For years, we have serviced Detroit and all regional areas of Michigan State with our quality instruments and accessories.
Over half a century ago, on January 12, 1959, to be exact, a young African American man named Berry Gordy founded a new record company with an $800 loan from his family. Gordy, from Detroit, had just established Motown: One of the most significant musical accomplishments and stunning success stories of the 20th century.
Now, the word “Motown” – a moniker borrowed from one of Detroit’s many nicknames – may be more synonymous with the sweet soul music of the 60’s and 70’s than Gordy’s record label, but both the highly successful music label and the name of the music that it produced comes from Michigan’s state capital.
In fact, a large majority of the gospel-inspired R&B singers and groups cut their records on the Motown label. Stevie Wonder, Smoky Robinson and the Miracles, The Temptations, and The Four Tops all created hit songs for Motown, forever linking Detroit with this very popular musical style.
“The D”, as it is affectionately known by locals, was also a haven for alternative rock artists, hip-hop creators and techno fans. With such a rich history in music, it’s no surprise, then, that Michigan’s state capital is still churning out new sounds.
Walking around Detroit today, you’d be forgiven for thinking the city’s music scene is all but dead. But while Detroit has had its share of rough years (it filed for bankruptcy in 2013 after citing $18 billion worth of debt), America’s Comeback City has retained its musical identity against all the odds. And now, it’s helping to bring the ukulele back.
Michigan plays host to a number of ukulele groups across the state, but some of the biggest – and the best – reside in Detroit. The Motor City Ukes, for example, have a following of over 150 on Facebook and meet each month in Farmington Hills – a 25 minute drive from downtown Detroit – to encourage beginners to learn, amateurs to practice and pros to, well, go pro. The club promotes the local Ukulele community by getting together to strum, learn and sing as a group. Ukulele players of all skill levels and ages are welcome.
Locals here like to call Michigan “Great Uke State”, and there’s good reason why. In addition to the plethora of ukulele clubs here, Detroit is also home to a number of uke festivals and events. The Mighty Uke Day in particular brings in quite a crowd.
In 2018, the event will be celebrating its eighth Mighty Uke Day – the largest ukulele festival in the Midwest. Hosted just an hours drive from downtown Detroit around May of every year, the city’s Mighty Uke Day event features performances from the pros, workshops for all levels, group strums, open mics, and children’s activities, among other things.
Evening concerts have featured headliners like James Hill, Anne Janelle and Cynthia Hill. The 2018 lineup will also include supporting acts like Ukulenny, Abe Lagrimas Jr., Karla Kane and Joel Mabus.
For a town that has such a rich history in music, it comes as no surprise that Detroit is one of the best cities in America to learn, play and practice the ukulele.
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