Joined: Sep 30, 2004
From: Santa Rosa, CA (Sonoma - wine country)
|Posted: 2006-04-12 4:47 pm  Permalink|
I recently ran across a really cool DVD on Ukuleles. It was being sold by my local "record" store. The title caught my eye immediately, so I read the jacket, and decided it needed to come home with me. At the checkout counter, the clerk / manager looked at me with a great smile and told me that I was buying the first copy. Apparently they had stocked a few copies because the DVD was produced locally (Fort Bragg, CA). After viewing this documentary on the Uke, I feel the price was well worth it, as I was unfamiliar with the evolving history of the Uke, but have always enjoyed listening to someone play one. The DVD contains some great live footage of performers as well as some really great tunes, and historical pictures.
I found out this DVD can also be purchased on line at www.northpacificproductions.com. Here is what they say about this documentary...
'The Jumping Flea'
The Jumping Flea, a cross-cultural and historic look at the ukulele, features interviews with performers, craftsmen, and songwriters. Filmmaker Paul Kraus, who worked in special effects first in Hollywood and later in Marin County, has lived on the north coast of California since 1979. His first documentary feature, The Shapemakers, received critical acclaim from the press worldwide.
Kraus learned the basics of surfboard shaping and guitar making from his father in the 1960's. In 1999, he renewed his interest in hand-built musical instruments, and concentrated on the ukulele. In the process, he found a complete subculture of musicians, luthiers, and just plain fans. The instrument's most famous player may be Tiny Tim, a fringe character of the 1960's and 80's. But Kraus is quick to note that Beatle George Harrison was a fan and proponent of the small 4-stringed uke, for its portable size and the ability to compose melodies on it.
The many personalities of Myke