The Mighty Uke
USA, 2009, 76 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Canada, France, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Music
Special Event Sunday, May 20th at 4:30pm
Presented by Swallow Hill Music
Digital presentation - Think of a ukulele and you probably imagine grass skirts, slide guitar and kitchy lyrics, but far from being just a novelty instrument, the uke has a rich history and has profoundly affected music around the world.
Originally brought to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants, ukulele music owned the airwaves. Broadway produced ukulele musicals. Hollywood produced ukulele movie stars. The little instrument was so inexpensive and easy to play that by the early twenties the uke was the most popular instrument in the American home and the first musical voice for millions of children. Over the next thirty years the uke was number one, and then, with the rise of rock and roll guitar, faded into nerdy obscurity. Until now.
In the internet age, the ukulele is making a comeback. Ukes top the charts in Japan, Swedish punks thrash uke angst, California popsters serve it to ya ukulele style, and all of them meet together at the myriad ukulele festivals from New York to London and Tokyo. THE MIGHTY UKE travels the world to discover why so many people of different nations, cultures, ages and musical tastes are turning to the ukulele to express themselves, connect with the past, and with each other. From the redwoods of California through the gritty streets of Paris, from swinging London through Tokyo’s highrise canyons, ukers tell the story of the people’s instrument: The Mighty Uke.
DIRECTOR: Tony Coleman, Margaret Meagher
US Distributor: Area23A
Official Film Website