You can see evidence of the area's affinity for the ukulele in the Seattle Ukulele Player's Association, which is a large group devoted to distributing and supporting the music of the ukulele. There are a variety of reasons that Seattle has an especially close relationship with Hawaii. It is on the West Coast and many expatriate Hawaiians have settled in the Puget Sound area, and so the music has just naturally floated over from the islands.
This group meets monthly to promote the ukulele and Hawaiian music. There are about fifty regular members, of differing musical abilities, who perform during the monthly meetings. The group also performs during other festivals and events in Seattle, including the Folklife Festival. Going to either this or the Fremont Solstice Parade, you might get a chance to hear anything from a concert ukulele to a baritone ukulele. They will even play less well-known ukuleles like the kamaka or a 6 string.
Besides the devoted membership of the Seattle Ukulele Player's Association, Seattle boasts four local radio stations that have Hawaiian music programming, attesting to its popularity. You will undoubtedly get to hear the classic soprano ukulele there as well as the tenor instrument. The fascination with this type of music doesn't just stem from the tunes, but also from the beautiful Hawaiian songs that typically go along with them.
So, if you are ever on the West Coast, and you love the ukulele, take a trip to Seattle. You won't be disappointed. You'll find a lively culture that appreciates Hawaiian music and the role of the ukulele within this heritage. Plan your trip in advance to try and hit some of the major music festivals and you will be in for a treat.
You can make some great friendships and explore a gem of a city while taking in the sounds of Hawaii, without ever making the trip overseas. Even if you can't make it during those times, you know that if you are in Seattle, you can turn on your radio and find some great ukulele music being broadcast.Return to Home Page