Just about every major guitar maker has produced a ukulele (often misspelled ukelele) at one time or another. Martin offered three ukulele models to its customers in 1918. The diminutive 12- and 17-fret instruments were followed in the 1920s by concert and tenor models, while the Martin 5-K from 1922, with its koa wood body and abalone inlay, is much in demand among collectors.
Gibson introduced its first ukulele in 1926. The highly collectible Uke-2 and Uke-3 styles from that year had mahogany bodies and rosewood fingerboards. Gibson also made tenor ukuleles (1927) and a baritone model (1961).
Today, ukuleles are experiencing a revival, thanks in no small part to the sustained popularity of the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole’s ukulele medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World,” which has provided the soundtrack for everything from films to TV commercials. Aspiring musicians, with perhaps more good intentions than natural talent, also love them, probably because they are just so darned easy to play.
Not surprisingly, a host of guitar makers have jumped on the uke bandwagon. National makes an entire line of resonator ukuleles, from steel-body models to maple and mahogany ones. Martin and Gibson continue to make ukuleles, as does a well-regarded boutique ukulele maker named Barking Dog.
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Cuyahoga Falls resident's new album highlights his ukulele skillsStow Sentry, October 9th
When the band broke up, I continued to hone my writing skills and write songs, but wasn't really doing anything with it until these past couple of years. I just recently started playing the ukulele as well, which has been an extremely fun avenue to...Read more
'The Virtuoso of Ukulele Players' to play in CaldwellCollege of Idaho News (blog), October 9th
Jake Shimabukuro has a lot in common with the humble ukulele he plays; both are mixtures of island and outside influences, and combinations of modern and historical traditions. Jake combines the qualities of a long line of virtuoso ukulele players with ...Read more
Arts & Extras: Virginia Tech hosts the plucky Ukulele Orchestra of Great BritainRoanoke Times (blog), October 9th
The performance by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will feature songs sung by each member of the orchestra, giving the audience the opportunity to get to know each person on stage. The orchestra is comprised of performers with very different...Read more
WEEKEND: Port Townsend Ukulele Festival begins SaturdayPeninsula Daily, October 9th
“It's an endearing instrument; it has this vibe of the carefree and whimsical,” said Stuart Fuchs, the ukulele stuntman among the many performers to take the stage in Saturday night's Port Townsend Ukulele Festival concert, titled Ukulele Bonanza One...Read more
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will perform at Eisenhower AuditoriumCentre Daily Times, October 8th
The ukulele is an inherently curious instrument. It's simultaneously capable of performing beautifully subdued music and being a punchline. It can elicit both groans and thunderous applause. When the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performs at the ...Read more
Little ukulele gears up for a big weekend in the Twin CitiesTwinCities.com-Pioneer Press, October 8th
A native of Honolulu, Jake Shimabukuro picked up his state's instrument, the ukulele, at the age of 4. An accomplished ukulele player herself, his mother taught him lessons before Shimabukuro went on to train professionally. After high school...Read more
Mozart to Monty Python on ukuleles: The United Kingdom UkuleleDanbury News Times, October 7th
Hear for yourself when The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra appears at the Danbury Palace on Sunday, Oct. 18. The orchestra, also known as TUKUO, is a group of eight high-spirited British musicians who play everything from Bach to the Beatles, and are ...Read more
Strumming the Soundtrack of Life: Kamaka Family Rocks the UkuleleIndian Country Today Media Network, October 6th
The soundtrack to many a Hawaiian daydream includes the soothing tropical strum of a ukulele. This small, four-stringed instrument is as iconically Hawaiian as palm trees, pristine beaches and turquoise waves, but it is also inextricably tied to Native...Read more