The ukulele has become a staple in various subgenres of music, such as folk, pop, and even some rock. In fact, the tiny four string instrument is being highlighted by a third annual North Bay Ukulele Festival in Santa Rosa, California, today from 2 p.m. ET until 10 p.m. ET time. Located at Arlene Francis Center, 99 Sixth St., the festival is free to those interested. The uke fest is a full day of free live music that consists of two separate stages and over 15 acts, reports the Press Democrat.
Plenty of must sees have been and still are jamming out at the ongoing North Bay Ukulele Festival. Among them is The Betty Blues, otherwise known as Kristen Pearce. The Betty Blues is a folk-rock band which blends together strong singing and insightful lyrics. One of their better known songs is “Freckles.”
Hawaiian musician Faith Thompson Ako is also listed on the roster, as well as The Aly Rose Trio. The Trio plays plenty of pop covers such as Jake Shimabukuro’s music. They perform soulful and jazz inspired radio covers of various radio hits, like Maggie Rogers’s “Alaska,” and Anderson Paak’s “Put Me Thru.”
Indeed, the ukulele has a wide range and can be found on various alternative albums. Many YouTube sensations, such as Jake Shimabukuro, have gone viral with their ukulele covers. Shimabukuro’s cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” have become quite popular among viewers and listeners.
Even though the festival is in fact free to those going, food and beverages are available for festival goers to purchase from various vendors. There are also other activities, such as interactive classes with several expert ukulele players who fans of all types, new or longtime enthusiasts, can partake in and enjoy. Crash course classes are available with Scott Gifford.
Holden Rivera is offering a more genre-hopping technique for modern ukulele players. Rivera is a Bay area ukulele player and is a quite well known personality among the uke fan base. He is a vlogger, and describes himself as a single father, a Buddhist, tree hugger, and minimalist on his Twitter profile.
A recent surge in popularity for playing the ukulele shows that more than 1.4 million ukuleles were sold the United States alone in the year 2016, reports Next Avenue. This instrument is being played by people of all age groups. In fact, music schools around the states are teaching those as young as toddles, but also teens, young professionals, and retirees to play the ukulele.