For years, we have serviced San Francisco and all regional areas of California State with our quality instruments and accessories.
San Francisco ‘The City by the Bay’ is one of the US’s most iconic cities with the famous Golden Gate Bridge, trams climbing steep hills, 1960s counter culture, countless technology companies, countless iconic films such as Dirty Harry, Bullit, and to a lesser extent Speed are just a few of the images that are recognised around the world.
The ukulele has a very rich history in San Francisco, the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Expo, celebrating the city’s ‘rebirth’ after the 1906 earthquake is meant to be the first time that the ukulele was seen on the mainland, and is credited with starting the first ukulele craze in mainland America.
The ukulele mecca for San Francisco and all of Northern California is undoubtedly Aloha Warehouse, a bar, shop and social centre for Hawaiian culture and a tourist destination in it’s own right with a history stretching right back to the early 20th century.
In the summer the Ukelele Festival of Northern California is the city’s largest and longest running dedicated event. A one day festival featuring performances from international stars as well as hula dancing, Hawaiian food, and a family friendly party from noon until late into the night.
More recently, the brilliantly named Uke-tober Fest is a weekend event held in Japantown at the start of October. Despite 2017 being the festival’s inaugural event, they managed to attract some of the uke scene’s big names including Aldrine Guerrero & Aaron Nakamura of Ukulele Underground and Abe Lagrimas Jr, as well as local stars. The focus is much more on seeing top class musicians than workshops and the like, although there are also jam sessions over the weekend.
Ukulele’s are also represented at the UkeJam Summer Explosion and the Nihonmachi Street Fair and many more outdoor events throughout the San Francisco summer.
The main meeting place for uke enthusiasts is the Pa’ina restaurant’s UkeJam. Held every week, the jam sessions take varying themes such as reggae, 80s, and the incredibly popular Beatles night. You are invited to strum along as well as enjoy the best ukulele players that California has to offer.
There is also the Ukulele Rebellion, a club that focuses more on teaching the instrument by offering classes and workshops all year around, as well as regular social events to connect enthusiasts of the instrument.
Many of the ukulele’s biggest stars are based in and from San Franciso, most notably Cynthia Lin. The Chinese-American jazz musician has recorded 4 albums and is enjoying a successful career both as a soloist and with her quartet the Blue Moon All Stars.
Another rising star is Lake Lady, a young singer and uke player who makes both folk music and also in a style influenced by the likes of Portishead and Massive attack.
As you would expect from such a culturally rich city, there are many up and coming artists from San Francisco, and with it’s resurgence in popularity, the uke appears in some often unexpected places.
San Francisco is one of the best cities in the states for lovers of the ukulele.
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