Summer is made of music festivals. You get your tickets and head out for the weekend with your sun visors, your cooler full of snacks and drinks, and your lawn chairs. And then you rock. Band after band, with light shows, pyrotechnics, and crowds of drunken, enthused music fans all around you. And yeah, that’s one kind of summer music festival. But next weekend’s Charm City Ukulele Festival might be just a wee bit different than that. Just an assumption. But that doesn’t make it any less exciting or, well, charming. Sure the “uke” is small, but its musical possibilities are huge, and its history rich and wonderful.
Born in Hawaii of Portuguese roots in the 1880s, a star of the Jazz Age, a staple of the Canadian music education system, the uke lost steam post Tiny Tim only to rise again in the early ’90s. The one-day festival, held at the Creative Alliance will bring together amazing cast of uke players exploring the unpretentious little instrument’s full range – from the Hawaiian tunes to country, ’20s era jazz, Tin Pan Alley and vaudeville, and the myriad of forms it takes today. Performers include Victoria Vox, The Sweater Set, The Baltimore Ukulele Symphonette (naturally), Moe Nelson, Don Kim, Glen Hirabayashi, Jon Braman, Bob Friedman and host Don Peyton. There will also be a film screening as well as workshops available for experienced players and those hoping to get started on the uke—which, once you see the range presented at the festival, will probably include you.
The Charm City Ukulele Festival takes place Saturday, Juy 26that the Creative Alliance. Tickets are $20, or $17 for members. For more information and tickets, visit www.creativealliance.org.
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