Nationwide Ukulele Craze Takes South Florida By Strum

 
 
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Sharing the love:</span> A group of women give in to 'uke fever' at a ukulele meet-up at Penny Lane Music Emporium in Fort Lauderdale.
Sharing the love: A group of women give in to 'uke fever' at a ukulele meet-up at Penny Lane Music Emporium in Fort Lauderdale.
Christine DiMattei / WLRN-Miami Herald News

More information

Third Annual Ukulele Fest South Florida, Friday, March 28 and Saturday, March 29. ArtServe Theater, 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. For more information, visit UkuleleFestSouthFlorida.com, FloridaUkuleleNetwork.org.

Delray Beach Ukulele Meet-Ups, April 8 and April 22, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m., Delray Beach Public Library, 100 W. Atlantic Ave., Delray Beach. For more info, contact Tavit Smith at tavitandlynn@gmail.com.


cdimattei@MiamiHerald.com

The jam session at the Penny Lane Music Emporium in Fort Lauderdale is probably one of the few musical gatherings in South Florida where senior citizens and teenagers play out of the same songbook.

About 20 people of all ages stand or sit in a circle, strumming ukuleles. Each of them has one eye on the sheet music, the other on their host, Ty Olopai.

“Beginners, when they pick it up, learn music in a minute,” says Olopai.

Olopai is the founder of the Florida Ukulele Network — or F.U.N. for short. He started the nonprofit about five years ago. Its original six members used to play together at Olopai’s local Starbucks until the group outgrew the space. The network now boasts about 500 members.

Olopai is also the chief organizer of the Ukulele Fest South Florida, a two-day event featuring workshops and performances by nationally known ukulele artists. This year’s festival starts Friday at ArtServe in Fort Lauderdale.

To read the full story, go to WLRN’s website.

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