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Mighty Ukulele Day in Lansing, Michigan!

Here is the last photo I took on Mighty Uke Day:

We crashed Emil’s Italian Restaurant on Lansing’s fine East Side. They were A-OK with us having a quiet jam session. It turned out that the other customers found us pleasant company, there were smiles galore throughout.

I grabbed my camera to take a photo, and I accidentally started a video. When I realized it, I kept the camera on. You can join us for the last chorus of “Show Me the Way to Go Home,” here:


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve suggested a large group go to Emil’s late in the day (their kitchen closes at 11), and they always are welcoming. It was a very fun time. They even brought out a tray full of chocolate Mousse desserts on the house, which several people enjoyed.

The Day

We had a very fun time at Mighty Uke Day on Saturday, in Old Town Lansing. The Sir Pizza was absolutely packed, and there were many fine acts. We were honored to be on the calendar.

As seems to be the case, when music is involved we see all of Lansing. During that day I saw friends from Working Women Artists, #LoveLansing Twitter folks, Knitting, Kid Knitters, Allen Street Market, Contra Dancing… and even Brian’s family (his dad and brother came in from Grand Rapids). I even saw a belly dance friend on the way in to the pizza place. It was wonderful.

I must comment on the fine performance by Magdalen Fossum, age 10. Let me tell you… this young lady grew up in a performance space/cafe named after her. (Remember Magdalena’s Teahouse?)

She has been playing uke a long time. She loves playing music for crowds, and can be found at every outdoor festival she can find… dressed to perform, and singing her heart out all day long. She’s well-practiced and well-seasoned as a performer for real audiences, even at this age. Here’s a photo:

I loved her singing “Runaway,” it was magnificent. Her voice is much more expressive than some adults. And friends, she does a mouth trumpet. I’m impressed, and jealous. This young lady is going places.

We sang a well-received set, with a delightful surprise. Andy Wilson of Steppin’ in It was there (he and Juliana Tuell did a wonderful sort of 30’s-40’s jazzy set just before we went on). He joined us on our encore number, “Your Baby Ain’t Sweet Like Mine.” Brian has a YouTube Video of that song – click the link  if you want to hear it.

Here’s a photo of us with Andy from a hot summer’s day in August, 2007. That night we were at Dagwood’s (also on the East Side) for open mic night. One more oldie-goodie in my beloved Lansing!

Between the concert and the jam session, we viewed The Mighty Uke Movie. It was just incredible. Excellent. Funny… informative, and at times a tearjerker. We knew lots and lots of the people in the movie, from our travels to and from Ukulele Festivals all over the midwest & New York.

4 Responses to “Mighty Ukulele Day in Lansing, Michigan!”

  1. kathy b Says:

     How fun was THAT?  The whole Uke community looks like a fine group . I cannot wait to watch the little girl play the uke…..love this post!

  2. kathy b Says:

     SHow me the way to go home..I think I need to learn to play the uke…is it harder or easier than guitar????

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Uke is much easier than Guitar. It has 4 strings, not 6. If you played guitar, ever, it will be a cinch.

  4. vinetwiner Says:

    you are such a sweet spirit for sharing your thoughts about magdalen. particularly from such a wonderfully talented musician as yourself, these kind words express much of the joy i feel when seeing magdalen perform her lyrical tricks. bless you for mentioning her beautifulness.