Ukulele Bartt is an eclectic singer/songwriter backed up by a full band he
calls the Sextet. Bartt’s lyrics are artfully written and mostly based
upon matters of the heart.
Musicianship: Bartt is a gifted musician with a talented
backup band. He sings with personality and it suits his material flawlessly.
But, it’s his ukulele skills that are phenomenal.
Throughout the set, Bartt proves he can strum any style from blues
to classical and perform it melodically and dynamically. Erba and Gold both
add rockin’ blues to the sound, while Radice and DiGiovanni contribute
more of an old-school blues vibe. Singers Renee and Bjorklund add 50’s
style backup, offering a nice finishing touch to Bartt’s overall musical
Performance: There was such a crowd
that the club was filled to capacity, leaving fans lined up outside in the
rain. Bartt and company put on an energetic set, introducing each song
with humor. Radice played the sidekick, adding punchlines and catering to
Bartt’s whims. The rest of the group was equally entertaining and seemed
over the top with enthusiasm. The evening felt like a house-party where musicians
and fans alike were all celebrating their distinctive appreciation for the
Summary: Ukulele Bartt has a unique and original sound with
clever, catchy tunes that are fun to listen to. Any fan of the ukulele, or
anyone wanting an entertaining and unusual night of bluesy rock, should experience
one of Ukulele Bartt’s shows.
Singin’ and Strummin’
with Ukulele Bartt
By Ruth Longoria
If you’ve never heard the “Flight of the BumbleUke” or
a ukulele rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” it might be time to
expand your musical experience with the flamenco, classical and rock sounds
of ukulele aficionado Ukulele Bartt.
The Hawaiian and Portuguese guitar virtuoso is a little bit like Tiny Tim,
Queen, and George Harrison combined. And for anyone who enjoys a unique musical
experience, Ukulele Bartt has a style and a sound worth hearing.
“Bartt is incredibly talented and an accomplished musician,”
said Gail Mishkin, of The Folk Tree, a shop and art gallery
in Pasadena where Ukulele Bartt and his band will perform this weekend. Mishkin
said she’s a fan of Ukulele Bartt — the man and his music.
In addition to performing across the country, his music
has gained recognition worldwide by way of the Internet and You Tube.
Bartt’s collection of about 50 stringed instruments includes a Romanian
mandolin and a 12-string viola da terra, from Portugal. His newest ukulele
is a custom-made instrument made of myrtlewood, and embellished with ebony,
abalone and mother of pearl. In addition to his name embedded on the neck
of the ukulele, the various icons on the instrument have special meanings.
There are three bees on the headstock that signify Bartt and his two B-named
brothers, Brett and Brian. There’s also a heart-shaped morning glory
vine on the face of the instrument, dedicated to his wife, Yvonne. The uke
was hand-built by famed luthier Tomas Delgado of Candelas
Ukulele Bartt and his band, the Ukulele Bartt Sextet (The UB6), which includes
drums, guitar, keyboard, bass and backup singers — will perform at 3
p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at The Folk Tree, 217 Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena.
He can also be heard later this year, Oct. 4, at the Southern California
Ukulele Festival in Cerritos, and on his website, Bartt.net
. Or you can catch him on YouTube.
don’t think there’s anyone who looks like they’re enjoying
playing the uke more than Ukulele Bartt.
And it’s highly infectious
- I get an urge to pick up the uke every time I see him play. Particularly when
he’s shredding the crap out of some flamenco ukulele.
Bartt has just released a new album, Under the Big Fat Moon , and was kind
enough to answer a few questions for us.
click to READ
When it comes to music genre, Bartt can't be pidgeon-holed into one rigid
category. I get the feeling that he'd like to remain free of a particular
genre because he is a well-rounded musician with years of experience on guitar
as well as ukulele. He plays everything, jazz, flamenco, country, rock, old
standards, Hawaiian, and a lot more. It would not be accurate to pin a label
I have watched many Ukulele Bartt videos and heard many of his tunes online.
Bartt is highly skilled and an excellent showman. What impresses me, though,
is that he never stops smiling. This is a man who loves
what he is doing.
click to READ
3 Questions With Ukulele Bartt
There is only one Ukulele Bartt. He is a Flamenco-Boogie-Classical ukulele player in addition to being a Los Angeles Unified School District Teacher of the Year. He plays in the Ukulele Bartt Sextet, performs and teaches at ukulele festivals and is coming out with his own instructional DVD this month.
1. How does learn to play Flamenculele style ukulele? "Flamenculele" is a word I made up to describe Flamenco played on an ukulele. I don't really play strict Flamenco; I just have a Flamenco influence that comes through in a lot of my playing. When I'm jamming with my Hawaiian friends, I play lots of Hawaiian music. When I'm in East L.A. I find more players who are into Flamenco and Mariachi, or sometimes Cuban or Son Jarocho music. When I played with Bill Tapia, I learned a lot of jazz and chord theory
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2. Can you suggest an all-purpose strumming or picking exercise? When learning a new strum the main thing is to understand the pattern and play it very slowly and cleanly. If you try to strum fast before you really understand the pattern, you'll never really learn the strum. For example ...
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3. How do you approach learning/memorizing a new song? It depends on if it's a song I wrote myself, or a cover song. When I learn someone else's song, I listen to it about fifty million times before I even start figuring out the chords. That way I'm minimizing my struggles. I no longer have to figure out when the chord changes come; I only have to figure out ...
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Candelas: A proud instrument in L.A.'s music scene
Candelas' ukes, which combine traditional designs with updated hardware, are favored by modern-day master Ukulele Bartt, who has taken the instrument to places that Arthur Godfrey and Don Ho never could have imagined. Tomas says, "Ukuleles aren't being played the way they used to be played. Bartt came in here one day and started playing flamenco style on the ukulele. These guys are not doing the typical strumming anymore."
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Ultimate Ukulele is a DVD that will teach you how to play ukulele from the ground up. If you are an advanced player, there are some great lessons that apply to you, too. You can jump into the index of lessons and skip ahead if you are an
What I really like about Bartt is his
personality. He really makes playing ukulele fun. Bartt is one talented musician and a great performer.
This DVD is really great for beginners. It is not intimidating in the least. I recommend it.
The techniques cover single-finger strums, rasqueados (both up and down). Bartt uses a practical application to illustrate his point. His technique is solid and his teaching method is really good. Bartt’s lessons on finger-picking are really informative and cover the basics of anchoring your hand along with patterns and he starts each pattern slowly and then increases the speed
until he demonstrates a little of
the pattern in a song. Moonlight Sonata was really beautiful. Hammers, pull-offs, and harmonics come next. Bartt explains the differences between pull-offs and hammers and It he demonstrates the technique at full speed, then goes into a play-by-play to give the viewer a genuine lesson on the subject.
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