Sunday, December 12, 2010

NY Ukulele Salon: Dec 18 at The Living Room

Back at Googie's Lounge, upstairs from The Living Room: The NY Ukulele Salon has another great lineup next Saturday, December 18: 8:30 to 10:30:

8:30: The Edukated Fleas. Great ukulele swing from Wendy Matthews and Greg Doyle.

9:00: Jon Braman. Singer songwriter, "Father of ukulele hip-hop." Sounds like it would be terrible, but he's awesome!

9:30: T.A.B.U. Stands for something like "The All Boroughs Ukuleles," which is incongruous, because they're best known for Polynesian melodies and hulu dancers.

10:00: The Suaverinos. By now an eight-person ensemble of swing: ukes, piano, flugelhorn, block flute, bass, singers, and then some. The Uke Salon's house band, as it were. Much new material.

Get there early to hear the rocking rhythms of friend of NY Uke Salon Declan Zimmerman.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Announcing NY Uke Chat email forum

Hey, if you feel like chatting with other NY ukers about arrangements, technique, gigs, favorite UkeTube performances, etc., sign up for the new email discussion forum NY Uke Chat that I created with Google Groups.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Concert, Nov 19: The Ukuladies, The Suaverinos, Dr. Uke & Daughs, Bliss Blood, Jontom

Googie's loves the NY Ukulele Salon. We have another great night of performances on November 19, 8:00 to 10:30:

Googie's Lounge (upstairs from The Living Room)
154 Ludlow St. (NYC's Lower East Side) - Map

8:00: The Suaverinos: jazz standards done in style. Rick Bruner and Rush Kress on ukes and vocals, Maggie Kus on vocals, Sean O'Neal on piano, Bill McCloskey on flugelhorn, and Elizabeth Walsh on bass. 
8:30: The Ukuladies: delightful, multi-talented, always full of fun and surprises. Fraternal twins Genevieve and Jimmy Lu, with Aunt Mary Louise, and Cousin Bunnie on ukes, close harmonies, glockenspiel, flute, washboard, tap dancing and more. 

9:00: Doctor Uke and Daughters: Gorgeous close family harmonies with great arrangements and lots of chutzpah. Jim, Sylvie and Jacq Rosokoff.

9:30: Bliss Blood: the high priestess of the NYC uke scene, solo, doing blues, originals and covers, one would guess.
10:00: Jontom: visiting Italian uke artist and teacher. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ukulele Salon at Googie's, Friday, October 8th

We are please to announce our newest Ukulele Salon:

What: Good music loving crafted on ukuleles and other instruments

When: Friday, October 8, from 8:30 to 10:30PM

Where: Googie's Lounge, upstairs from The Living Room, 154 Ludlow St.

Who: Four Acts:

8:30: The War Ponies: Gio Gaynor and Diana Aluto doing rock covers on acoustic uke
9:00: The King Crow Duo: Subway buskers Sarah King and Joe Crow do sweet songs of yesteryear on uke and banjo
9:30: The Ether Frolic Mob: Daughter and father Zoe and Peter Stampel (and friends?), he of The Fugs and Holy Modal Rounders fame, are originals
10:00: The Suaverinos: Anna Gerard, Rush Kress, Rick Bruner and Elizabeth Walsh doing standards in style

No cover, but 1 drink minimum per hour, plus tip bucket. Bring your friends for a fun, cheap night out.

RSVP on Facebook here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

NY Ukulele Salon: Sept 11 @ Googie's

Googie's loves us. Or at least they keep asking us back. So we're fighting evildoers with ukuleles: another NY Ukulele Salon evening of performances from some of NYC's most talented uke acts. Details as follows:

When: Saturday, Sept. 11, 8:30-10:30pm.

Where: Googie's Lounge, upstairs from The Living Room: 154 Ludlow St. (Lower East Side)

8:30: The Ukemen, country and pop classics with southwest charm
9:00: Patsy Monteleone, master interpreter of standards
9:30: The Whistling Wolves, fun-loving rootsy quartet, featuring an all-ukulele set (plus world-class whistling!)
10:00: Khabu Doug Young, jazz virtuoso

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ukulele Salon at Googie's, Saturday, July 31

The NY Ukulele Salon presents another showcase of some great NY uklele talent on Saturday, July 31, at Googie's Lounge in the Lower East Side (154 Ludlow, upstairs from The Living Room; here's a map).

