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Ukulele Bartt is an eclectic singer/songwriter backed up by a full band he calls the Sextet. Bartt’s lyrics are artfully written and mostly based upon matters of the heart.
Musicianship: Bartt is a gifted musician with a talented backup band. He sings with personality and it suits his material flawlessly. But, it’s his ukulele skills that are phenomenal. Throughout the set, Bartt proves he can strum any style from blues to classical and perform it melodically and dynamically. Erba and Gold both add rockin’ blues to the sound, while Radice and DiGiovanni contribute more of an old-school blues vibe. Singers Renee and Bjorklund add 50’s style backup, offering a nice finishing touch to Bartt’s overall musical content.
Performance: There was such a crowd that the club was filled to capacity, leaving fans lined up outside in the rain. Bartt and company put on an energetic set, introducing each song with humor. Radice played the sidekick, adding punchlines and catering to Bartt’s whims. The rest of the group was equally entertaining and seemed over the top with enthusiasm. The evening felt like a house-party where musicians and fans alike were all celebrating their distinctive appreciation for the ukulele.
Summary: Ukulele Bartt has a unique and original sound with clever, catchy tunes that are fun to listen to. Any fan of the ukulele, or anyone wanting an entertaining and unusual night of bluesy rock, should experience one of Ukulele Bartt’s shows.

––Anne O’Neary

Singin’ and Strummin’ with Ukulele Bartt
By Ruth Longoria

If you’ve never heard the “Flight of the BumbleUke” or a ukulele rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” it might be time to expand your musical experience with the flamenco, classical and rock sounds of ukulele aficionado Ukulele Bartt.

The Hawaiian and Portuguese guitar virtuoso is a little bit like Tiny Tim, Queen, and George Harrison combined. And for anyone who enjoys a unique musical experience, Ukulele Bartt has a style and a sound worth hearing.

“Bartt is incredibly talented and an accomplished musician,” said Gail Mishkin, of The Folk Tree, a shop and art gallery in Pasadena where Ukulele Bartt and his band will perform this weekend. Mishkin said she’s a fan of Ukulele Bartt — the man and his music.

In addition to performing across the country, his music has gained recognition worldwide by way of the Internet and You Tube.

Bartt’s collection of about 50 stringed instruments includes a Romanian mandolin and a 12-string viola da terra, from Portugal. His newest ukulele is a custom-made instrument made of myrtlewood, and embellished with ebony, abalone and mother of pearl. In addition to his name embedded on the neck of the ukulele, the various icons on the instrument have special meanings. There are three bees on the headstock that signify Bartt and his two B-named brothers, Brett and Brian. There’s also a heart-shaped morning glory vine on the face of the instrument, dedicated to his wife, Yvonne. The uke was hand-built by famed luthier Tomas Delgado of Candelas Guitars.

Ukulele Bartt and his band, the Ukulele Bartt Sextet (The UB6), which includes drums, guitar, keyboard, bass and backup singers — will perform at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at The Folk Tree, 217 Fair Oaks Ave. in Pasadena.

He can also be heard later this year, Oct. 4, at the Southern California Ukulele Festival in Cerritos, and on his website, Bartt.net . Or you can catch him on YouTube.

 

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I don’t think there’s anyone who looks like they’re enjoying playing the uke more than Ukulele Bartt. And it’s highly infectious - I get an urge to pick up the uke every time I see him play. Particularly when he’s shredding the crap out of some flamenco ukulele.

Bartt has just released a new album, Under the Big Fat Moon , and was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

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When it comes to music genre, Bartt can't be pidgeon-holed into one rigid category. I get the feeling that he'd like to remain free of a particular genre because he is a well-rounded musician with years of experience on guitar as well as ukulele. He plays everything, jazz, flamenco, country, rock, old standards, Hawaiian, and a lot more. It would not be accurate to pin a label on him.

I have watched many Ukulele Bartt videos and heard many of his tunes online. Bartt is highly skilled and an excellent showman. What impresses me, though, is that he never stops smiling. This is a man who loves what he is doing.

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3 Questions With Ukulele Bartt

There is only one Ukulele Bartt. He is a Flamenco-Boogie-Classical ukulele player in addition to being a Los Angeles Unified School District Teacher of the Year. He plays in the Ukulele Bartt Sextet, performs and teaches at ukulele festivals and is coming out with his own instructional DVD this month.

1. How does learn to play Flamenculele style ukulele? "Flamenculele" is a word I made up to describe Flamenco played on an ukulele. I don't really play strict Flamenco; I just have a Flamenco influence that comes through in a lot of my playing. When I'm jamming with my Hawaiian friends, I play lots of Hawaiian music. When I'm in East L.A. I find more players who are into Flamenco and Mariachi, or sometimes Cuban or Son Jarocho music. When I played with Bill Tapia, I learned a lot of jazz and chord theory

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2. Can you suggest an all-purpose strumming or picking exercise? When learning a new strum the main thing is to understand the pattern and play it very slowly and cleanly. If you try to strum fast before you really understand the pattern, you'll never really learn the strum. For example ...

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3. How do you approach learning/memorizing a new song? It depends on if it's a song I wrote myself, or a cover song. When I learn someone else's song, I listen to it about fifty million times before I even start figuring out the chords. That way I'm minimizing my struggles. I no longer have to figure out when the chord changes come; I only have to figure out ...

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Candelas: A proud instrument in L.A.'s music scene

Candelas' ukes, which combine traditional designs with updated hardware, are favored by modern-day master Ukulele Bartt, who has taken the instrument to places that Arthur Godfrey and Don Ho never could have imagined. Tomas says, "Ukuleles aren't being played the way they used to be played. Bartt came in here one day and started playing flamenco style on the ukulele. These guys are not doing the typical strumming anymore."

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Ultimate Ukulele is a DVD that will teach you how to play ukulele from the ground up. If you are an advanced player, there are some great lessons that apply to you, too. You can jump into the index of lessons and skip ahead if you are an
advanced player.

What I really like about Bartt is his
personality. He really makes playing ukulele fun. Bartt is one talented musician and a great performer.
This DVD is really great for beginners. It is not intimidating in the least. I recommend it.

The techniques cover single-finger strums, rasqueados (both up and down). Bartt uses a practical application to illustrate his point. His technique is solid and his teaching method is really good. Bartt’s lessons on finger-picking are really informative and cover the basics of anchoring your hand along with patterns and he starts each pattern slowly and then increases the speed
until he demonstrates a little of
the pattern in a song. Moonlight Sonata was really beautiful. Hammers, pull-offs, and harmonics come next. Bartt explains the differences between pull-offs and hammers and It he demonstrates the technique at full speed, then goes into a play-by-play to give the viewer a genuine lesson on the subject.

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Le FIUL Présente Ukulélé Bartt -- In French and English

Salut Ukulele Bartt. Présente toi. Hello! Je suis Bartt Warburton, mais tu peux m’appeler Ukulélé Bartt. Je suis de Los Angeles, mais j’adore voyager à travers le monde. Particulièrement en France ! J’espère y revenir bientôt. La dernière fois que je suis venu à Paris, j’ai écrit 2 chansons en Français. En voici une à moitié en anglais et en français : By the Seine. Je ne l’ai jamais chanté à un public français. Comment est mon accent ?

 

Hello Ukulele Bartt, please introduce yourself. Bonjour! I’m Bartt Warburton, but you can call me Ukulele Bartt. I’m from Los Angeles, but I love traveling all over the world. Especially to France! I hope to return soon. Last time I was in Paris, I wrote two songs in French. Here’s one that’s half English, half French: By the Seine. I haven’t yet sung it to a French audience. How is my accent?

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