The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, known for both talent and self-effacing humor, will play at the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in Davis on April 28. This week on Davisville, founder George Hinchliffe and creative producer/performer Leisa Rea talk about the music and why the orchestra came together in the first place.
“We’re a strange kind of musical juggernaut,” Rea says, “and we seem to delight people all over the world, no matter what the culture, no matter whether there’s a language barrier or not. Somehow the ukulele is the people’s instrument.”
Among other things, we talk about tuning, their choice of songs, ukes as kindling, and Hinchliffe’s friendly encounter with George Harrison of the Beatles. A typical Ukes concert, Rea and Hinchliffe say, “is a sort of white-knuckle shopping-cart dash through just about every musical genre.”