Ukulele Performer To Tackle Every Single Beatles Song
This upcoming weekend, New Yorkers can hear dozens of ukuleles gently weep, as a Brooklyn music producer brings his annual "Beatles On Ukulele" marathon back to the Brooklyn Bowl. NY1's Arts reporter Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
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You "Say You Want A Revolution?" Well, how about the Beatles on ukelele? Brooklyn music producer Roger Greenawalt is getting ready for his annual marathon concert of the Beatles on ukelele. The event, called "The Beatles Complete On Ukelele," takes place on January 15-16 at the Brooklyn Bowl, with six hours of the Beatles each day.
"I play all 185 Beatles songs -- that is, the songs they wrote, in a 24-hour period, with dozens and dozens of guest musicians," says Greenawalt.
Lending her voice is singer Leah Siegel.
"I love the Beatles. I grew up listening primarily to the Beatles and classical music, so it's a great kick to get to sing them on-stage."
Greenawalt couldn't agree more.
"They're the most important artists who have ever lived, any style, any genre," he says.
Other Beatles and ukulele enthusiasts are invited to join in the fun.
"Anybody who brings a ukulele an hour before the show gets in for free for the whole day, and you get to come on-stage and I'll teach you a song before the show," says Greenawalt. "And we'll play two Beatles songs, and hopefully we'll get like 100 'ukes' on stage."
Late Beatle George Harrison was a huge ukulele fan, but Greenawalt got the idea for a marathon concert when he put the entire Beatles catalog into iTunes and realized it would be possible to perform all of their original compositions in about 12 hours.
But of all the instruments out there, why the ukelele? Greenawalt says he was depressed after the September 11th terrorist attacks and found comfort in the little stringed instrument.
"Happiness machine. Unbelievable, instant transformation of mood," he says.
As an added twist, the concert always benefits the super-rich. Billionaire Warren Buffet is a past recipient, and this year it may be Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The idea is that the plutocrat will then donate the proceeds to a favorite charity.
As for the rest of us, well, with all this great music, "Baby, You're A Rich Man" too.