Treat for ukulele players
There is a treat in store for Whanganui blues music lovers and for the region’s ukulele players.
Kiwi blues ukulele legend Paul Jonson has teamed up with Canada based Manitoba Hal and are making a one night stopover at the Whanganui Musicians’ Club on Wednesday, November 7.
Folk Blues — The Legends is touring New Zealand from Christchurch to Auckland with 13 concerts and seven workshops, capping off with a three day Festival in Kawhia, from November 16 to 18.
Using mainly unique resonator ukuleles to express the true feeling of the music of the original blues masters, Paul and Manitoba will display the versatility of this humble and affordable four stringed instrument.
“I feature blues, boogie, ragtime and traditional folk songs in a concert and/or workshop format to acquaint the keen ukulele players with finger picking, alternative strumming, chording and tuning techniques that make express the feeling of these styles of music,” says Paul Jonson.
He has featured at ukulele and folk festivals in New Zealand, Australian ukulele festivals from Cairns in the north to Melbourne in the south, and recent travels in Europe included ukulele gigs in Italy and Spain.
Manitoba Hal has toured Canada extensively with a ukulele. Now living in his 100-year-old cottage in Nova Scotia, he sounds like he grew up in the Deep South of the States and plays raw, swamp, delta, Cajun and zydeco style blues. Hal developed the blues sound when he lived in Winnipeg Manitoba (where he also got his name). Winnipeg, often referred to as the Chicago of the north, is in a delta between the Red and Assiniboine rivers.
“I was born at the blues and when I found that music inside me, I came alive and my soul started expressing itself in songs that flowed with that music. The blues is where my soul came into this world. Where it will end up I don’t know but I’m ready for the journey,” he says.
Manitoba Hal has been described as having created something wholly unique and idiosyncratic out of several elements that already existed. He’s not the first guitarist to switch over to ukulele. Nor is he the first musician to use looping pedals. And he’s certainly not the first to play the blues, but the way he approaches the combination of those elements, and mixes it with his own musical sensibilities, is just perfect. A tireless live performer, ambassador for the uke, and all-round great musician.
This combination of musicians should be a night of magic and music.
Manitoba Hal teams up with Paul Jonson in a ukulele blues special night.