Friday, 31 July 2009

Ukes go viral

It’s official: the ukulele has gone viral. The Los Angeles Times reveals that demand for the plucky little instrument is outstripping supply.

‘The number of new players keeps going up,’ Mike DaSilva of Berkeley, who ditched a 20-year software career to make ukuleles, tells reporter Dan Fost.

Meanwhile, guitar maker C.F. Martin & Co, which stopped producing ukes in 1994 because they had become so unpopular, resumed in 2001 and is selling some of the handmade instruments for as much as $10,000 – which puts my 20-quid beauty slightly in the shade.

Last year, reports Fost, ‘rock journalist and self-described "ukuholic" Sylvie Simmons called for a "Million Uke March" – online only – in support of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.’

Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro sums up the spirit of the thing, telling Dan Fost: ‘If everyone owned an ukulele, this world would be such a peaceful place.’ Right on, Shima.

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