Ithaca Ukes is a club of ukulele enthusiasts in Ithaca, NY and beyond. Started by Robbert van Renesse and Emoretta Yang from a ukulele workshop during Ithaca's first Porchfest in 2008, Ithaca Ukes have marched in the Ithaca Festival parade, played for the Cayuga Waterfront Trail's Water Music and the Holiday Fair at the former Neighborhood Pride. We try to meet at least monthly to jam on the last Saturday of each month, at Hickey's Music Center. Other events, such as classes, workshops, house concerts, uke flash mobs, etc., will be announced via the group's e-mail group, as well as on the Ithaca Ukes Facebook page. Strum some!
Last Saturday of the month @ Noon: Uke'n Do It - a free ukulele jam usually at or near Hickey's Music Center. Sponsored by Hickey's. No charge, no obligation.
Hickey's Music Center is at 104 Adams Street, between Dey and Auburn Streets.
Charts for the monthly uke jams can be found here.
Sunday, July 11th, 2pm-5:30pm @ Stewart Park - CANCELLED
UPDATE 7/11/21: A note via Janelle Alvstad-Mattson, Friends of Stewart Park:
Hello my dear watermusic participants,
Well, looks like Friends of Stewart Park can’t catch a break when it comes to the weather this year. I am afraid that the forecast is dreadful for this afternoon, and because of it we are going to have to cancel Watermusic. We thank you so much for signing on to participate. FSP staff will talk and reassess tomorrow as to if and when we can reschedule. Rescheduling would likely be either next Sunday, July 18 or Saturday, September 18. We will send out more information and ask if you might still be able to participate as soon as we can.
For today, the weather looks like it might hold out until around two at least… So we are going to move forward with the birthday party, Cayuga chamber Orchestra and London McDaniel. On top of that, Since we have the pavilion all day, Joe Crookston’s northside string band Will lead an old-time jam in the pavilion starting around 3. So, if you are still feeling like playing music and don’t necessarily care if you have any kind of audience, you are welcome to join in the jam.
Thank you very much, and we will be in touch as soon as we possibly can with further details. If you have any questions, you can try to call or text me on my cell at 607-379-2215. Can’t guarantee I’ll be able to answer with the birthday party happening, but I will try.
WHAT: Ukulele players and singers, please come play at the Annual Watermusic celebration of the Cayuga Waterfront Trail! Originally planned to coincide with the 100th Anniversary of Stewart Park on Independence Day, Watermusic has been postponed a week. The City closed the park this past weekend to clean-up storm debris.
WHEN and WHERE: this coming Sunday, July 11, 2:15pm-3:30pm near the Cascadilla Boat House.
MUSIC: WATERMUSIC song packet, attached below. (same as the song packet for 2019, if you still have that)
WHAT TO BRING: your ukulele, kazoo, chair, music stand (clothes pins or clamps to secure music), water to keep hydrated, and, if the weather warrants warning, bumbershoot or poncho. And your willing singing voices.
PLEASE NOTE THE POSTER!
Surprised and pleased that Shiyi Li's beautiful photo of a Grand Willow sheltering ukuleles at the 2019 Watermusic graces the poster for this year's event! Sad about the damage done to the willows in June's storms -- don't know if this particular grandee survives without harm.
Map for water music with schedule is here: https://www.friendsofstewartpark.org/watermusic2021
Note from Auntie Emo about upcoming gig (updated 7/9):
Attached is a map with schedule for Sunday, July 11, Watermusic event. I hope you read the FSP letter re rain forecast. We aspire to go ahead.
Ithaca Ukes is scheduled to play at Site 6 across from the Cascadilla Boat House. Depending on weather & sun, we may move across the trail to a more shady location along the mouth of Cascadilla Creek. (See attached map with all performances, times & locations)
Note that there'll be free cupcakes at Site 1, the Small Pavilion, where Cayuga Chamber Orchestra ensembles and the Mayor are scheduled to open at 1:00pm-2:00pm.
Our time slot is officially 2:15p-3:30p. Robbert, Bo and Auntie Emo will start as close as we can get to 2:00pm. The three of us will play a few pieces in trio, as other ukesters gather and set up. Around 2:30, the trio will end with "Ain't She Sweet" in C, after which, everyone will be invited to join in as a warm up.
The next piece will be the altered "Bad Moon Rising" [in D] to celebrate the opening of the new winterized bathrooms in the Wharton Studio building (see attached excerpt of an announcement emailed by the Friends of Stewart Park). The only line to be altered is the last one in the chorus: instead of "There's a bad moon on the rise", please sing "There's a bathroom on the right."
(*it's okay; Wikipedia says that John Fogerty himself sometimes sings this mondegreen)
With the altered last line of the chorus, it's a panegyric to the New Winterized Bathrooms.
Here's the ad for the new winterized bathrooms.
Then we'll run thru a selection of songs from the Watermusic song packet sent earlier. We'll end with "This Little Light of Mine" (cycling thru keys of G, C, F)
Of course, you are all encouraged to roam the Trail before and after and check out the other performances 'round our beloved, storm-tossed but enduring Park.
If you like stories, check out the Story House event.
Ain't She Sweet
Bad Moon Rising
This Little Light of Mine (in G and in D)
This Little Light of Mine (in F)
To join our mailing list, send an email to (IthacaUkesemail@example.com) from the account you want subscribed.
Robbert van Renesse
Hosts For Uke Jam:
David Zimet, Hickey's Music Center
Please send comments, suggestions, links, etc. to Webmaster.
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The chart below goes with the above RvR Swing Demo video.
Here are photos from the Porchfest Ukulelese as a Second Language Workshop on 9/27/15:
Hickey's Halloween UkeCircle, 10/28/17:
Hickey's Uke Circle, 5/25/19:
Ithaca Festival, 6/2/19:
Watermusic @ Stewart Park, 7/12/19:
(Photo credit to Shiyi Li for first photo)
(Photo credit to Shiyi Li for first photo)