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Lawrence, Kansas Has No Shortage Of Uke Enthusiasts
Ukuleles are a happy instrument: Their tin-y chunk-a-chunk sound is sweet and soothing, they’re easy to play, and they can bring virtually anyone together.
As the mighty little instrument regains popularity, small towns are picking up where the uke left off almost a century ago. Ukulele clubs, meetups, festivals and events are popping up all over the country, and Lawrence, Kansas is no exception.
One of the city’s largest uke groups, the Lawrence Ukulele Players, is made up of enthusiasts of all levels. From beginner to expert, members meet to jam, laugh and have a good time on the third Monday of every month. The group posts songs on their Facebook page, with the latest entries being American folk standard Goodnight Irene, Coca Cola’s I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing, and Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire.
If you have a ukulele and want to sing songs, the group welcomes you! All they ask is that you pronounce the little instrument as “oo-kuh-lay-lee”.
In addition to its uke clubs, the city of Lawrence also offers residents and visitors the chance to learn more about the uke in occasional instructional classes. In February 2018, Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department’s Lifelong Recreation offered lessons for those wishing to learn how to play the uke. “Beginning Ukulele” taught students the basics of their ukes, including tuning, strum patterns and basic chords. Cost was a mere $39.
And if one uke club or lesson just isn’t enough, there are plenty more just outside the boundaries of Lawrence.
The Kansas City Ukesters meet from 6:30 to 8:30pm on the second Monday of each month at St Pius Church, 55th & Woodson, in Mission, Kansas. The Ukesters welcome all levels of playing skill, and the start of every meeting always focus on beginner basics.
In Kansas City, the Ukulele Fight Club is a place where ukulele and music enthusiasts can meet, chat, strum, sing, and enjoy each others company. UFC is an open jam club and all levels of musician are welcome. The group meets on the first and third Sunday of every month at Chelly’s Café, 214 W 85th St, Kansas City, MO 64114.
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