The ukulele – once the pop-culture musical quarry of Don Ho and Tiny Tim pretty much exclusively – has enjoyed a run of popularity in recent years that has reached the status of a genuine renaissance. The four-stringed, reentrant-tuned axe owes its newfound fashionability to a variety of factors: It is portable. It is relatively easy to learn out of the gate, but supports as much virtuosity as you care to achieve, as YouTube phenom Jake Shimabukuro has demonstrated beyond doubt. George Harrison loved ukuleles. And as a small-bodied, nylon-stringed instrument, cheap ukuleles sound nearly as good as the expensive ones: something that can never be said of guitars.
From May 25 through 28, the Ashokan Center hosts the sixth annual Ukulele Fest and Concert, a family-friendly weekend retreat of music and friends in a gorgeous natural setting for ukulele players of all ages and skills. There will be workshops, concerts, dancing and jam sessions, and a concert by James Hill & Anne Janelle on Saturday, May 26 at 8 p.m., for which tickets cost $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
For the full breakdown of Ukefest activities and costs, visit https://ashokancenter.org. The Ashokan Center is located at 477 Beaverkill Road in Olivebridge.