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Most of us only hear about people breaking world records on the news or read about them in a shiny copy of The Guinness Book of Records. To many, world record-breaking is just an exotic curiosity, but for the people of Fargo, North Dakota, it was an experience that they would never forget.
As the clock struck 6:00pm on July 29th 2017, Julian Ruck played the final note on his ukulele while the audience at the town’s Red Raven cheered – he just broke the world record for the world’s longest ukulele performance for a second time. He played for 30 hours straight.
Robin Evans Esq, a 23-year-old player from the city of Farnham, Surrey in England, set the previous record for 30 hours, 2 minutes and 8 seconds at the Duke of Uke shop in London. Evans’ effort had smashed the prior record of 25 hours, 9 minutes and 33 seconds, set by Julian Ruck. Ruck’s second attempt in Fargo, North Dakota, however, blew Evans out of the park with a 30 hour, 6 minute and 42 second performance.
Prior to what was no doubt Fargo’s most novel experience in a long time, Ruck performed in Chico, California breaking the record for the world’s longest concert. The event – which lasted a whopping 16 days – was held by local musicians and performers at The Down Lo Bar in Chico, California. Among the revelers were no doubt some of his Fargo, North Dakota fans.
However, while it is clear Fargo’s inhabitants love the ukulele, it seems the town does not partake in any major festivals or clubs. It does, however, have a few home-grown professional ukulele players worth mentioning.
Tim Stine, who calls Fargo, North Dakota home, is an active guitar and ukulele performer. Having studied a Masters of Music in Jazz Studies from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Stine now performs and composes music in Chicago’s thriving jazz scene. He currently leads his own trio, the Tim Stine Trio, and performs with various other groups.
And the town is no stranger to incredible uke performances. Jake Shimabukuro – ukulele’s finest virtuoso – has played at the Fargo Theatre.
Whether you’re a seasoned amateur or you’ve just bought your first ukulele today, your best bet to find Fargo’s uke community is to head straight for the town’s music stores: They sell a selection of instruments, have like-minded people to speak to and hold uke lessons for players of every skill level.
If you’re a pro, have a crack at trying to break Ruck’s 30-hour ukulele playing record at the Red Raven. What better place to beat it than the town it was broken in in the first place?
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