Performance Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | 7:30 PM

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Zankel Hall
Join this virtuosic group of singing and strumming ukulele players for melodious light entertainment that features a collision of post-punk performance and toe-tapping oldies.


  • Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain


    Program is approximately 1 hour, 50 minutes, including one intermission


  • Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

    ... is a group of all-singing, all-strumming ukulele players (the clue is in the name), who use instruments bought with loose change and also share a firm belief that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation-as long as they are played on the ukulele.

    The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain started as a bit of fun in 1985. The first gig, intended as a one-off, was an instant sell out. Since then, the "Ukes" have given thousands of concerts, and been featured on TV and radio programs all over the world. The current ensemble has been playing together for almost 20 years and has a proven unique collective fluency.

    Using instruments small and large in high and low registers-whether playing intricate melodies, simple tunes, or complex chords (up to 32 instrumental notes and eight vocal notes simultaneously)-the Ukulele Orchestra uses the limitations of the instrument to create a musical freedom as it reveals unsuspected musical insights. Both the beauty and vacuity of popular and highbrow music are highlighted, the pompous and the trivial, the moving and the amusing. Sometimes a foolish song can touch an audience more than high art; sometimes music that takes itself too seriously is revealed to be hilarious. You may never think about music in the same way once you've been exposed to the Ukes' depraved musicology.

    The Ukes celebrate their 25-year anniversary in 2010. They have now officially seen more than 9,000 days of ukulele action, expanding from gigs in London pubs to touring the world. They are quite literally their own record label, video production company, management agency, and concert booker. Is it a contentious claim to say that they have 16-handedly turned the world on to the ukulele and its entertainment possibilities? You'll laugh, you'll cry-you'll never think about music, humor, or entertainment in the same way once you've seen and heard the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.
    More Info


Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
Longman Records

This performance is part of Off the Beaten Track.