There’s no denying that the ukulele puts smiles on many faces and is loved by many famous musicians and celebrities, from the Beatles Paul McCartney and George Harrison to 1930s singer-songwriter George Formby and modern-day Taylor Swift. .
And the ukulele has broken into many different musical genres, from folk to classical, from pop to country.
Here are some of his most famous players
Famous ukulele players
Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele, Jake Shimabukuro is a fifth-generation Japanese-American who rose to fame with his rendition of George Harrison’s “While my Guitar Gently Weeps”. He discovered the ukulele at the age of four and is known for his virtuoso performances that blend different styles.
Kamakawiwo’ole’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” brought him to public attention after his death in 1997. The track has been used in movies and TV commercials, but it’s the traditional Hawaiian tunes that make his album. Facing the future essential listening.
Hawaiian Kamae discovered the traditional music of his island through the ukulele. His first love was Latin music which he heard on the radio, but the ukulele allowed him to discover his musical vocation. You can hear him playing with slack-key guitarist Gabby Pahinui on the album. son of hawaii.
The ukulele can appear in odd places, here amidst traditional Indian music played on a range of slide guitars. “Slide ukulele frees me and my listeners to a place where cultural, regional and traditional barriers don’t exist,” says Debashish.
Great Britain Ukulele Orchestra
You’ll find plenty of their music online, but their album Excellent is probably the best introduction to their eclectic and entertaining mix of classical, punk, jazz and disco – although nowhere near as good as seeing them perform live. You can find their side project, Lutes ‘n’ Ukeson Youtube.
A contemporary of George Harrison, Joe Brown (right) shared his love of the ukulele and performed the song “I’ll See You in My Dreams” at Harrison’s memorial service. Brown is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and The Ukulele Album includes this track as well as ELO’s “Pinball Wizard”, “Ace of Spades” and “Mr Blue Sky”.