For years, we have serviced Memphis and all regional areas of Tennessee State with our quality instruments and accessories.
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THE MEMPHIS UKULELE SCENE
The best part about the ukulele’s century-long takeover in America is without a doubt the diversity it has brought to music.
Over the last century, the ukulele has slowly merged out of its Hawaiian-associated typecast and into the hands of a variety of musical genres, musicians and celebrities. In the 1980s, rock ‘n’ rollers began to introduce the small instrument to explore more intimate and spontaneous aspects of music making. In 2002, Paul McCartney strummed one as a tribute to fellow Beatle George Harrison, a serious ukulele player.
The little uke then made its way into pop, with Steven Swartz of Songs From a Random House, Zach Condon of Beirut, and Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields being the pop artists most identified with the instrument.
Celebrities have taken hold of the uke, too, with Zooey Deschanel, William Macy, Cybill Shepherd and Pierce Brosnan being among the bevy of uke-playing luminaries – along with politicians like Tony Blair and business executives like mega billionaire Warren Buffett.
America has undoubtedly put its own spin on the mightly little uke, and individual states are taking part too. Memphis, the city famous for its rich musical heritage, melt-in-your-mouth barbecues and Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion, is one of them.
Famous for the influential strains of blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll that originated there, it’s no surprise the southwest Tennesee city is the setting for a new type of music: Ukulele Soul.
The Memphis Ukulele Band is responsible for the new sound. The band – with a unique ensemble sound and diverse repertoire – is firmly rooted in Memphis music’s maverick tradition, and explores the charms of the uke within a myriad of genres, from pop to blues to reggae to soul.
For all five members, the Memphis Ukulele Band is a genuine labour of love. And like so much great Memphis music, the story of how they all got together started at Sun Studio.
Back in 2013, Jon Hornyak, Matt Ross-Spang, and Jason Freeman came up with the idea of starting a ukulele band. They invited a few friends along – critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Mark Edgar Stuart and Kyndle McMahan – and soon found themselves opening for the uke’s most talented virtuoso, Jake Shimabukuro. That show earned them not only an enthusiastic response from the crowd, but also the interest of Blue Barrel Records. In May 2015, they began recording their debut album.
Now, with a devoted local fan base behind them, they – like Shimabukuro – are on a mission to show everyone that the ukulele is much more capable than the traditional Hawaiian music it has become best known for.
And it seems that their passion has inspired others. Following suit, the Memphis Ukulele Flashmob brings together people who love to play – or want to learn to play – the ukulele. Throwing to one side the traditional approach to uke playing, the Ukulele Flashmob – a part of the National Ukulele Association – uses a range of different music genres including Jazz, Pop, Rock and Country, in addition to Hawaiian.
The group meets every Tuesday from 6-8pm at Central BBQ and welcomes players of all levels.
FREE Book Offer For Memphis 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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