With a new(ish) year still shining bright comes a new(ish) blog. This past weekend Denver was taken by a storm of ukuleles in the 4th annual Swallow Hill Uke Fest. Uke fest is a day full of magic, really. Last year was my first fest, and I dragged my good friend along with me. Within 15 minutes at Swallow Hill, she’d purchased a pineapple ukulele, and her life was forever changed.
This year the fest was at the L2 Arts & Culture Center on Colfax next to Twist & Shout and the Tattered Cover. My uke comrade and I, fortified by the best bloody marys I’ve had on Colfax in ages, spent the day learning unbelievable feats of ukehood at various workshops. Clawhammer uke was my favorite, as far as technical skills were concerned. Who knew this was even possible?! Aaron Kleim, our teacher, makes adorable banjo ukes that I covet with a vengeance. And banjo ukes weren’t the only unique instruments there.
When I said magical, I really meant it in the most sincere way. The answers to most problems in this life can be found in a room of 100+ ukulele players, shiteatinggrins, strumming their little hearts out together. We covered a great song too, listen to us go: so many ukes . Aldrine Guerrero of ukulele underground shredded our faces off, and gave us tips on making sweet strumming patterns. We left bursting with inspiration and a glow only created by cradling a ukulele in our arms for hours on end. We love you Swallowhill, and sing your praises to the ukulele gods.