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THE LEXINGTON UKULELE SCENE
Lexington: The Ultimate Ukulele Community
Why is the ukulele so popular?
Is it because of the star power the little instrument currently holds, with celebrities like Taylor Swift and Zooey Deschanel showing their love for the uke? Maybe it’s due to the fact that it’s so easy to play: Master just three chords and you can impress your friends with a spontaneous burst of dozens of songs. Or, perhaps it’s because the ukulele is a very sociable instrument: One strum is enough to attract an audience of all ages.
Whatever the reason for the ukulele’s current wave of popularity, enthusiasts from Washington to Florida are getting together to share their interest in the mighty little instrument. In Lexington, Kentucky, the story is no different.
The city’s ukulele group, the Lexingtones, meet every Monday at 7:00pm at The Hive Salon. The club’s Facebook page has an impressive 367 members currently, so newcomers can expect meetings to be quite packed.
Speaking to local magazine, Smiling Pete Publishing, in 2012, founder Dave Quisenberry said: “It’s not a formal teaching thing. We try to keep the first hour simple, basic stuff, and the second hour more advanced, complicated stuff. We always encourage people to show up, and we want the first hour to be un-intimidating so people don’t feel overwhelmed.
The group’s structure is fairly loose: People show up with a song they want to learn and they take it from there. Seasoned players will often lead the group through the songs, but it’s expected that members practice on their own and learn the basic chords outside of group meetings. Lexingtone’s Dropbox folder also allows members to have easy access to the group’s past songs, songbooks and any holiday-themed tunes that will be played during the Christmas season.
If one group isn’t enough to satisfy your thirst for the ukulele, KYuke is an organization dedicated to promoting the ukulele. They create programs for all sizes, ages and skill levels, and also host the KYukefest in Lexington, held annually in September.
Those confident enough to get up on stage and perform can also take part in the organization’s monthly open mic nights, held every third Thursday at Joseph-Beth Booksellers from 6:00pm onwards.
Ukulele clubs, open mics, festivals – Lexington, Kentucky really does have everything a ukulele community needs.
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