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Flea Market Music offers an on-line community for ukulele players, informative books on the ukulele, ukulele CDs,songbooks, videos and information on our instrument manufacturing of the FLUKE ukulele. Brought to you by "Jumpin" Jim Beloff.
Roy Smeck Concert Ukulele


Original Post By: ukeman80 Date: 8/28/2017 11:03:03 PM
Hey everyone, I was just talking to a friend about all of the fond memories I had attending the NY Ukefest... just curious if there is any demand to bring it back? I respect all of the headaches that go into creating such a festival... but yeah, it's a nice idea.... thoughts? Be nice...

Posted By: Tom B. Date: 8/29/2017 9:28:30 PM
I don't have any thoughts on organizing one, but I went to the first one in 2006 (we met there, ukeman80), and it was one of the funnest, most memorable things I've done. If there was another, I'd seriously consider another cross-country trip. Ukes and the Big Apple make for a great vacation!
Posted By: looney tunes Date: 8/30/2017 10:47:56 AM
I was at a couple of NY Uke Fests in the West Village..Uke Jackson was the organizer and had his family and some volunteers run the program. It was fantastic but I really do not recall the years. I was there with the LoPrinzi Ukuleles family..Augie and I are still close friends and we still laugh about setting up in an old theater and watching a rat run by. Actually it was great fun. Thanks Uke Jackson.
Posted By: J Boy Shyne Date: 8/30/2017 1:28:48 PM   (Updated: 8/30/2017 8:45:12 PM)
When Uke ran the Fest, it had a great New York vibe to it. Sure ukes came from Hawaii, but by the 1920s, the uke was the rave in all the states and many if not most of the most popular acts were New York based or got their starts in NYC. I dug the New York Uke Fests back when New York acts provided the entertainment. Ya know, Cliff Edwards' (aka Ukulele Ike) rise to stardom came from his time in NYC, including his stint with the Ziegfield Follies. Same thing with many other uke greats. Indeed, Roy Smeck was still teaching uke (and guitar and other instruments) in NYC throughout the 1980s.

When new management took over the fest, it became just another uke Luau, like what happens on the West Coast and on the Islands. To me, all that has nothing to do with the vaudevillian New York ukulele tradition.

Me, I from the NYC area and like my friends from the United Kingdom, we speak English and we say "yoo ka lay lee," and we care not for those who insist it be called a "oo koo lay lay."

I should clarify that I do love the amazing uke acts that came out of Hawaii in the 1920s with their hot lap steel players. Oh, and of course, Hawaiian shirts are always groovy.

Anyways, my band played at 2 NYU ukefests and at a 3rd, my former musical partner, premiered his dark comedy which had an all uke sound track.

In 2006, our friends from Midnight Ukulele Disco and the Ukulele Cabaret asked us to play at the Cabaret which went on in the basement of the 2006 NY Uke Fest. They asked us to play every night and we did doing a different set each night. It was great fun and we meet Uke Jackson, who dug us and our act and had us on the main stage at the 2007 fest.

Lots of Brits, and other folks from Europe, and around the world showed up at the 2007 NY Ukefest. The folks who had senses of humour (spelling for them) loved us and we loved them and life long friendships were formed.

2006- https://youtu.be/K_BU3YPXpnc
2007- https://youtu.be/R8waXbtsijM
2008- Premier of "Fithly Rich, Filthy Uncle Phil" with its all uke soundtrack.
Opening Credits https://youtu.be/fJzyDHy6Mn4
Closing credits https://youtu.be/tviOladmdIE

Good times and fond memories from back when the the NY uke scene dominated the NY Uke Fest.
Posted By: J Boy Shyne Date: 8/30/2017 1:38:32 PM   (Updated: 8/31/2017 9:09:36 AM)
Here's a clip of the Moonlighters at the 2006 NY Uke Fest. https://youtu.be/YVe4WZcNwSw

Their appearance at the 2007 Fest was one of the last gigs that lineup every did. They were awesome!
https://youtu.be/b5AJA-H0g4I
Posted By: Geoff Rezek Date: 8/30/2017 9:47:15 PM   (Updated: 8/30/2017 9:47:55 PM)
NYC Uke Fests are among my fondest ukulele memories. It would be great to have it back.
The venue, players, jam sessions, and vendors were the best. The Highest energy. Geoff Rezek
Posted By: ukeman80 Date: 9/1/2017 5:42:07 PM
Sounds like there is an interest... just saying... I know I would go!!! The seed has been planted.
Posted By: J Boy Shyne Date: 9/2/2017 9:27:45 AM   (Updated: 9/6/2017 1:22:01 PM)
For the last few years, there's been a uke fest up the Hudson, north of NYC (about 100 miles) in Saugerties, NY. See http://ashokan.org/uke-fest/ .

There's also been an annual uke fest across the Hudson, about 30 miles west of NYC, in Morristown, NJ. See http://folkproject.org/njukefest/

Incidentally, every year, the UK hosts several uke fests. I played at a hippy styled ukefest that took place at a camp site on the east coast of England back in 2009 and it was a blast! For those into banjo-uke playing WWII entertainers (George Formby), or formal-wearing, uke-playing supposed 'orchestras' (UOGB), a fest in the United Kingdom might just be your cup of tea. And, although a foreign country, they sort of speak English (but with funny accents), so US Yanks fit right in.

Ya know, if LA could go a couple of decades without the NFL, I'd think NYC could go a few years without a uke fest. I suppose that the previous festivals were not commercially viable enterprises. However, anyone is free to give it a go. Ken 'Bari' Murray, I suspect, owns the domain http://www.nyukefest.com/ . If someone is thinking of running a uke fest in NYC, perhaps it would advantageous to contact him in order to obtain the rights to the domain.
Posted By: Neil E Murphy Date: 9/27/2017 11:12:52 PM
Would love to attend another. Have fond memories of the first.
Posted By: Spats Date: 9/27/2017 11:42:17 PM
I guess those days are over, Neil. It was J Boy's reminiscences that prompted me to post the interview I did with Ukulele Player Magazine below. Those were great times and it was good to hear from you on Facebook, Neil. Best to you. Here's a link to the interview again. Thought somebody would like to read it and see the photos. My show "GOD LOVES TINY TIM" is touring now with great reviews and a TV special in the works. Here's a link to the interview again:

http://www.tricornpublications.com/issue33.pdf

Posted By: singndance Date: 10/11/2017 7:36:41 PM
I sure would go again. What fun it was the couple times I went!
Posted By: Rob Uker Date: 11/8/2017 1:50:09 PM
I think my son and I attended almost all of the NY Uke Fests.
We loved all of them. I liked that it bounced all over town too.
When we first started going it was a big event for us because most music stores didn't stock any ukuleles. It was really the only opportunity you had to "try before you buy".
I would definitely go again.
Posted By: Rob Uker Date: 11/8/2017 1:50:23 PM
I think my son and I attended almost all of the NY Uke Fests.
We loved all of them. I liked that it bounced all over town too.
When we first started going it was a big event for us because most music stores didn't stock any ukuleles. It was really the only opportunity you had to "try before you buy".
I would definitely go again.

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Flea Market Music offers an on-line community for ukulele players, informative books on the ukulele, ukulele CDs,songbooks, videos and information on our instrument manufacturing of the FLUKE ukulele. Brought to you by "Jumpin" Jim Beloff. -