Last Saturday I made the trek up north to visit The Strum Shop in Roseville for a workshop/concert with two of my favorite ukulele artists playing today, Kimo Hussey and Kalei Gamiao. I have been hearing and seeing a lot about the Strum Shop over the past year as they have had some great artists and teachers come through their doors as of late. It was great to finally meet local ukulele guru and Strum Shop owner, Stu Herreid. He has created a really great community up in the Sacramento area through teaching, different events, and organizing the local ukulele club, Uke University.
Kimo taught a fantastic workshop covering some basic chord movement and chord replacement. He also discussed training your ear to learn when to hear when chord changes should happen. He had such a great energy and was really good at connecting with all of the participants. Kalei’s workshop covered some of the basic ideas behind his right hand techniques, from strumming to lead picking. It was interesting to hear about some of his creative process and how he discovers and executes some of his incredibly intricate rhythms.
The concert portion of the event was one of my favorites by far. Kimo’s solo set was so intimate, he is such a great musician and story teller and his ability to evoke different feelings and emotions in his playing is unparalleled. I have been waiting to hear Kalei play live for quite some time now, as he was one of my first inspirations when I started playing ukulele. His technique is breathtaking to watch, and their were several wow’s from the audience at the end of a few of his more intense pieces. After both solo sets they played a short set together which was the highlight of the night for me. It was really special and I feel lucky to have been there to enjoy it.
Both of these guys are real busy the next couple of months with teaching and performing at different events around the world so be sure to check them both out if you have a chance. Also if you are in the northern California area keep an eye out on the Strum Shop’s calendar where there are always some great ukulele events happening!
Kimo Hussey: http://kimohussey.com/
Kalei Gamiao: http://kaleigamiao.com/
Strum Shop: http://thestrumshop.com/
Thank you to Derek Gamiao for use of his pictures and thanks to all you for all of your support, if you found this or any of our resources helpful be sure to