Ukulenny and the Uke Fest
On September 20th, Kala Brand Music Endorsee Ukulenny stopped by the new Kala HQ to pick up his custom made ukulele. Luthiers Jason Villa and Liam Jenkins meticulously designed this beautiful ukulele with Lenny’s passions in mind. The top is Torrefied Sitka Spruce, the back and sides are Koa, the neck is Standard Size Ebony, and the tuners are Friction Violin Pegs.
The details are what make this uke particularly special. The headstock features the Filipino flag emblem, symbolizing Lenny’s culture and family. The heel cap is stamped with the initials “SD” for San Diego, Lenny’s hometown. And the ebony fretboard features a custom Ukulenny logo inlay in his signature colors. All of these details together create one of the most unique ukulele Kala has built to date.
“I was especially lucky that the amazing crew at Kala was able to finish my custom ukulele before the Fest so I could rock it out all weekend,” said Ukulenny. “Thank you Liam and Jason for creating a beautiful work of art! Sitka Spruce Top and Koa back and sides, ebony fretboard, custom tuners and a few shoutouts to San Diego and the Philippines, and a sound that's oh-so-smooth. Couldn't have asked for more. Thanks team!”
After picking up his custom ukulele, Lenny hit the road and headed toward Los Angeles Uke Fest hosted at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center. He and Cynthia Lin hosted the first workshop of the day, featuring songs like “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars with over 100 people joining in and playing along.
Kala Artist John Atkins, commonly known as The Ukulele Teacher, joined LA Uke Fest also hosting a few workshops. With a following on Youtube of 915,181, his workshop was filled to the brim with ukulele players young and old.
Ukulenny and Cynthia Lin were also hosts of the first ever San Francisco Uke-tober Fest October 7th and 8th. Featured artists included Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel, Aldrine Guerrero & Aaron Nakamura of Ukulele Underground, and Abe Lagrimas Jr. The artists set the tone for the weekend with an All-Star Jam Saturday at the Pa’ina Lounge in Japantown. From there, the weekend was filled with workshops and jam sessions with hundreds of ukes joining in together.
“The evening concert at the Kabuki Ballroom was legendary! I got to jam with my main folks Cynthia and Abe, and even guest starred on 'Careless Whisper' and 'Purple Rain' with the Ukulele Underground crew. Those tunes got the crowd shouting ‘Na-ka-mu-ra!’” said Ukulenny. “The night ended with a group jam of 'Lovesong' by the Cure, standing ovations and hugs all around. SF Uke-tober Fest 2017 was in the books!”
Plans are already in the works for next year's San Francisco Uke-tober Fest, make sure to keep an eye out for details.
Photo Credit: Craig Chee