!!!Talking Story 2012!!!

!!!Talking Story 2012!!!
We have one more week to go for Early Bird, Full-Festival Pass availability. Thank you to those who have already bought their passes. Many Fest goers opt to come for all of the days, since there is so much to do is such a short amount of time and this is the best way to experience a Festival by living, breathing and absorbing uke for the entire weekend! These initial Early Bird passes are directed especially at these people and are offered at deep discount because they are bought even before announcements are made about performers or scheduled events. The funds generated in this way help us with “seed” money, which can be used to expand our performers list and offer more activities over the days of the Festival. Everything is so expensive and difficult to produce in New York, so this has proved to be an invaluable step in our annual effort.

At this time, I will depart from the pattern slightly and make some announcements, the most important of which is that we are expanding the Fest by one day. We first set the dates at June 8, 9 and 10, but we are now adding June 7th. We are starting the 2012 NY Uke Fest at 7:00 PM on June 7, so we can host the New York premier of the new ukulele documentary film by Nina Koocher, UNDER THE BOARDWALK, AN UKULELE LOVE STORY. The screening of this film will take place at the Church of All Nations, 417 W 57th St. NYC. In addition to the screening, there will be a Q and A session with Nina Koocher, live music and available refreshments. Anyone familiar with the premiering we did of The Mighty Uke two years ago will know what to expect. We are at very proud of this development and happy to maintain the multi-media nature of the NY Uke Fest.

In line with our multi-media approach, it is worth noting that the dance medium will be mined in great depth at this year’s Fest to explore the rich partnership that exists between dance and the ukulele. Halau Hula O Na Mele ‘Aina ‘O Hawaii will be back and Tabu will both present hula, which is the dance style most associated with uke. Additionally, Pedro daSilva will be presenting a tango and flamenco set, which promised to be memorable, thorough and exciting. Pedro will be especially busy, because he will also be playing (on another night) the cavaquino in the style of the Portuguese, who first landed in Hawaii and inspired the creation of the ukulele ( which was named after the speedy fingers of those Portuguese musicians.) The dates of our Fest happen to include “Portugal Day,” so it also seems a fitting time to delve into the Portuguese roots of our instrument. I asked Gordon Freitas to come from Hawaii and share his “paniolo” songs with us, about the horsemen that included many Portuguese . A great historian/musician, Gordon tells of his grandfather’s cowboy activities in very compelling songs. And our good friend Mihana will be back. She can help us explore the Portuguese connections, since her marriage name is Souza!

We are also very excited to be hosting the stars of Mighty Uke film, i.e. The Langley Ukulele Ensemble. Under the careful guidance of Peter Luongo, this group always captivates their audience. We finally have a stage large enough to present this impressive act. Their annual trek to Waikiki is talked about for weeks after their departure, so we are looking forward to finally adding New York to their circle of cities.

Although our schedule is far from complete at this stage, much is already in place. Jazzoom Café, a dynamic uke player, will be coming from Japan. Both Greg Hawkes from Boston and J. Walter Hawkes from NYC will be back. Jim Beloff, who everybody knows, and Tyler Gilman, our good friend from Waikiki, will be serenading at 2012 NY Fest. There will be many other surprises in the lineup. Also, great workshops and activities throughout the long weekend. As always the venue itself will prove to have starring attributes and the Concert Hall at Central Park (Ethical Culture), where most of the Fest will take place, will be no exception. I encourage you to jump onboard and help to propel this as our best Fest ever.
I need your energy and support. Please buy these Early Bird Passes now on our ticket page!

See you in June.