Strum Luck

"There's a pretty strong grassroots ukulele community around Colorado and around the country," notes Michael Schenkelberg of the Swallow Hill Music Association. That explains why last year's inaugural Denver UkeFest was such a sweet success — and why Swallow Hill is bringing it back for a new year.

"Even for people who don't play, there's stuff to do all day long," Schenkelberg adds. That stuff includes an array of workshops for kids, teens and adults on everything from songwriting to arranging a piece (and if you don't yet own a uke, you can purchase one at the fest); film will also enter the picture this year, and with an all-day pass, you can also enjoy the open stage, beer and barbecue.

Schenkelberg is particularly excited about the Sweet Hollywaiians, a quartet that plays vintage 1920s and 1930s American-style music, as well as Canada’s James Hill . "He can play anything from 'Flight of the Bumblebee' to a Bach concerto, all the way up to something from the Dead Kennedys," he explains.

The UkeFest starts at 10 a.m. today at Swallow Hill, 71 East Yale Avenue; tickets are $125 for a VIP pass, $80 to $90 for an all-day pass, and $25 to $27 for the 7:30 p.m. concert featuring all of the UkeFest artists on one stage. Visit or call 303-777-1003 to purchase yours.
Sat., Feb. 7, 10 a.m., 2009

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen