Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Our world tour takes us to Ukraine today, where we meet Eugen Manzhenko, the first Ukrainian ukulele  player to upload videos to YouTube.

If you feel a bit down, Eugen‘s videos should bring a smile back on your face. Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, there is an underlying feel of optimism in his songs and a real sense of fun which I really enjoy.

I was very curious to find out about ukulele playing in Ukraine and Eugen has very kindly agreed to answer my questions.


U&L : You are the only Ukrainian ukulele player I have seen on YouTube. How did you discover the ukulele ?

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The very first fingerpicking e-book that I purchased was Rob MacKillop‘s 20 Celtic Fingerstyle Uke Tunes which I enjoy greatly. Even though I bought the e-book in April, I’m far from finished with it as there are a few challenging pieces that I haven’t even tried to play yet.

In order to find out a bit more about Rob MacKillop, I have asked him a few questions. But first things first, let’s hear him play in this flamencolele, a flamenco improvisation played on a Koloa UK-600 :

U&L : I read on your website that you actually started to play the ukulele at the age of eight then went over to the guitar before coming back to the uke : did your playing the ukulele influence the way you played guitar or did the guitar way take over and influence the way you play the uke now ?

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Interviewing Al aka Woodshed, the webmaster from Ukulele Hunt, also described as the world’s handsomest ukulele blogger, had to be very special for three main reasons :

Uke Hunt is my absolute favourite ukulele blog.

– I have a lot of respect for Al, for his tireless contribution to the ukulele community, for having managed to make a living out of something he was really passionate about. I also love his writing style, his sharp sense of humour and extreme use of self-derision. And I admire his outstanding ukulele skills.

Al has been very inspirational and helpful and it is partly thanks to him that this very blog has taken shape.

Since I am no match for Al‘s wit, what better introduction than to ask him if there was something he would like to be asked about ?

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I have been quite impressed by Tim’s take on John King/James Hill version of Lary O’Gaff so I decided to contact him for an interview.

Tim (aka ukuleletim) lives in Austin, Texas in the United-States and started to play the ukulele in September 2008, a bit more than a year ago.

By means of an introduction, and before we move on to the questions, let’s listen to Tim, playing Tico Tico, a Brazilian song

U&L :  You’re initially a guitar player. Why did you choose to play the ukulele ? What do you like about the ukulele ?

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Our world tour of classical ukulele players is now bringing us to Germany , the country of residence of Wilfried Welti, a Swiss citizen with the ability to make even the cheapest uke sound great.

I contacted Wilfried a couple of weeks ago and what first started like a standard interview became a very rich exchange on how to play classical ukulele. Wilfried has been extremely helpful and I am very grateful for the time he spent answering my numerous questions, with great enthusiasm and patience, providing me with a wealth of useful details.

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