NZ Music Month - Celebrating the Ukulele!

A DigitalNZ Story by Zokoroa

Bring out your ukulele and strum it all day long in celebration of NZ Music Month in May and "Play Your Ukulele Day" held annually on 2 Feb!

Ukulele, ukelele, musical instruments, stringed instruments, music

Did you know that the word "ukulele" in Hawaiian means jumping flea?  One legend tells that the musical instrument was so named because the way the player's fast-moving fingers jumped around the strings looked like fleas jumping over the keyboard! The ukulele is a member of the lute family of instruments and generally has four strings. (See Get-tuned.com)

Ukulele festivals:

The charitable organisation NZ Ukulele Trust stages the annual NZ Ukulele event held in Auckland, supplies ukuleles to children and runs workshops and competitions. See website and Facebook page.

Ukelele orchestra

NZEI Te Riu Roa (New Zealand Educational Institute)

Playing ukeleles, Rural Teaching Principals' Conference 2000

NZEI Te Riu Roa (New Zealand Educational Institute)

South Island Children's and Young Adults' Librarians Conference, "Creating Legendary Experiences" (2011).

Ukuleles

Christchurch City Libraries

Styles of Ukulele:

Pre-1985 ukulele made from composite materials.

Ukurere

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Pre-1987 ukelele made of Koa (Accacia Koa), a native specie to Hawai'i.

Ukulele

Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira

Auckland Keyword: Music Event: World Teachers' Day (2012).

Ukeleles

NZEI Te Riu Roa (New Zealand Educational Institute)

Listen to the sounds of the ukelele:            

(And who remembers seeing Tiny Tim singing and playing "Tiptoe through the tulips"!?  See Youtube clip.)

Want some tips on how to tune your ukelele, play it and take care of your beloved instrument?  Check out Ukuguides.com 

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra teach us how to play the ukelele (2009)

Ukelele Orchestra

Radio New Zealand

More than 800 ukuleles playing in unison (2009).

Ukelele world record

Radio New Zealand

The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Boogey Man (2012).

In Session: The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Boogey Man

95bFM

The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra's version of Bonnie Tyler's "It's a heartache" (2008).

It's a Heartache

NZ On Screen

Levin Intermediate Ukulele Orchestra perform Rockin' Robin (2011),

Levin Intermediate Ukelele Orchestra perform Rockin' Robin

Kete Horowhenua

The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra perform Boogey Man (2012).

In Session: The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Breathless

95bFM

The joys of learning the ukulele - Lynn with Julian Raphael & Isabelle LeFrancq from Wellington (2012).

Try Something New - The Ukulele

Radio New Zealand

Te Ururoa Flavell plays ukulele, sings in final address to 51st Parliament (2017).

Te Ururoa Flavell plays ukelele, sings in final address to 51st Parliament

Radio New Zealand

Learning te reo with help from ukulele (2018).

Learning Te Reo with help from a Ukelele

Radio New Zealand

Players over the years:

c.1930

Man playing a guitar

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Māori woman in costume playing the ukulele (1938).

Maori woman in costume playing the ukelele, location unidentified

Alexander Turnbull Library

Dunedin band The Tumbleweeds were hugely influential on country music in NZ in the 1950s.

The Tumbleweeds

AudioCulture

Gisborne's "pop" singer Julie Nelson's latest release is "Ukulele Lady" (1963).

"Ukelele Lady"

Gisborne Photo News

Two young girls (1974).

Two young girls with a ukulele, and sketchbook

Alexander Turnbull Library

Film about the life and music of Bill Sevesi. Inlcudes uke player Sione Aleki, Tonga's answer to Jimi Hendrix. (1992).

Song of the South Seas - The Life and Music of Bill Sevesi

NZ On Screen

Music video (2004): Age Pryor who played with Fly My Pretties & co-founded Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra.

Age Pryor

NZ On Screen

Thirty artists around New Zealand were briefed by Marg Morrow to turn ukuleles into mini art works (2010).

Thirty Ukeleles

Radio New Zealand

Long John Knickers and his ukulele in a small cafe (2016).

Long John Knickers and his ukelele

Radio New Zealand