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THE BREMERTON UKULELE SCENE
No Shortage of Ukulele Passion in Bremerton
We’re in the midst of a mini ukulele boom – sales are surging and children are more likely to pick up a ukulele at school than a recorder; perhaps because they’re easier to learn, possibly because they sound better and maybe even because it’s become cool to play one.
In Bremerton, Washington, the ukulele is becoming something of a movement. The city’s West Sound Art and Music Association’s largest event is the West Sound Ukulele Festival. The two-day festival celebrates the uke as well as other stringed instruments, and the people who create music with them. The fest encourages a true sense of community among musicians, audience and participants, offering skill-enhancing workshops throughout the day at the Kitsap Conference Center and culminating the event with an evening performance at the Admiral Theatre, with past performers including Brittni Paiva, Del Rey and Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel.
During the day, skill-enhancing workshops are held throughout the weekend while a music marketplace is set up from around 9:00am until 4:30pm. For those interested in selling, the market features reasonably priced, flat fee table space available for music-focused businesses on a first come, first served basis.
General admission tickets can be purchased at WSAMA’s website and are good for workshop admission as well as the event’s evening performance. The Uke Fest is usually a two-day hootenanny held around the end of October each year, usually at the Kitsap Conference Center at Bremerton Harborside (100 Washington Ave). Unfortunately, however, because WSAMA is a nonprofit organization, the 2018 event is currently on hold pending funds for its world-class performers and teachers. Those interested can donate here.
Looking to jam with a group of passionate, like-minded people in the Bremerton area but don’t know where to start? WSAMA also supports community music groups like UkeVerse, who meet on the second and fourth Saturday of the month from 10:00am until 11:00am at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Bremerton; HUGS, who meet Sundays from 2:00pm until 4:00pm at Silverdale Subway; Uke Sound of Port Orchard, who meet Friday evenings at The Park Vista Retirement Home at Jackson and Lund in Port Orchard from 6:30pm until 8:30pm; Village Music Bainbridge Island, who meet Saturdays from 11:00am until 12:00pm at Bainbridge Island Grange Hall on North Madison; Coffee Oasis Ukulele Clubs, who meet in Port Orchard and Poulsbo; and the Indianola Uke Club, which is set to resume soon.
If one thing is for certain, it’s that there is definitely no shortage of uke passion in Bremerton.
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