Ordway Extra: Ukulele Re-imagined

Jenea Rewertz-Targui, Ordway 9/27/19

Virtuoso Hawaiian ukulele player Keldon Ancheta and local teen vocalist and ukulele player-composer Jose Santos performed select contemporary and original music prior to the Jake Shimabukuro concert. They shared their personal stories about how they were inspired to take up the small, four-stringed instrument’s vocabulary in a presentation/demonstration curated and moderated by multidisciplinary arts producer Marlina Gonzalez.

In this video, a recap of the evening’s pre-show can be viewed.

View photos of this event in an online gallery

Videography and photography by Sherine Onukwuwe, SoulEyes Films


Speaker Bios


“By day, Keldon Ancheta is a freelance animator for websites. But at night, (he) engages his passion for the ukulele…Ancheta, who has lived in Minnesota off and on for eight years, is a virtuoso on the instrument…”
In his hometown of Hilo, he said, kids get their hands on ukuleles very early in life.
Ancheta recalls how, as he and his grade school classmates strummed, their instructor, Mr. Miyagi, would add flourishes and ornaments….
After he learned the basics of the flourish, Ancheta would go home and practice.
Today, he is part of a generation of virtuoso Hawaiian ukulele players who pick more than strum.
Excerpted from:
Dan Olson / MPR News


A 12th grader at Rosemount HS, 17-year old Jose has performed on the McPhail stage as a vocalist and musician. He belongs to a family of artists active in the Fil-Minnesotan community. He is a self-taught musician. One day, his dad told him about an amazing Asian American musician performer named Jake Shimabukuro who played Bohemian Rhapsody on his ukulele. He challenged himself to do the same and he was hooked. Inspired by a cartoon series about a ukulele player named Steven Universe. Jose started composing at age 14. To date, he has composed 30 original ukulele pieces.
“It’s difficult to sound sad on the ukulele so I like playing happy upbeat songs!”
Original Titles:
I’m Not Good At Math (02:00) Composed as a sophomore when got upset about getting 66% on his math test
A Love Song From Paris (03:00) Tribute to a Youtuber named Paint

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