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Fine Arts Camper Requests

Last week I posted songbooks listing lyrics and chords for easy children’s songs, many of which we are playing in ukulele classes at Juneau Fine Arts Camp this month.  There have been some camper requests this past week, so I am posting links for them as promised.

Last summer, Trevor came to ukulele for all 4 weeks. When he returned this summer, he was still strumming the chords to Five Years Time by Noah and the Whale,  almost always at break-neck speed. It is a fun strumming pattern with a mute/beat in the middle that is very appealing to the older kids. Lyrics & chords are available at Ukulele Hunt. This song is a good one for practicing the transitions between C – F – G – F, and is a chord progression that works for other songs, like Twist & Shout, Labamba, Wild Thing, Louie, Louie,and Get Off of My Cloud. Only three chords and you practically have a busking set!

Owen, who is new this year to ukulele, asked me to look up the song Wonderwall, by Oasis. Happily,  the tabs provided on Ultimate Guitar had fairly easy chords (Am,C,G,D, and F), so we were able to give it a go with the 4th -6th graders. In looking up ukulele chords for the song, I happened upon this ukulele cover/tutorial posted by DerMoppelt on YouTube with a neat chord progression using variations on the G chord.

Elena performed and taught us all Speak Now, by Taylor Swift (tabs). A couple other easier pop songs for these guys are:  Little Talks by Of Monsters and Men (tabs);  Somebody That I Used to Know (official) by Gotye (tabs) or a fun ukulele team cover; and last summer’s favorite, Hey Soul Sister by Train (tabs).  These tab links are from ukutabs.com, a site with a helpful feature that allows you to transpose up or down by half steps until you find chords that you can play. Of course, the chords you can play are not always in a key you can sing, so choose your poison.

Finally, for Noah, E Huli Makou by David Chung.  This song is included in the 3-chord songbook, but since it is not a familiar one, I am giving a few more resources for those kids who want to keep working on it and parents who want to help them. Chords & lyrics (along with chord charts) are at Kanikapila.us , and  a translation and history of the lyrics (with a few different verses) can be found at Huapala.org. To hear the song and get a feel for the strumming pattern and Hawaiian pronunciation, watch it performed by Kealoha at 808ukejams (note: he  plays the G7 and C7 during “Ke Aloha”  instead of the NC – no chord – pause we have been playing in class.) The kids have all learned the hula to this song, too. You can see them in action on the Fine Arts Camp Facebook Page.

As always, everyone is welcome the Sunday ukulele jams at TK Maguire’s lounge, from 11-ish-1-ish.  Bring copies of songs you want to play, unless you would rather perform solos!

Sun 11-13-13 Jam: New Location

While the Rockwell undergoes renovations, the weekly Sunday ukulele jam will meet at TK Maguire’s in the Prospector Hotel, downtown. From Egan Drive, turn onto Whittier St. (near KTOO, AK State Museum and the JACC). Parking should be very easy, since it is Sunday and the KTOO, museum and Centennial Hall lots should all be pretty empty and available.

Technically, we meet from 11-1, but in true Alaskan/Hawaiian-time fashion, everyone trickles in, orders food and starts playing “wheneva’s”, so come late if you don’t plan on eating and are watching your minutes.

Happy Birthday, Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)

From treble7notes

A Little History

In light of the recent legislation passed here in Juneau benefiting the oil companies, and in anticipation of the return of the cruise ships to our shores, a little history about the song, Waimanalo Blues seems to be in order.

Waimanalo Blues by Liko Martin and Thor Wold, 1974
Chords & lyrics at Tropical Storm Hawaii
Performed by Henry Kapono, Izrael Kamakawiwo’ole, Cyril Pahinui, and Roland Cazimero at an old Hawaiian homestead on Oahu in 1993.

Gabby Pahinui backyard jam 1970s

 

“This song was written by Thor Wold and Liko Martin in Hawaii in the 1970’s to protest the increasing development of the islands of Hawaii. Although the song focused on the Windward side, the concern was for all the islands and the rights of the Hawaiian people, as it was in that way a protest song of the folk narrative style.”  – Carol Forsloff

 

 

 

Waimanalo Blues
Wind's gonna blow so I'm gonna go
Down on the road again
Starting where the mountains left me
I'm up where I began

Where I will go the wind only knowsWaikiki hotels and Ala Moana
Good times around the bend
Get in my car, goin' too far
Never comin' back again

Tired and worn I woke up this mornin'
Found that I was confused 
Spun right around and found I had lost 
The things that I couldn't lose 

CHORUS: 
The beaches they sell to build their hotels 
My fathers and I once knew 
Birds all along sunlight at dawn 
Singing Waimanalo blues 

Down on the road with mountains so oldWaimanalo with Mt. Olomana in background. Photo by David Siu 
Far on the country side 
Birds on the wing forget in a while
So I'm headed for the windward side 

All of your dreams 
Sometimes it just seems 
That I'm just along for the ride 
Some they will cry because they have pride 
For someone who's loved here died 

