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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Recent News: Ukuleles

Source: Google News

Can you play the ukulele? Why not get involved with Active Ashbrow music ...
Huddersfield Examiner, September 16th

Active Ashbrow is hoping to hit the right note with the community by hosting free music workshops. And all sessions will feature the ukulele! The workshops are being held for the over 55s at Brooklands in Bradley. Active Ashbrow's Dani Maloney said...Read more

Performers and instruction highlight 2014 Utah Ukulele Festival
Cache Valley Daily, September 16th

The 2014 Utah Ukulele Festival will be held on Saturday, September 27th at Logan's Willow Park and the organizers Dave and Danelle Manoah say they expect it to be even more popular than last year's festival which attracted approximately 2,000 people...Read more

Ukulele music festival in Gosport
Portsmouth News, September 15th

The Stokes Bay Strummers are holding the Gosport Ukulele Music Festival at Holy Trinity Church next month. Groups from across the area are meeting to raise cash for The Rowans Hospice and the church in Trinity Green. It starts at 11am and finishes at 5pm...Read more

The world's first visually-impaired ukulele band? What next for a school with ...
The Guardian, September 12th

“One of our pupils is now the world's first visually impaired police cadet, for example, and we're forming the world's first visually impaired Ukulele band …” He takes me down the wide, light-filled corridors of the Victorian building, in Liverpool's...Read more

First annual ukulele festival set for Oct. 11
Marianas Variety, September 11th

The group aims to promote and encourage ukulele music and heritage by bringing together people from all over the CNMI who share the common passion for playing the ukulele, as well as to create an avenue for people of all cultures to share the island ...Read more

Sumtur hosts ukulele festival, concert
Omaha World-Herald, September 10th

Mixed in between those vocal warm up noises came the happy, mellow strums of nearly 30 ukuleles. Sumtur hosted its first ukulele festival on Friday and Saturday. “We've done a ukulele group through the Papillion Recreation Department. This is just kind...Read more

Workshop, concert by Lil Rev focuses on ukulele
Green Bay Press Gazette, September 9th

The Ukulele Society of Door County brings Milwaukee-based ukulele and harmonica player Lil Rev to Jacksonport Town Hall Bakery for an instructional ukulele workshop and concert on Sept. 18. The workshop will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m., with Lil Rev...Read more

Another Visit With Ukulele Sensation Jake Shimabukuro
Public Radio East, September 1st

Last spring, Shimabukuro visited our studios with two different ukuleles and shared his joy in playing the instrument. As he told Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson, “there's something really magical about the ukulele… it feels so good, it makes you smile...Read more