reviews; Harmony’s 1930s “Art Moderne” ukes; and more!