8:30: J. Walter Hawkes
9:00: The Suaverinos (my act)
9:30: Doctor Uke & Daughters
10:00: The King Crow Duo
10:30: Bliss Blood

Here are videos of earlier performances from these acts:

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Loads of Fun at Summer Solstice Jam

Per my earlier post, we had a great day of ukulele performances on Monday at Union Square as part of Make Music NY - the Ukulele Mass Appeal. Below are videos of some of my favorite performances:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Strum in the Summer Solstice (June 21) with Make Music NY - Ukulele Mass Appeal

Make Music NY and the NY Ukulele Salon strum in the summer solstice with a four-hour concert and play-along with some of the best performers on the NY uke scene.

Make Music NY celebrates its 4th year with more than 1,000 concerts around the city, along with similar events in hundreds of other cities. The "Mass Appeal" concerts feature lovers of specific instruments, and this year they've asked the NY Ukulele Salon to organize the uke gathering.

We have a great location: Union Square, as part of the Green Market (northeast corner of the park).

The event is a Monday, so it starts at 4pm and continues till dark. Fun for kids of all ages.

Each featured act gets 3 songs, including one for audience participation, so bring your ukes!

Please spread the word via Facebook, email, Twitter, spoken voice, etc.

Here's the lineup of performers:

Rick Bruner
D'yan Forrest
Ken "Bari" Murray
Sarah King
Les Chauds Lapins

Bliss Blood
Dana McCoy
Leslie Chase & David Sands
Jon Braman
Amity Rose

Josh Bisker
Evy Mayer
The Ukemen
Carlos Molina
The Suaverinos

Uncle Zac
No Soap Radio
Roger Greenawalt
Peter Stampfel
The Edukated Fleas
Jamie Scandal

See here for more details about Make Music NY - Mass Appeal.

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's Uke Fest!

Hey, it's crazy, Uke Fest is on, and I haven't been updating to any of my blog or Twitter accounts to plug it.

I'm actually frantically preparing right now for a workshop I'm going to teach at the Fest, on using the Internet to promote your uke obsession, and I look at this site, and the last post is a few weeks old and no mention of the Fest! Argg.

One of my key lessons is this: all this Internet promotion stuff takes time!

But that's just me making excuses. The important thing is come on over to the fest. Tune into the Fest's Twitter account and blog. I'll mostly post to Twitter during the Fest and catch up on the blog afterwards. Where is my darn Flip camera?!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

This Week in NYC Ukulele: Del Rey; Cabaret; Uke Hut

Here's a quick update of some fun NYC uke happenings in the coming days:

* Del Rey at Jalopy, tomorrow, Thursday, April 29

Tomorrow night, if you can make it, you should really go see Del Rey at Jalopy (Yelp page) in Red Hook. She's a terrific uke blues player, constantly touring performer and teacher. Opening act is the Second Fiddles, featuring friend of the Uke Salon, Trip Henderson. 

Ukulele Cabaret, this Friday, April 30, 8pm - midnight
P&G Bar, 380 Columbus Ave @ 78th St

Last NY Ukulele Cabaret before the summer off (though naked cabarets at some beach town is rumored; ask Ted and Jason for details). Same new home of the cabaret, P&G Bar. Performers this Friday include Adrienne Patino, Andru Cann, Bedroom Community, Claudia Goddard, D'yan Forest, Duncan Pflaster, Howie Leifer, J. Walter Hawkes, Jon Braman, Lisa Gardner, Makalina, Mary Martin, Moose Karloff, Reggie Wingnutz, Roberto Buscarsi, The Snakeoilers, Supergood, Sweet Soubrette, and The War Ponies. 

Ukulele Hut: Whistling Wolves, Friday, April 30, 7:30pm

Also, a reminder of the hottest new scene in NY uke life, The Uke Hut. Fest organizer Ken Murray's lastest venture into uke madness, the Uke Hut, is open every Friday and Saturday nights in the cellar lounge of Maui Taco, 330 5th Ave (between 32nd & 33rd). See details and performance listings at and follow the Hut on Twitter @UkeHut and Friend us on Facebook.

This Friday night, one of my favorites, Whistling Wolves, featuring the two-time World Whistling Champion Emily Eagen and ace harmonica player Trip Henderson, both of whom also sing and play uke. The full Whistling Wolves include a larger band, but they'll be debuting at the hut from 7:30 on Friday as a duet. 

