The Many Voices of Uke

Ukulele Day explores only a few of the sounds, styles and songs of the ukulele renaissance. Jazz, blues, barbershop harmonies, island beats, swing and Latin are represented. The ukulele versatility is endless with only a taste of the instrument’s mellow capabilities in an ensemble, as accompaniment or a solo instrumental role.

Bill Tapia, the “Duke of Uke” is the world’s oldest performing musician. At 101 his skills are still legendary. His renditions of the instrumental standards display the uke’s adaptation to jazz, swing and Latin beats. Miguel Mendiola joins him on bass.

The barbershop guys, Jim Glasgow and Jim Throgmorton, come from a life-long addiction to barbershop harmonies. When they adopted a twin baritone ukulele accompaniment, their unique sound emerged.

John McDonald and Valerie Ford performed together at various festivals in Southern California and Hawaii. They merged their efforts into a vintage blues set that brings back many memorable songs. Cathy Laurie and Mario Rossi join them on bass and keyboard.

Valerie Ford is not only a performer, but also a songwriter with many outstanding pieces to her credit. Her modern Island songs are all original and contemporary. She wrote the title song, “Ukulele Day” especially for this album; its theme is the album’s keynote.
Her backup is John McDonald and Mario Rossi.

These offerings celebrate today’s ukulele in its breath and depth. The ukulele is comfortable everywhere. Enjoy!


    • Bill Tapia - ukulele
    • Miguel Mendiola - bass
    • John McDonald - vocal, ukulele, tenor guitar
    • Valerie Ford - vocal, ukulele, guitar
    • Cathy Laurie - vocal harmony on Freight Train, bass
    • Mario Rossi - bass and keyboard
    • Jim Throgmorton - vocal, left handed baritone
    • Jim Glasgow - vocal, baritone
    • Valerie Ford - vocal, ukulele, guitar
    • John McDonald - ukulele, Tahitian banjo on Meet Me In Maui
    • Mario Rossi - bass, keyboard, drums

Produced by John McDonald, Valerie Ford and Mario Rossi
Recorded and mixed - Mario Rossi Music Productions
Cover art by Margaret McDonald

©McDonald’s Ukulele Chords, 2009
MUC 001

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