PLEASE NOTE: This event is sold out.
At 2 PM, the Museum presents a book signing/concert event featuring the plucky little ukulele.
Author and historian Jim Tranquada gives a brief talk and book singing for his recent release of "The Ukulele: A History." The book talk will be followed by a concert from ukulele artist Brittni Paiva.
At 23 years of age, Brittni Paiva—already a multi award-winning instrumentalist—is known for her stunning articulation of what she can do on the ukulele going from slow and moving, to rapid-fire, classical-ballet, to ancient Japan, translating forms of jazz, world beat, pop, Flamenco and Latin, and filter these styles through her 4-string ukulele.
Since its introduction to Hawai'i in 1879, the 'ukulele has been many things: a symbol of an island paradise; a tool of political protest; an instrument central to a rich musical culture; a musical joke; a highly sought-after collectible; a cheap airport souvenir; a lucrative industry; and the product of a remarkable synthesis of western and Pacific cultures. The 'Ukulele: A History explores all of these facets, placing the instrument for the first time in a broad historical, cultural, and musical context.
Drawing on a wealth of previously untapped sources, Jim Tranquada and John King tell the surprising story of how an obscure four-string folk guitar from Portugal became the national instrument of Hawai'i, of its subsequent rise and fall from international cultural phenomenon to "the Dangerfield of instruments," and of the resurgence in popularity (and respect) it is currently enjoying among musicians from Thailand to Finland. The book shows how the technologies of successive generations (recorded music, radio, television, the Internet) have played critical roles in popularizing the 'ukulele.
About the Authors
A former newspaper reporter, Jim Tranquada is director of communications for Occidental College in Los Angeles. He is a great-great grandson of 'ukulele pioneer Augusto Dias. The late John King was widely acknowledged as one of the modern masters of the 'ukulele. He taught guitar at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, was a contributor to Soundboard, the journal of the Guitar Foundation of America, and is the author of The Hawaiian 'Ukulele and Guitar Makers: 1884–1930.
Brittni and her ukulele are a brilliant match: Both are humble in nature, small in size, and very powerful with proper delivery. Brittni and the 'ukulele in general have gained notoriety, no longer confined by stereotypes about the instrument. There's a global resurgence in the instrument's popularity and she is part of the trend.
Releasing her 5th CD with the legendary Grammy winner Tom Scott — who personally requested to play with her at a concert last year — thinks Paiva is the real deal, because of her ability to play all kinds of music without losing her identity. "She plays it like a guitar, giving her a wide range of possibilities. She adopts tunes to this instrument, and makes them sound full and rich. She's doing a great job and has a great future...She's got a really unique voice in music," he raved.
Ukulele, guitar, electric bass, piano and drums are Brittni's instruments of choice, yet when it comes to the ukulele she invests as much soulfulness as skill. "Brittni brings a whole new spirit to the music and to the instrument: pop sensibilities in a smooth jazz format," says John Schroeter, music producer and author of Between the Strings: The Secret Lives of Guitars. "It's got a new kind of energy—it's infectious."
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