Today's session video is an original piece called "Sentiment" from the album Moment. Thanks to the boys at Ukulele Underground for the schwag. http://ukuleleunderground.com/ Also thanks to Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel for their set of custom strings you can find them here: http://www.cheemaisel.com/store/ghs-signature-string-sets Get your copy of Moment at: Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/moment/id901209059 Bandcamp: http://ukuleleinspired.bandcamp.com/ CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/johnnash1 Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ukulele-inspired
Big thanks to Craig Chee, our most recent artist spotlight here at Ukulele Inspired, for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. Craig has been gaining lots of visibility in the past few years and is creating quite a name for himself as an artist and teacher. His name has become a common sight on international ukulele festival lineups, most recently as one of the headliners at the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain. I had the pleasure of getting to meet Craig and his constant companion, Sarah Maisel at a workshop/concert last year. Read more about it here. Be sure to get his latest album release, Life in the Key of Chee, and don't miss an opportunity to see him teach and perform if he is in your area! UI: How did you first start playing ukulele?
Craig: Learned a few songs growing up in Hawaii but because the cello was my main instrument I didn't really dive into the ukulele until college.
UI: How long have you been playing?
Craig: Started playing a ton in 1999 getting ready for college at the university of Oregon.
UI: Best part about playing the ukulele (or being a ukulele player)?
Craig: Best part of playing- you can take it pretty much everywhere. And it's also such an addicting and fun instrument!
Best part of being a player- getting to travel and meet some of the most amazing people around the world...
UI: Where do you find inspiration?
Craig: Everyday life. Watching people do what they need to do to pay rent and then finding other ways to express their creativity. I have a young student who mowed yards all summer just to take a few lessons from me... It was so inspiring. I am absolutely so fortunate to be doing what I'm doing.
Check out our newest featured artist here at Ukulele Inspired, Sarah Maisel. If you are paying any attention to the ukulele scene then you may have heard of this very gifted lady. I did a quick write up about a workshop and concert she did awhile back with Craig Chee at DaSilva Ukulele Co. You can read more about it here. With a very smooth and distinctive style of playing and an incredible voice, Sarah is getting a lot of deserved attention. With all of her traveling, performing, and teaching, Sarah still found the time to answer a few questions for us. Thanks Sarah!
UI: How did you first start playing ukulele? Sarah: Being from Birmingham, AL, I had never seen a ukulele. When I moved out to San Diego, CA in 2004, I had my first experiences with the uke. BUT it wasn't until 2006, when my friend took me to a pizza place in Encinitas, CA to check out "Hawaii Night". It was AMAZING- 40 or more ukulele players (and several hula dancers) enjoying and playing Hawaiian music. I had never seen anything like it and was hooked instantly.
UI: How long have you been playing? Sarah: I have been playing ukulele since October 2006.
UI: What is the best part about playing the ukulele? Sarah: I'd say the best part about being an ukulele player are all the awesome friends that you make. Uke people are the friendliest and kindest people I have ever met. The friendships you make with the uke are life time ones.
UI: Where do you find inspiration? Sarah: I find inspiration everywhere. I know that can sound cliche, but it is true. I always get re-inspired when I am teaching. I love seeing someone enjoying music made with their own hands; it's a wonderful feeling to be a part of that. It fuels my fire for teaching. I also get inspiration from driving and listening to the radio... Or even going to the beach and relaxing. There is so much in life that can inspire you, you just have to be open to it.
LINKS: Website: http://www.sarahmaisel.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sarah-Maisel/138168172881801 YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SarahMaiselUkulele
I was so excited to get to meet Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel this past weekend. Craig's workshop was a lot of fun and he shared some strumming and rhythmic techniques that he uses in his unique and exciting playing style. Sarah taught some classic blues and jazz progressions and some her favorite variations and chord shapes that she uses in her own music.
In the evening concert following the workshops, both artists put on incredible shows. Both performances included covers, collaborations, and originals and really showcased how talented Craig and Sarah are on stage. The highlight for me was their collaboration of "More Than Words", a song that brought a lot of memories and a few tears (I got to admit) when they sang it together.
Afterwards I got to chat with them a bit and get some autographed copies of their albums. They were both really down to earth people that are passionate about their craft. The next couple of months is very busy for these two, please check them out and support if you can.
Craig Chee http://craigchee.wordpress.com/
Sarah Maisel http://www.sarahmaisel.com/
Thanks again to Mike DaSilva of DaSilva Ukulele Co. for hosting such a wonderful event and to Craig and Sarah, really great job to both of you guys.[fbshare type="button"]