* NY Uke Fest

Just another reminder, if you haven't got your tickets yet for the NY Uke Fest, May 12-16, don't delay! It's gonna be fabulous.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Uke Night with The Moonlighters, Sweet Soubrette, Rick Bruner and Jamie Scandal

Yay! I'm hitting the big time! I'm performing in the 10pm hour at the great Brooklyn music venue Barbes (376 Ninth Street @ Sixth Avenue, Park Slope; here's a map) along with Sweet Soubrette and Jamie Scandal, as the opening act for Bliss Blood and The Moonlighters.

Thanks Bliss!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

'Bay Mir Bistu Sheyn' by Doctor Uke & Daughters

The Doctor is in; and his lovely daughters are harmonizing assistance.

I'm a huge fan of what they now call Doctor Uke & Daughters; previously known as Pride & Joy & Dad, or, as I think of them, the Rosokoff Family Band.

Jim Rosokoff is indeed a doctor (a dermatologist) and has served the ukulele community valiantly over the years with his site full of instructional materials and uke song arrangements. His daughters Sylvie and Jacqueline are as charming as they are musically talented. Their three voices meld perfectly, and his arrangements are quite snappy. You couldn't ask for much more in a modern day ukulele band.

Not surprisingly, their videos are quite popular among my uploads of various NY uke scene talent. Maybe we'll turn them into the next Zee Avi or Julian Nunez or at least SweetAfton23.

Here is their terrific version of "Bei Mir Bistu Shein" at the March 2010 NY Ukulele Cabaret at P&G Bar last Friday, complete with a verse in the original Yiddish:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ukulele Cabaret next Friday, March 26, in NEW LOCATION

The Ukulele Cabaret is back again, March 26th, but at a new location, the P&G Bar on the Upper West Side. The Cabaret's former home in the East Village was nice but not big enough for it's overflow crowd. The famous P&G Bar itself recently moved into its new 2,700-square-foot home that features a separate performance space.

The Cabaret's hosts Sonic Uke write:

For those of you who have not experienced the Ukulele Cabaret, you are in for a treat. Leave your expectations at the door. Dozens of ukulele performers will wow you with everything from rock to opera; punk to glam; Hawaiian to Maori; mod to new wave; Beatles to Bach; country to vaudeville; sleazy to sexy; crooners to comedy; folk to metal; experimental to just down right mental.

From seasoned professionals to daring new performers, the Ukulele Cabaret is a breading ground for new and surprising acts.

Here's the line up:

8:00 PM
Lisa Gardner
Roberto Buscarsi
John Raido
Karl Schmitt
Carl Carrara

9:00 PM
Dr. Uke and Daughters
Howie Leifer
Educated Flea
Rick Bruner
Alex Sarmiento

10:00 PM
Jamie Scandal
Reggie Wingnutz
Alan Drogin
Sarah King
Moose Karloff

11:00 PM
Sonic Uke with Sweet Soiubret and Dolan Byrnes
Bedroom Community
The Ukemen
Carmen Borgia
Jason Maniscalco
Hot Time Harv and his Rollercoster of Kicks

P&G Bar
380 Columbus Avenue, at 78th Street

Details: Sonic Uke and Ukulele Cabaret: 646-257-3747

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More Videos from Ukulele Mansion

We had another fabulous party at Ukulele Mansion a couple of weeks ago. I didn't do much recording, but I got three nice performances (out of the couple dozen that were featured):

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

NY Ukulele Cabaret this Friday, 2/26, Banjo Jim's

The Sonic Uke guys are readying again for another fun night later this week:

The Ukulele Cabaret returns to Banjo Jim's Friday 2/26. It's going to be a good one with plenty of new faces, a couple of Cabaret annuli, and a few surprises. The show runs from 7 to 10. See you there!

This month's Cabaret features (in alpa order): Annie Bacon, Carl Carrara, Christina Black, D'yan Forest, Jen Kwok, John Raido, Karl Schmitt, Leah Winkler, Lisa Gardner, Makalina, Mary Martin, Robert McMinn, Sarah King, and The War Ponies!

Banjo Jim's: 700 East 9th Street, In the East Village at 9th Street and Avenue C.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Introducing The Suaverinos

So, our act, The Suaverinos, had our debut on Friday at the NY Ukulele Salon. The act features the golden throated Rush Kress, our musical maestro Joe Silver (largely obscured in these videos due to an unfortunate camera angle), the eye-pleasing dynamo Anna Gerard, and myself, the brains of the operation.

