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More Chicago…

I’m off to teach Needlefelted Embellishments at Threadbear in a few minutes, but here are a few more photos from Chicago to keep you going…

chicagoukensing.jpgThe main stage had been scheduled for outside and workshops inside (outside was bigger) but it rained in the evening and early morning. Main stage went inside and since we were on that stage we missed a lot of the open mic acts and workshops outside until later in the event. Uke Bros (Rod and Randy from Lansing) were outside first thing but then they did a second set late in the day. I put their photo in my June 27 post if you want another peek.

Also playing were our Detroit-area friends called Uke ‘n Sing (photo above). Here they are. I got one single photo of them before my camera lost battery so I hope they like the shot!!! Great supporters, good folks to jam with, always enthusiastic and a good time. I was glad to hear part of their set.

chicagoalec.jpgOur friend Alec from Canada (known as Alectrovoice) also played the open mic. He just gets better and better. He plays uke and harmonica, croons, whistles, eefs and does a mouth trumpet. One guy but a one-man band, very entertaining, and he chooses excellent material. We hadn’t seen him since the day we jammed in the park in New York City, late April. It was good to reconnect.

The end of the day was very moving. A group of musicians played both old and new-ish Hawaiian music. (I don’t know the bass player at right, I think he is from Hawaii or maybe California. The guy at left is Gerald Ross from Ann Arbor, MI on Hawaiian Lap Steel. Center is Kimo Hussey, I think from Hawaii, on ukulele.)

It was quite impromptu but first the hula teacher, Lanialoha, later joined by her students, did several hulas along with the musical performance… while the crowd sang a Hawaiian song in words I could not possibly understand. It was breathtakingly beautiful. It brought me to tears, sobs. When you can be in the presence of such beauty you need not be a king, it’s all the wealth anyone needs.

chicagohulakimo.jpgThat night we had to break up and say some goodbyes which was hard. BruddaMark and Jeff (Smith?) of SanDiego were the main organizers and they really pulled together a remarkable show from long distance. Thank goodness some of us reconnected after we let out.

Gerald Ross, Brian and I went to Thai dinner (very nice) and then jammed a while on a bench in the downtown Oak Park area near their hotel. It got chilly so then we moved to a bench just outside the Hotel doors. We were joined by Fred Fallin and Neal (still not remembering his last name) and we enjoyed having passers by sing with us at times. Finally when the restaurants were closing inside, the manager asked us if we could stop for the night… in a very gentle way. We said our goodbyes and happily hit the pillows soon thereafter. And dreamed of an adventure in Chicago on the way out of Illinois…

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