The beaches they sell to build their hotels 
My fathers and I once knew 
Birds all along sunlight at dawn 
Singing Waimanalo blues 

Cyril Pahiui 12-12 (5)

We had the pleasure of seeing Cyril Pahinui (son of Gabby Pahinui) play when we were home in the islands last Christmas. He was so smooth on slack key, with skillful accompaniment by Jeff Au Hoy on steel and Peter Moon, Jr. on ‘ukulele and guitar. Ironically, they perform at the Kani Ka Pila Grill in the Outrigger Reef in Waikiki at, yes, one of “their hotels”. But the servers were locals and very friendly and the music was full-on Hawaii. Cyril came over in between sets to say hello and pose for a picture with a fan. A class act. If you are on O’ahu and have a free Wednesday evening, I recommend checking the calendar and going to hear them play.

Cyril Pahinui was part of another ensemble performing Waimanalo Blues, this time with Arlo Guthrie. It was for a TV show, “The Byrds of Paradise” back in 1994. Juneau Jazz & Classics is bringing Guthrie to Juneau in a few weeks. I wonder if we could get him to play it. Guthrie now owns the rights to the song.

Speaking of artists to check out when you are in Hawaii, a fellow Jambuster recently returned from visiting Hilo, on Hawaii Island (aka the Big Island) and came across another talented young ukulele artist,  Brittni Paiva. He says if you scroll down the full list of her YouTube Uploads to the 30-40th of the 80+ posted, there are some useful lessons. Thanks  Mark!

Doing Big Things With Small Instruments

We hold this truth to be self-evident — if every citizen spent a little bit of time playing the ukulele, the world would be a nicer place.”  ~The Beatles Complete on Ukulele

While hunting for sources of Beatles songs for the ukulele, I came across the above mission statement from The Beatles Complete on Ukulele. These folks set forth on the admirable enterprise of recording the complete collection of Beatles songs with ukulele accompaniment. It only took them about 3  1/2 years, which is fairly awe inspiring to those of us with less ambitious, though yet to be reached goals.

But what really impressed me about this crew is that they took a mission statement (with which most every player of this lovely little instrument would agree) and put it into action. In the midst of recording the Beatles songs, they did a little “Performance Philanthropy” project called “10 ukuleles”  They recruited 10 of the leading artists in NYC to each decorate a Kala ukulele, and then awarded those ukuleles to: ” The 10 Most Important People In The World”. A second set of 10 was auctioned off for charity. 

 

Dang! I love ukulele enthusiasts. What will we think of next?

Jambusters & friends at AK Folk Fest 2013

 

Playlist links from 2.24.13 Rockwell jam

This past Sunday we played many of the same as before, with the exception of a few Reid Tippet originals that are not yet in print. One song we played that I have not yet linked is below. Some day I’ll get everyone up doing the hula that goes with it!

E Huli Makou by David Chung                                                                                                                                                                                      

This is one of the first hulas I learned as a kid and is a good way to learn a few Hawaiian words and hula moves. Chords & lyrics are at Kanikapila.us. I learned to play this song with a G chord for the verses and a G7 for the vamp instead of the G7 throughout, but either works and both are easy. Translation and history of the lyrics can be found at Huapala.org. The site lists some additional verses not commonly sung and it does not include the “i hope” (pronounced ee-ho-pay) verse, which means “go back”. To catch the strumming pattern, you can play along with Kumu (teacher) Kealoha at 808ukejams, but if you want to see how to really dance this hula, watch Auntie Mokihana. One of my new goals is to be able to move like that by the time I’m her age!

Good times with Jake & Crew

 

Junior Jambusters posing with Jake backstage in the Green Room.

Selma, Jake & Reed

There were some nervous parents taking these photos as Jake handed the ONLY ukulele he carries with him on tour to each of the kids in turn for a photo ops.

Great concert. Send me any good photos of the performance if you have them. I was too busy watching his fingers fly to take any. My favorite was his encore song, a beautiful rendition of the Hawaiian classic “Akaka Falls”, also performed (and recorded) at a concert in Fresno, CA.

Not only a talented musician, but a very nice person.  Truly a class act.

Dec 16 Jam: Busting out the holiday tunes!

Last week brought new arrivals to the jam, and some new tunes. In the spirit of the season, we played Jingle Bells, Silent Night, and other holiday standards. Bring your favorites along to tomorrow’s jam at Rockwell. Uke chords and lyrics for some holiday songs can be found at Ukulele Boogaloo if you want to practice through the week. Share your links if you come across good ones.

Many of our merry troupe will be in town for the holidays, so jams should continue uninterrupted throughout the month.

Mele Kalikimamka!!

 

 

Jam on Sunday at Rockwell!

Join us tomorrow at 11am at Rockwell, 109 S. Franklin St. in downtown Juneau. Bring your ukulele or other instrument and have brunch and tunes with us.