The intros to a couple of the songs got clipped in the recording, but you can get the general idea:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

NY Uke Fest 2010! May 14-16. Get Your Early Bird Discount


I had coffee the other day with Ken "Bari" Murray, who last year took over management of NY Uke Fest. The guy is a prince with a heart of gold. He shared countless fantastic details of plans for Uke Fest and related NY uke activities he's backing, but they're not all quite nailed down for public release yet. Suffice it to say, Uke Fest 2010 will be fantastic.

May 14-16. Mark your calendars now! And check out the Early Bird Discount until January 31.

More details coming soon.

Ukulele Cabaret Returns to Banjo Jim's, Friday, Jan. 29

I am especially excited to plug the upcoming Ukulele Cabaret, as it's going to be the debut of my new act, The Suaverinos, which includes our golden-throated warbler Rush Kress, the eye-pleasing dynamo Anna Gerard, our secret weapon Joe Silver, and myself, Rick Bruner, the brains of the operation. Show up early, as we're the second act in the 8pm hour!Sonic Uke, the organizers of the legendary NY Ukulele Cabaret, write:

That's right! Friday, January 29th, The Ukulele Cabaret Returns to Banjo Jim’s.

For those of you who have not experienced the Ukulele Cabaret, you are in for a treat. Leave your expectations at the door. Dozens of ukulele performers will wow you with everything from rock to opera; punk to glam; Hawaiian to Maori; mod to new wave; Beatles to Bach; country to vaudeville; sleazy to sexy; crooners to comedy; folk to metal; experimental to just down right mental.

OK, you get the idea - it’s free-form madness at its best.

Featuring: Andru Kahn, Ben Dultton, Carl Carrara, Chris Combs, Dana McCoy, Dixie Piver, Duncan Pflaster, Leslie Chase, Makalina, Mark Dutton, Moose Karloff, The Suaverinos, The Ukemen, and Vanessa Boyd.

8 PM
Dixie Piver
The Suaverinos [That's us!]
Mark Dutton
Ben Dultton
Carl Carrara

9 PM
Leslie Chase
Vanessa Boyd
Moose Karloof
Dana McCoy

10 PM
Chris Combs
Duncan Pflaster
The Ukemen
Andru Kahn

Banjo Jim’s
Ave C and 9th Street in the East Village

Show time: 8:00 to 11:00

Sonic Uke (your host) and Ukulele Cabaret

“Uke-Ooh-La-La!” Ukulele Burlesque show at Jalopy's on Thurs, Feb 11

Ukuleles and Burlesque: what sounds like more fun than that? Clearly, it's been done aplenty back in the day. But in 2010, NY has Ellia Bisker, aka Sweet Soubrette, to thank for this genius idea. 

Ellia's promo material from the Facebook Event page:

“Uke-Ooh-La-La!” is a ukulele & burlesque extravaganza where the 4-string meets the G-string. On February 11, ukulele-playing heartthrobs and homewreckers team up with burlesque dreamboats and femmes fatales to present an evening of original music and classic striptease with live accompaniment. See some of NYC’s hottest stars strumming and strutting their stuff, all in the spirit of St. Valentine. With a special appearance by the World Famous *BOB* and hosted by Sweet Soubrette at Brooklyn’s most romantic venue, Red Hook’s Jalopy Theatre. Ooh la la!

Featuring performances by: Agent 99 * Bliss Blood * Ekaterina Sknarina * Ginger Baker * Jamie Scandal * Josh Bisker * Les Chauds Lapins * Mike Richter * Sonic Uke * Sweet Soubrette * the World Famous *BOB* & more…

Thursday, February 11, 8:30pm
Jalopy Theatre
315 Columbia St (Red Hook)
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 395-3214
$12 cover

Take the F or the G subway to the Carrol St. stop, and then walk several blocks. 
Print this map

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Uke Shop in Tokyo

My friend is in Tokyo and passed this uke shop. I knew ukes were big in Japan (so to speak), but this is funny.


HBO Seeking Nude Female Ukulele Player

Who isn't seeking a beautiful young naked ukulele player? Much as it sounds like my ad, it's HBO who is really doing the asking. Here are the details, if you or someone you know is interested:


18-30, Beautiful, young girl, naked except for a ukulele. Strumming and singing "The Japanese Sandman." No breast augmentation. Nudity is required for this role.

BOARDWALK EMPIRE, Episode 106 (Additional Roles)


Please contact Makalina at 212-282-0118.