Issue 8 has the fabulous Ukulele Uff Trio on the cover… and they’re inside too, with a fascinating interview on how three lads from Merseyside ended up being a top ukulele live act playing early jazz and Hawaiian classics. Also interviewed are Francesco Alberterazzi, Barada Street and in the latest in our Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain series, Richie Williams answers our questions.
We’ve also got interesting articles this time around for those in ukulele groups, with a roundup of ideas for improving and developing your club sessions. There’s also a ukulele lesson from Phil Doleman, classical song to learn with Sam Muir and a discussion on the merits of low G (or not low G), from Liam Capper-Starr.
We also review a series of aNueNue ukes, finding out just how good Asian-made instruments can be. The travelling Bruko heads off to China, we learn about Tessie O’Shea’s ukulele and we reveal the shortlists for our inaugural UKE Magazine Awards.
All of this and lots (seriously, LOTS) more!
If you buy UKE Magazine Issue 7, prominently featured you’ll find James Hill. This Canadian musician is a ukulele phenomenon, doing more than most to shatter the non-ukulele playing public’s perception of the instrument. His interview plots his rise to the top of the ukulele tree, and gauges his opinion on music, family, ukuleles, strings, pickups and gigs.
There is also an interview with Bluesman Manitoba Hal, forming a Canadian double-act for UKE Magazine’s 7th edition. He describes the bolt from the blue that changed his life, setting him on the road as a professional musician. And, in the first of a series focussing on Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain members, Hester Goodman answers our questions.
There are so many other features too! An important one is the launch of our UKE Magazine Awards. We’ve decided upon the awards we’ll be giving, and now want to ask your ideas on who should receive nominations - all of this before a public vote for the winners. We also follow Southern Ukulele Store’s Rob Pratt over to Hawaii, where he gets the lowdown on the famous K-Brand ukulele makers, in the first of a two-part special.
We review solid body ukuleles, check out an Australian made twin-neck, announce a new competition alongside our 2017 ukulele calendar, follow our travelling ukulele around Europe, get a tour diary from Taimane Gardner’s visit and review the latest CD’s. And, that’s just the start of what’s inside the world’s best looking UKE Magazine!
Issue 6 features a man with a claim to be the hardest working ukulele player in the UK, Andy Eastwood. Having been brought up with the music of George Formby, he fell in love with the world of variety, and now performs over 200 gigs a year in theatres, seaside resorts and accompanying acts like Ken Dodd. We also have an interview with Sam Brown, who has gone from selling 2.5 million albums to embracing the community side of the ukulele to a great height, running several clubs. We also meet up with the super-talented Tobias Elof from Denmark, a country that hasn't exactly embraced the uk - giving him plenty of challenges to get to the top of his game.
With the famous Kamaka brand turning 100 this year, we've an article on what it is like to tour their Hawaiian factory, as well as a guide to Hawaiian musical terms. There's a big gear review section on the baritone ukulele, ukulele news, Pete Howlett, Nick Cody on protest songs, the story of Risa ukuleles and a whole host of other features, both regulars and new.
There's a lot of interesting content to look forward to in Issue 5. We have interviews with interesting stars from the US, Danielle Ate The Sandwich (headliner at the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival) this year, and Gracie Terzian, who plays a fantastic harp ukulele. There are also interviews with Pete Howlett, music from Phil Doleman and a new section on learning classical music with Sam Muir. Issue 5 also includes articles on Hawaii, the Paris uke scene and reviews of some beautiful ukes, as well as all the regular features. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, there are ukuleles aplenty to be won, with instruments worth a total of £2,500 to win!
In our final issue of 2015 (released December) we feature the fantastic ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro, who tells us all about how he created his hit arrangements. We also have plenty from some of the world's best instrument makers, with an interview with Bill Collings in the US, and a discussion on the properties of spruce from Pete Howlett.
There's more from George and Will from the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, a tour diary from The Mersey Belles and the latest adventures of our travelling Brüko. Richard Gilewitz returns with some useful fingerpicking exercices, while Ben Rouse helps you learn some Vivaldi and Phil Doleman shows you how to play his latest song.
As well as these special features, there are also plenty of gear reviews, with a look at the Sidekick Banjolele from New Zealand, five of the finest ukes made in the far east and a look at what's in Zoë Bestel's gig bag.
Our third issue, released in September 2015, is a special celebratory edition featuring the 30th anniversary of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. Their Director, George Hinchliffe gives us an entertaining history of the group, looking at their best and most unusual gigs, how they got together and their future plans.
We are also joined by famous ukulele maker, Pete Howlett, in the first of a series of articles about the materials that make up our favourite instrument. We look at the Nano Uke, a miniature creation from Andy Miles, as well as some Bolivian ukes that are sometimes made using an Armadillo shell!
Ben Rouse and Phil Doleman gives us some technical skills to learn, Nick Cody meets Shimo, a Japanese master builder, we follow the journey of the travelling ukulele and get up close and personal with five concert electro ukes. All this and much more as UKE Magazine goes from strength to strength.
UKE Magazine's second issue features Mike Hind, Krabbers, Dead Mans Uke, reviews of 5 Ohana Ukuleles, Big House in the Country, Phil Doleman tab and article, Ben Rouse tab, Mark Pugh at the Frankfurt MusikMesse, The Small Change Diaries recording tips, Ukulele club photos, Beltona Resonator Instruments and of course, Will Grove-White from the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. You can win a Joe Brown Laka soprano uke too!
The first issue of UKE Magazine got off to a flying start with an entertaining interview with Phil Doleman, together with an interesting perspective added by his former Re-entrants bandmate, Ian Emmerson. We also met the super-talented Zoë Bestel and discussed ukuleles with Peter Moss.
There’s a fascinating article from Mark Pugh. He is a ukulele supplier and describes the NAMM show, the USA’s musical instrument showcase. Also, there's a look at the Uke Express, a day when three hundred ukulele players all packed on board a steam train on the North Yorkshire moors.
Ben Rouse and Phil Doleman provide fingerstyle ukulele tabs to try at home and there is plenty of help and advice for players who are considering performing live. There’s also a lot for those in the market for new gear, with plenty of ukulele reviews.
These are just some of the highlights of Issue 1 of UKE Magazine. We wanted to make a fascinating publication that looks great, and the feedback we’ve had is that we managed to pull that off!