Sunday, May 16, 2010

UKULELE...Unk Dicko and Shigeto Takahashi at Ukulele Movement.

Last month, my good ukulele friend Shigeto Takahashi whom I have blogged about in April 2009, contacted me by email from tell me he will be making his 2nd visit to S'pore again in a few days' time. He was here on work attachment with his company. Before arriving, he had indicated to me he would like to visit the Ukulele Movement shop at Beatty Road with me.
Unk Dicko has been around to many of the shops that offer ukuleles and guitars for sale. However, I have yet to visit UM until that Saturday in April.

Over a series of emails I sent to UM's owners...Glyn and Simon, a warm online contact has been established. The husband and wife team had wondered if I could persuade Shigeto to do a " mini-performance" and sharing they have not met him before. They were both very excited as they had Shigeto's latest Ukulele CDs on sale in their shop.
After Shigeto's arrival, he was accomodated at Pasir Panjang Inn, same as last year. I called him and we chatted once again. Having known him since a year ago, I found Shigeto to be a really nice guy...easy going, relaxed and very comfortable with anyone with a ukulele or music background. So, it was not difficult for me to request him to do the mini-performance. He agreed wholeheartedly.
On that rainy Saturday, we met up again at our rendezvous...the Ukulele Movement shop at Beatty Road, around 3 pm. The first person to greet me as I entered the room was Shigeto-san!
" Ah...Dicko-san ! " he shook my hand warmly.
" Hai...Shigeto-san! Long time no see! " I said.
Then a pretty lady stepped forward and introduced herself as Glyn and asked her hubby Simon to come forward.
" So you must be Unk Dicko..." she said as we shook hands warmly.

Although this was the first meeting between me and this wonderful couple, they told me that they have been visiting and reading my blogs especially my blogposts on Ukulele.

UM's premises has a lovely set up. I like the simplicity of the concept. There is a warm atmosphere about the place and the ambience is unlike so many of the other shops I've seen.
There was a small gathering of ukulele enthusiasts and a little later, Richard Chee came in.
I had invited him to drop over as a Glyn was his former student at CJC years ago.
Glyn personally walked me over some of the Uke items on sale and I must say I was and still am impressed by the good to high quality standard of the Ukuleles I tried there.
I have taken note of 2 or 3 which I was attracted to including the very slim Travelling Ukulele
( 2 versions ). Sounded superb!
Soon as all the introductions and browsing around were over, Shigeto was formally introduced.
He spoke off the cuff and warmly thanked everyone for their presence.

Then he played some of his most recognised pieces...including Hiro March, The Peanut Vendor and The Saints Go marching In.
All were enjoying his playing so much. The fortunates ones filmed or videoed it.
Shigeto himself had his own recording set up.
He gave an encore when asked!
After the demo, he shared some strumming tips like the fan strum.

Photo: Shigeto being introduced...

Photo: Ok, I sing.

Photo: The appreciative ukulele people

Photo: And this piece is from Cuba.

Photo: Richard and Unk Dicko

Photo: Young and old enjoy Ukulele music

Glyn, Unk Dicko, Shigeto, Richard and Simon

Photo: Shigeto outside the entrance to U M.

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