For years, we have serviced Elko and all regional areas of Nevada State with our quality instruments and accessories.
Elko Full Of Ukulele Talent
Hawaii’s gift to the world – the mighty little ukulele – is riding a wave of popularity around the world right now.
Bryan Holley is one of the city’s premiere ukulele teachers. A musician, performer, singer, songwriter, teacher and multi-instrumentalist, Holley began studying music in Elko at the age of eight. After delving into the piano, the now 60-something began learning the guitar and other string instruments at the age of 18: First, a vintage Harmony 4-string tenor banjo, then a classical Yamaha acoustic guitar, a vintage Martin 0-15 guitar, and finally, a 1950s all-koa Hawaiian soprano ukulele.
Now, Holley says his strongest musical passion is the ukulele. For the last several years, his personal goal has been to study the culture and language of Hawaii to better understand and learn how to play old-style Hawaiian music. Having held the uke close to his heart for the past 20 years, Holley now teaches children, adults and elders. His unique Fundamentals of Ukulele three-lesson plan aims to teach students the important basics of playing the uke to beginners. It can also provide a kick-start for those who already know how to strum but want to improve their playing. His aim is to have each of his students comfortable with the ukulele by the end of the lesson, and for those who want to carry on with their education, Holley welcomes continuing students.
If your time in Elko has you looking for ukulele events, the city often plays hosts to uke professionals looking to share their knowledge with enthusiasts. In March 2018, Elko welcomed Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter Rick Nestler and the “Banjolele Lady” Donna Nestler at the Western Folklife Center. The folk duo have been compared to the westward traveling vaudeville acts of the 1920s, bringing musical stories and fun to life. Their one-day workshop included a BYOU (Bring Your Own Ukulele-Banjolele) and jam session, as well as a concert.
There’s no shortage of ukulele talent in Elko, however the city has yet to organize an annual uke festival. Instead, Nevada’s largest ukulele event lies four hours away in Reno – but it’s worth the drive. The Reno Ukulele Festival has quickly grown into the largest Uke Fest in the western United States. The three-day event is essentially Disneyland for uke-loving adults and includes an almost unlimited amount of workshops for all skill levels, presentations, mini-lessons, open-mic performances, organised jams, a large vendor marketplace and finally, a multi-act concert to end it all on a high note.
The event includes performers from various style backgrounds, and has in the past welcomed six time Grammy winner Daniel Ho, multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Abe Lagrimas Jr., and master teacher Peter Luongo of Langley Ukulele Ensemble.
For those who can’t resist indulging in a little ukulele shopping, the Reno fest vendor area is heaven on earth. The West’s finest luthiers are always on hand, with past artisans including Pat Megowan, David Iriguchi and Mike Pereira.
Of course, no uke fest is complete without a Super Raffle, and Reno has one of the best: A grand prize draw of ukes with a retail value of up to $13,000.
Nevada is definitely leading the pack when it comes to ukulele passion.
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