Listening to the washing machine's rhythmic whooshing down the hall is soothing as I pack for "grown-up summer camp" :D
This particular event happens to be a week-long ukulele retreat in Nashville led by the most famous ukulele player alive today--Jake Shimabukuro--and a bunch of his talented ukulele pro friends from Hawaii (several of whom I have fortunately called my teachers for the last few years).
Thank goodness for technology, which has made it possible for me to study with them from afar, but I can't express how excited I am to finally meet everyone in person! If the pandemic taught me anything, it was that these are not only great players but also great people. They truly showed up for the ukulele community, innovated over and over and over again as situations changed, and supported us all in learning how to connect deeply in new ways.
Like hidden gems in plain sight! I will always be grateful for their example.
And as of tomorrow, I look forward to learning from them, jamming with them and sharing our mutual love for this joyful instrument and community in person!
Also, in recent weeks I've had the pleasure of giving back to my local ukulele community in a small way--by organizing a fun, 1-song recording session at the Baton Rouge library. Many of the uke group's members had never been in a recording studio before and didn't even realize this branch of the library had one (plus training classes) open to the public.
I love sharing publicly accessible hidden local gems with people, so this community project has been fun for all of us. Can't wait to hear the final song once we finish the edits!
You might want to check out your own local library to see what special programs, activities, and equipment (like 3D printing) it may offer.
See y'all in July!
Ashley Orlando is a jazz vocalist/ukulele artist and coach who helps growth-focused leaders find their voice, grow their presence & amplify their impact.