Have you heard about the Ukulele?
Happy National Ukulele Day!
National Ukulele Day, also known as National Play Your Ukulele Day, takes place each year on February 2nd. Celebrate with us and learn some fun facts about ukulele history, including one that might surprise you.
“Is that a tiny guitar?”
Nope, it’s a ukulele! Strumming this four-stringed instrument might bring up thoughts of pineapples, palm trees and sandy beaches, but this staple of Hawaiian music originates from a region that might surprise you:
The ukulele, a member of the lute family, descends from a Portuguese instrument called the machete. The ukulele was brought to the Hawaiian islands by Portuguese artisans Manuel Nunes, José do Espírito Santo, and Augusto Dias, who are generally credited as being the first ukulele makers.
But the credit for the ukulele’s explosion in popularity falls to King Kalākaua, the last king of Hawaii, who embraced the ukulele and adopted it as part of Hawaiian culture. Without the support of King Kalākaua, it’s doubtful the ukulele would have had the reach and cultural influence it did in later years.
And what amazing years they were for the ukulele! Legendary musicians like George Harrison, Israel Kamakawiwoʻole and Elvis Presley embraced the ukulele as an integral part of the music they created. More recently, artists like Jack Johnson, Ingrid Michaelson, Jake Shimabukuro, Grace VanderWaal and Cynthia Lin have become pillars of a ukulele revival, inspiring a new generation of players.
Today, you can find ukuleles in more places than you think! Many schools have made ukuleles a part of their music education programs, and ukulele clubs, bands, forums, and lessons abound for the ukulele enthusiast who wants to take their playing to the next level. Whether you dream of being a ukulele legend or just want to play your favorite songs around the campfire, the ukulele has something for everyone.
And if you’re ready to get started on your ukulele journey, we have a group for you! Join us for Family Ukulele Jam on the first Wednesday of every month from 7-8pm, no ukulele experience necessary! And if you’re scrambling for Valentine‘s Day plans, bring your sweetheart this upcoming Wednesday for our Sweethearts Ukulele Jam!
Can't make it? Check out the rest of our events?
No ukulele? No problem! Give our sales staff a call at (708) 798-5500 or stop by the store to check out our selection of ukuleles!