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LANSING'S #1 UKULELE PROVIDER
THE LANSING UKULELE SCENE
Lots of Love for the Ukulele in Lansing
If you thought the ukulele was just for luaus, think again. This versatile little instrument can do much more than just play Aloha ‘Oe. The magic of the ukulele is that you can play virtually anything on it: Jazz, blues, pop, country, oldies. It’s a perfect instrument for someone who has never played before as well as the experienced musician wanting to expand their musical knowledge. And let’s not forget it is a serious bargain for such a serious instrument.
The ukulele is undergoing a serious revival, and its popularity has no boundaries when it comes to genre, age, sex or previous skill. And while its evident that the whole of America is welcoming the mighty little instrument with open arms, there’s one town that’s showing up the rest when it comes to passion for the uke: Lansing, Michigan.
Every year around May, the sounds of ukulele music waft throughout the city so gently that you’d think you were somewhere in Hawaii instead of the Bay Area. Lansing’s Mighty Uke Day attracts visitors from all over Michigan for three days of ukulele-focused fun. The three-day festival takes place in the city’s Old Town and features an array of concerts, workshops, group strums, open mics, featured performers, children’s activities and jam opportunities. Oh, and the world’s largest ukulele.
The massive instrument is the brainchild of local Larry Stump, who didn’t set out to break a world record when he built a 13-foot long, four-foot wide ukulele. It took him two months to finish the project, and every spring when Lansing celebrates its Mighty Uke Day, Stump takes the titanic uke on tour of Old Town Lansing in the bed of his teal-coloured 1959 Chevrolet Apache truck that he restored, with its headstock jutting into the air. It draws ukulele players out of the woodwork.
But the largest ukulele in the world isn’t the only award-winning presentation at the festival. Over the years, the Mighty Uke Day Main Stage has welcomed some of the world’s finest ukulele players including James Hill, Sarah Maisel, Craig Chee, Lil’ Rev, Danielle Ate the Sandwich, Gerald Ross, Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward. But the best part? Profits from the festival support Music is the Foundation – a 501(c)(3) non-profit – programs in Mid-Michigan schools and the community.
Every fall, those behind Mighty Uke Day also host Uketoberfest at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Teaching staff include ukulele greats like Lil’ Rev, Cynthia Kinnunen, Ben Hassenger and The Ukulele Kings. The festival itself features a full day of workshops, concerts, open mics and strumming with after-hours pizza and a jam at the Karlin Inn.
For those interested in a more intimate community of ukulele players, the city’s Lansing Area Ukulele Group (LAUGH) meets once a month at Sir Pizza in Old Town Lansing, just around the corner from Elderly Instruments. The group welcomes players of all skills – including beginners! – and focuses on having fun while learning, sharing and playing songs on the uke.
FREE Book Offer For Lansing Residents Only
What you get:
- Our famous Ukulele Book - No String Attached ($19.95)
- Ukulele Chord Chart ($14.95)
- Fretboard Stickers ($9.95)
- Microfiber Cleaning Cloth ($7.95)
$52.80 of Goodies for FREE
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